Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Archive for the tag “Parenting”

Don’t Call Your Kids Rude Names, Even Though They Earned It

You have a problem with me, Mom?

“Be careful when you open that pop,” I warned Dear Husband.  “They kids were in the pantry shaking it up today.”

“You know that comedian you don’t approve of, who calls his kid a that name?”

“I just don’t think you should call your kids that.”

“You have to admit he has a point.  People who take your favourite drink, shake it for no reason so it loses all it’s fizz and  sprays all over you when you open it, and then puts it right back so you don’t know, well, let’s be honest. That person is an ass    .”

In response, I just looked at him and pursed my lips, which means, Yeah, maybe you’re right, but push it and you’ll find yourself in all kinds of wrong.  But he does have a point. If your children keep acting like children once they reach adulthood, they would correctly called all sorts of nasty names.

Like this kid:  She comes home and tells me that she won’t use the school bathroom stalls, because she is sure that the lock will fail and she will never get out.  This, of course, is crazy.  I try to role play asking for new pants from the Lost and Found, when she runs upstairs to use the — you guessed it — bathroom, knocking the humungous package of toilet paper off the stairs from which it was to be carried to the — guess again — upstairs bathroom, leaving it in the middle of the room.  She comes back 5 minutes later, interrupting me to shout, “WHERE’S THE TOILET PAPER?”   I pointed to the floor, and I went back to making supper.  Imagine my surprise when I found that package lying right where it fell, with just one roll clawed out of the package.  If you do that when you’re 35, there’s a name for you.

Oh, and remember sweet, little Princess?  After playing with her for nearly an hour, I tried to sit down and listen to an interesting audio clip posted on the Dumb Old Housewives blog.  She walks over, squeezes onto my lap, and asks all these questions about the stock photos that are playing, so I can’t hear.  Finally, “How looong is this?  It’s sooooo boring.”  Meaning:  You are welcome to entertain yourself, as long as it also entertains me.  Again, if you’re pulling this stunt anytime after the 3rd decade of your life, it’s not going win you a nice nickname.

But, they aren’t bad kids, just kids.  This is childish behaviour.  Immature.  Juvenile.  They aren’t doing this because they have decided the world should revolve around them.  It’s just that no one has taught them any better.   The teaching being my job, the job of a parent.

I would like to say I always treat my kids with respect because I am such a morally developed person.  But really, if I call them a jerk, they’d probably just look me in the eye and ask, “Oh?  It must be how I was raised.”  I have enough trouble with these kids without being shown up by the under 11 set.

Advertisements

Does this Baby Picture Make You Sick?

How annoying is this?

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the app that lets you replace the pictures of your Facebook friends’ kids with those of kittens, sunsets and bacon.  Unbaby.me‘s website promises to “delete…babies from your Newsfeed permantently — by replacing them with awesome stuff…Now you don’t have to look at all your friends’ annoying kids”.  Yeah, who would want to look at pictures of human beings, when you could amuse yourself with pics of stuff to own, watch or consume (and judging from some of the sample photos on the website, also lust and mock.)

I don’t think anyone who’s tried to take more than zero kids onto a Tim Horton’s Sunday around noon could be that surprised at this.  And I bet it’s not just Hipsters among the over 71,000 “Likes” — some of the dirty looks that little old ladies, (sorry, I think the term they prefer is “cougar”) shoot you when it appears that the generation that is going to be funding their twilight years of government pensions and nursing care, might disturb their weekly Maple Glazed Danish and Double-Double, could peel paint.  (By the way, this is precisely why I avoid eye contact in public places.)

I do find it bizarre that those of us who have chosen to sacrifice the present for the sake of providing everyone else with a collective future, get cast as selfish, annoying dweebs, who just want to talk on and on about our kids.  I totally agree that forgoing children for a higher purpose is a very noble and commendable sacrifice.  Getting really good at Call of Duty, or devoting more time to your dogs doesn’t even register, Folks.

This reminds me of a something from woman’s magazine I saw from the 1960’s.  It was the Shocking! Emotional! tale of a mother who was going to use birth control, despite whatever her Priest said.  “What about the children I already have?  If I have more, won’t it be unfair to them?”  This seems so quaint now, considering the massive experiment in family living that would follow in the divorce happy 1970’s and 1980’s, calling a younger brother and sister in an intact family “unfair.”

However if this is unfair, with 5 siblings my kids must be first in line in the Completely Shafted Department, just itching to get their own Android compatible device, so that they can purge all those annoying pictures of their sisters in diapers.  And yes, they surely can complain when things aren’t so smooth between them.  But when the two oldest, Tall Girl and Sweetie Pie, made it home from camp, they did something that even I didn’t expect. As they piled out of the van, they ran first to me for a hug.  Total reassurance that they were home and Mom was there.  But, then they immediately started for Baby.  They picked her up, and carried her around, and almost started to fight over who got to give her a hug.  Baby, of course, lapped it up and was her super, smiley, giggly, baby perfection, waving hi with her fat little hand.  Funny, their faces didn’t look put out or annoyed.  Joyful would be more like it.

I really don’t know why people hate kids.  Maybe they hate part of themselves.  But as I’ve said before, people are awesome.  Even the noisy, inconvenient, over-photographed little ones.

Are We All a Bunch of Braggarts?

Check out this awesome article at the Wall Street Journal about bragging and social media (like, maybe, the Blogosphere would be included?)  Are We All Braggarts Now? – WSJ.com.

As Elizabeth Bernstein writes,

Changes in parenting style also play a role. Nowadays, every moment—first day of school, exhausted nap in the back seat of the car—is documented. The problem is that these shared moments can easily come off as crowing about how great Mom and Dad are to have raised such an adorable kid.

We’ve become so accustomed to boasting that we don’t even realize what we’re doing. And it’s harmful to our relationships because it turns people off.

Read the rest here.  I remember 25 years ago, being told by an older co-worker to “never say anything negative.”

People don’t like downers, she said.  If you say something, make it positive.  If someone asks how your trip was, say it was great, even if you spent the entire time indoors eating Dorritos from the vending machine and making up dialogue with the TV turned down.

As for parenting, and as a parent blogger, you have to wonder how all this “look nice Luv, I want to put this picture on Facebook” is warping our kids minds and view of the world.  But is there a corollary of “suckitude bragging”?  You know, the folks that no matter how bad you’ve got it, they’ve got it one stroke worse?

Anyways.  I’ve got to fold laundry while standing on my un-vacuumed carpet while I gaze out the window at my no-longer-weeded garden.  I told the kids to get out their pj’s but they ignored me.

There.  I hope that made you feel better.

Pursuing Failure

Remember the sunscreen!!!

I sent the kids to camp this week.  Overnight camp.  Like 4 nights and 5 days overnight camp, and for the third year in a row.  I caught my Sweetheart’s eye as Tall Girl and Sweetie Pie queued for the bus.

“Ripped right out.”  I pointed at my heart.  He nodded.

“I thought it should get easier, but it doesn’t.  The logistics do.  But this?  No.”

Why do we do this every year?  I mean they have the time of their lives and make all these friends and develop as great human beings.  But is that all worth their parents’ grey hair?  Or sleepless nights?  Come on — who wouldn’t trade a week with a Slip ‘N Slide with a bunch of cranky preschoolers, for a giggle sleepover on an island on a bug-infested lake?  I mean really.

Plus, we sent Art Girl to Taekwondo Daycamp, so I’m stuck at home auditioning next school year with the bottom three kids.  This gives me an opportunity to try out my “Why you can’t watch anymore TV” arguments.  Eventually, I know they will get bored of sitting on the couch staring at that black, matte rectangle, commanding it to light, and wander over to the kitchen table to take out their frustration on some playdough.  Until then, between that and the heat, it’s going to be a long week.

Are my children secret cave men?

Compound this with my Walk Guilt.  As I wrote last time, I’ve been trying to get back into some kind of shape after being left floundering on the carpet with back pain.  Tall Girl is now a certified babysitter, so this summer I’ve been taking the Baby in the stroller and leaving big sis in charge for 40 minutes.   Which is great for about 10 minutes, until I start feeling like the World’s Worst Mother for leaving them.  What if they are fighting?  Speaking rudely?  Just today, Big Boy demanded a pencil of me.  No, “please”, “may I”, nothing.  Is this what goes on when I’m not here?  They revert to troglodyte cave kids?  I’ll come home to grunts and people painting on the walls, eating raw meat.  It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe I’ve just been lucky.

I had thought, that once the kids were older, I would start to take some time to “do some things for myself.”  Except, I can’t seem to leave.  They’re all fine, independent, moral human beings.  But I’m a crazy woman.  I just can’t go.  I was thinking of whether I should get a job.  I can now know that unless someone is prepared to pay me to run around after my own offspring, it’s probably a no go.  Actually, it’s definitely a no go.  I always figured that some kind of worldly success was hiding inside of myself, but when I actually looked, I found someone who was happy being a failure, if it means more time with her kids.

I know that one day the girls and boy will grow up and move on and leave.  I’ll be sad/happy, but that’s part of life and that’s okay.  But I can’t rush it and still be all okay with life.  Come back soon from camp, girls.  Your Mom wants to make sure you brushed your teeth.

“How Empty is Your Life?” and Other Parenting Misses

Everything’s just peachy around here

Did you think I could stay away from the my little soap box for a whole 10 weeks?  Come on now.  You’re dealing with a woman who gets interrupted six times while screaming “FIRE!”  Plus, I went camping so there is only so much that one’s psyche can handle.

Since there is only 4 weeks left to the kids’ summer vacation, and I wouldn’t want them to have delusions that it was niceor anything, I thought I should permanently record the Mommy Misses so far of the season.  Think of this post as one of those Realty TV recap shows.   My kids will appreciate the cheat sheets for their memoirs.

“This will be perfect for the cover!”

  1. As for the title —  I didn’t actually say it that way.  Sweetie Pie came up and showed me some gross, dried-up glue in a tube, and said, “You could squirt it on some paper in a big blob.”  I assuming that, at age 9, she was a pretty much an adult in some Hunter-Gatherer cultures,  and quipped, “How empty would your life have to be to want to do that, eh?”  As I watched her eyes and then entire face fill with horror, I realized that I had made a grave mistake.  I gave her the glue and paper and a whole bunch of candy.  Things seem fine now.
  2. Look into my eyes!

    Tall Girl asked why I was staring “right there,” and pointed to a spot above her eyebrow.  I said that I was just looking at her.  Then I realized, being always crazy-run-around-busy, I never make eye contact with my kids.  They think all Moms have heart to heart talks with their heads stuck in the dryer.

  3. I got so out of shape I couldn’t get up off the floor.  Well, let’s back up on this one:  While I was pregnant with my SIXTH adorable child, I strained the ligaments in my back, which caused me an amazing amount of pain.  Being, like, not un-pregnant, I took it easy for a while.  A while being 18 months.  This rest period was abruptly terminated the day I lay down to retrieve a binky from under the kids’ bed and couldn’t get up.  I pacified the little ones by grinning furiously and telling them I was “playing whale.”  Daily walks have since ensued, and the call to “bring it here to Mommy” is slowly disappearing.
  4. Mommy is soooo distracted. Plus this tastes healthy.

    Today, my kids ate Chocolate Chip Cookies and a little piece of cheese for lunch.  I gave them buttered bread, cheese and peaches for lunch, with a cookie for dessert, and they just ignored all the real food and went straight to the sugar.  I was trying to fix my email and didn’t notice until I went to clean up and found all this perfectly good foodruined by sitting in sun outside for too long (they were having a picnic.)  Luckily, chocolate is a good source for Vitamin K.

  5. I told the kids the Ice Cream Man was “just a jerk in a truck.”  They retaliated by lying that he was riding a bike and wearing a FREE ICE CREAM hat .  I knew better — that’s too many letters for a hat, and those jerks avoid all physical activity.  Mom 1 Kids 0
  6. Big Boy reads Green Eggs and Hamto himself by stabbing the the picky guy with his finger and shouting, “I hate you.  I hate you.  I HATE YOU.”

    Come back here Sam-Not-I-Am! We’ve got a score to settle!

Yeah, lots to be proud of around here.   People sometimes says nice things to me like, “You have lovely family,” or “What good children,” or “Could you please go ahead of me in line because I can’t stand the noise” and I just have to laugh if they knew what a zoo I have.  Oh, well.  Four more weeks to screw up improve.

If you feel it would be helpful, feel free to share your parenting missteps in the comments.  Remember, it’s harder to catch a whole herd, than a single Bison.

Today, I’m Gonna Parent Like It’s 1929!

Speak up, Sonny! I’m a very old lady!

Sigh.

It started off a good day.

Sun shining, breeze blowing, and I’m on time for once for dance class.  The MOST IMPORTANT dance class for my 5 year old, Princess, because we all get to come in and watch.  She was so happy to have Big Boy, Baby and me in her audience for once — even if it was just an ordinary class, and this was just a preschool introduction to dance at our city Recreation Centre.  Did I mention that I had left in time to be a little early?  Well, except my cell rang with an emergency phone call from Art Girl, who wouldn’t stop crying.  You see, her legs were cold.  Nothing more.  Her legs were cold in her shorts, so she spent the morning bawling at her seat, and I had to calm her down.

Just on time, I finagled two kids to the last available spot in the very corner in the room.  The other Parenta-razzis had brought every single relative within the local dialling area to watch their 4 year old jump in a hula-hoop with pointed toes.  I swerved  out of the way of some dude’s 8″ telephoto, past the kid who got pulled out of school so he could film sister with his own iPhone (exactly like Mom beside him was doing, ) and settled beside a guy with both video camera and a point and shoot, who spent down time from watching “Put your arms out reeeaaaallly straight!” to do editing on his touch screen.  I spent the next 45 minutes vacillating between utter cuteness-induced giddiness, and trying to keep a 13 month old off the stacks of weighted bars beside the floor to ceiling mirror, all while hissing “Quiet!”  to Big Boy so he wouldn’t end up ruining someone’s scene.  Kinda good times.

Then:  Race to the lobby of the kids’ school to collect them.  Suddenly, a woman I am sure I have never seen before, stops me.

“You know every time I see you, (?!) you remind me of my Grandmother.”  She starts.  I’m wondering if it’s because Grandma’s far, far away, which is where I’d like to be.

“She said that the first 5 kids were hard, and then after the 6th, they just all took care of themselves.”  I glanced nervously over at my eldest and smiled timidly, wondering if this was a veiled accusation of foisting the other kids’ upbringing onto her shoulders.

“Of course,” she continued, “that was a 100 years ago.”

Of course it was!  Here, I was thinking that I was a relevant, contemporary, with-it Mama, but I guess when I called penicillin “emerging technology,” I gave myself away.

Now back home, I’m sitting waiting inpatiently for the kids to get home from the park, so I can go and run an errand, except Tall Girl is late because there are no numbers on her Justin Beiber watch, since it would get in the way of his “dreaminess.”

Sigh.

Don’t listen to me.  I’m just having one of those Mommy days, where everyone else seems to be entering Mom-entrepreneur contests, and buying Franchises, and finishing their novels, and combing their hair.  My biggest accomplishments as of late are figuring out new ways to hide leftovers with Club House Gravy Mix, and how tight I have to pull a ponytail so that it hides the fact that I need a shampoo.

But things will look up.  Princess just invited me to Big Boy’s Birthday Party.  He was born in November and it’s now June.

“We’re serving Rock Cakes,”  she says and points at mounds of road crush left by the previous house owners.  Sounds good.  I hear that was a real delicacy about century or so ago.

Baby Shower Gifts That Are Total Don’ts

Now that spring is upon us, I’m sure most sane people’s minds turn to thoughts of Bridal Showers and Wedding gifts.  But since I’m nuts, everything becomes about babies.  It occurred to me that there may be thousands of childless people out there, scouring the internet, looking for gift suggestions and never realizing just what a minefield they are about to step into.  So in the interest of saving well-intentioned Baby Shower invitees pain and suffering, I present:

A Mom of Six’s Guide to Baby Shower Gifts That Sound Good — But Aren’t.

1. Gifts which reflect a lifestyle decision.

Examples: cloth diapers, waterproof diaper covers, bottle warmers, slings, playpens, breast pumps, etc.

Why it’s trouble:  Parents, especially first time parents, can be extremely touchy about their choices and a gift, which you assumed was in every home, may just lead to a five minute monologue on formula companies’ third world business practices.  Also, they may not be able to use them — slings, for example, can be extremely hard to fit, and don’t get me started on those pumps.

2. Parenting books.  Period.

Examples:  Anything with the words “Train” “System” “Attachment” “New” “Case” “Discipline” or “Sleep” in the title.

Why it’s trouble:  I have witnessed more fights between mothers over competing child raising ideologies than I proud to admit.  Most diehard adherents have convinced themselves that the other side has embarked on a course of child-abuse, and must be set right at the first, and every subsequent opportunity.  This would include saving an unsuspecting Mother-to-be from the terrible curse that your evil proselytizing tome will bring.  And when the fight starts, all the other guests will probably be more interested in keeping the peace then defending your free speech.  Leave these sore points on the shelf.

3. Gifts that (accidentally) create work.

Examples:  Baby food makers, scrap booking kits, books of kid crafts.

Why it’s trouble:  New moms are too busy to shower.  Don’t accidentally hand them a bunch guilt over all the stuff they an’t going to get done.

4. Ironic clothing gifts.

Examples: Onesies with pictures of rock bands, questionable sayings, “Future ” whatevers, jokes at the expense of the child who is wearing it.

Why it’s trouble:  Yeah, it may have seemed cool at the kiosk at the Mall, but would you entrust a child to the guy selling them?  I rest my case.

Luckily for you dear Gift Shopper, there are a million other good options:

  1. Board books — after reading the same 6 pages over and over, Mom will thank you for the variety.
  2. Children’s Classics in hardcover — baby may be able to pass them down to his own children.
  3. Feeding plates, spoons, and sippy cups — you can never have too many of these.
  4. Clothing that makes you involuntarily emit vowel sounds its so cute – see above.  Plus, new parents tend to be broke, and have to scrimp on the fun clothes in favour of the necessities.
  5. Anything that the Mom asked for — yes, even if it contravenes those laws above.

I hope this little list saves you from the dreaded group stare, the “oohhh — well, oh, that’s different”, the cold shoulder at the punch table.  ‘Cuz anyone who says that women are the gentler sex has never been to a Gift Shower.

Happy gifting!

Happy Gifting!

Raising the Next Generation of Barbarian

Nothing says crazy like a tinfoil hat.

Big Boy was at the park when a gaggle of older girls came upon him.

“Hello cute little boy.  Do you want to be our friend?”

Big Boy was scared very of these big, bossy Kindergarteners, but he didn’t run back to his Mother’s skirts. Instead, he scrunched up his face, hunched his shoulders and balled his fists.

“I’m a tough guy,” he said.  “I don’t want friends.  I’m going to go fight my sister.”

He waited until they had walked away, and then directly hid behind his older sister, shielding himself with the thick denim of her pant leg, squinting his eyes at any further threats from those intimidating females.

Some blogging Moms get to brag that they are raising a new generation of leaders, or artists, or healthy eaters. I get to state that I’ve got the next generation of barbarians.

Spring has brought delightfully warm weather, and the kids begged me to let them lower the windows of our black Expedition as we tooled around the neighborhood.  Soon, three kids were cutting the wind with their snouts, their hair pushed back and eyes barely open.  It was then that I heard shouting.

“HEY!  HEY, there people.”  Art Girl hollered in her best stadium voice.  “How you all doin’?  YEEAAAHHH!!”  she called out to her audience on the sidewalks and parking lots.  The show continued as we pulled up to the curb on our busy street, just as a bus was pulling away.  Art Girl leapt out of the truck onto the boulevard, assumed the Power Stance, and pointed.

“Hey there! Mr. Bus Driver!  How’s your day on the bus?  Go drive that bus!  Oh YEEAAAHHH!!!”

“Dear God!  Stop it!  Stop it!  You sound like a crazy person!”  I screamed in horror.  But what can I expect from a kid who hums the Imperial March from Star Wars while pumping on the backyard swing set.

My face will scare you to jail!

Well, at least she’s keeping her inner Mongolian Horde somewhat under wraps.  Unlike Big Boy.  In addition to scaring off 5 year old girls, he has created a new game called Dr. Scary Face, who uses his incredibly angry face to, well, scare off bad guys.  But if that doesn’t  work, he’ll bring out the big guns.  Or big cucumbers — on Friday at Walmart he grabbed a $1 English Cuke and used it to “BANG BANG BANG!!!!” every passing shopper and toilet paper display.  Luckily us Prairie folk tend to have a sense of humour.  (I’m not sure about the toilet paper.  Its silence may have indicated extreme offence.)  I doubt they would have been as understanding of our bath night superhero:  Super Naked Boy.   Or maybe they would have been fine.  Our Church’s Sacramental Assistant thought it was funny that she had to cajole Big Boy into putting his shirt back on during Children’s Liturgy.  Since become a parent I have developed the ability to smile while slowly dying inside.

With all of this mucho-macho action, I wasn’t surprised to hear Big Boy tell Princess that in their game he was going to be Iron Man.

“Iron Man?”  I asked.  “Are you going to fight some Bad Guys?”

“No.  Today, I am going to have a tea party.  With Spider Man.   Then I’ll fight the Bad Guys.”

Maybe things are totally wild.  Yet.

What Makes a Good Mom?

Letting a baby play with a plastic bag probably wouldn't qualify as good Motherhood.

This last week my chest felt like it was in a vise, but not from anything physical.  I was fighting off anxiety over the kids’ crazy baking schedule.  Brownies for Tall Girls’ class on her birthday, stollen for Sweetie Pie’s class on her “Share a Bread” day, and gingerbread cookies for Art Girl for her presentation on family traditions.  I tried to convince Art Girl that our new family tradition was hiding in bed trying to ignore all the coloured sheets of paper in her backpack announcing more school “FUN!!!”, but she didn’t buy it.

I know what you’re saying.  “So, Mrs. Busypants, just say no.”  But no one wants to be the Mom whose kid doesn’t bring the treats on her birthday, who’s presentation didn’t include the snacks that the student teacher suggested that you could provide (in a letter to the whole class, by the way.)   Motherhood has become a competitive sport with kids as our proxy players.

But why?  How did things get like this?   This debate was brought to my mind by the whole “Never worked a day in her life” kerfuffle.  Which then reminded me of the times when I was out with my stay-at-home mom peers and heard that Moms with nannies, “don’t love their kids as much as us.”  And the time my friend worried aloud if her son’s autism was due to the TV she let him watch.  Or the sadness I felt reading that Veronique at Vie de Cirque she went to Grad school in part over feeling “that (she) was a rather lousy mother,” (which I totally don’t get because her blog always makes me feel like a couch potato slacker.)

This self-loathing coupled with drive-by character assassination and the endless busy-busy-busy, is due I’m sure to that the fact that are target is worse than just moving.  It flies around the room like a laser pointer piloted like a toddler, landing on everything for exactly 3 milliseconds.  There is no consensus on what makes a good Mother.  When is your job done?  What do you owe those little angels of yours?  A college education?  A Tiger Mother study schedule?  Non-stop “advocating” until they are placed in the gifted class?  A TV?  Trans-fat free diet?  Perfect spank-free discipline delivered in a monotone voice?  Three meals a day and roof over their heads?  Lots of money?  Frugality and simplicity?  Really, I ask what?

And God forbid if you get it wrong.  Your adult children have the licence to go on about how their mistakes in life are somehow due to you.  (Thanks Dr. Freud!)  And that’s what we’re fighting against:  someone someday looking at our messed up offspring and thinking “what kind of bad mother let’s that happen?”  After all the sleepless nights, the money spent, the stretch marks from here to your ankles, this is what just might come your way:  a judgement of failure.  You should have done more.  What that more might be, that’s not so forthcoming.  But judgement, as a society we’ve got loads of that.

What makes a good Mom?  You try your best with what you have.  Period.  Really, what more can anyone do?  But more importantly, we are about to pass this toxic hate cult on to the next generation.  I’m not sure how happy I’ll feel watching my daughters fall as casualties in the Mommy Wars.  While I’m not sure where this all began, I feel deep down in my bones that this is where is all should end.  I believe we need to have a conversation on the Philosophy of Motherhood.  As a society children are now (mostly) fed, clothed and sheltered.  We need to look at the opportunities this affluence has given us and decide what we are going to do with it.

Because I can’t believe that God and nature intended Motherhood to be a guilt laden taxi-service marathon, and until we figure out otherwise, that’s just what it’s going to continue to be.

All Sixes and Sevens

My Mom had an unique expression for describing being out of sorts. “You’re all sixes and sevens,” she’d say.

I’ve felt like that for a while now, but haven’t had external validation until a few days ago. I was looking for large family blogs on the web, and stumbled on a few that were collecting links from any Mommy who was interested.  Except for one condition:  7 kids or more.

It’s official.  I don’t have a big enough family to be “special” and I have too many kids to be “normal.”  In the gigantic game of family match-up, no one is picking our family for their team.

However, I’ve noticed that most big families that make a point of getting out there to represent “Big Family-ism,” the “many-kid boosters” as it were, seem to be pretty interested in boosting a whole bunch of stuff that I don’t necessarily go for, either.  I hear a lot of advice and bite my tongue:  Homeschool or they’ll lose their faith.  Natural health because drugs just make you sicker.  Juicing cures everything.  Organic food because that’s what people who love their kids feed them.   If your kids are bad, it’s because you don’t eat whole grains.

Until this blog, I never made a big deal about how many kids I have.  I try not to bring it up (unless I have all six with me and they are bringing up the rear.)  I don’t want an award, a prize, or young Moms to follow me around looking for advice.  I also don’t want excuses.  I can get everyone to Church on time, as they say.  I think that I should try to have a family dressed in clean clothes, well-mannered, with enough social skills to carry on a conversation with someone their age.  If you have two kids, you pretty much do what I do, except I’ve got a couple of babysitters waiting in the wings.  I am not a specimen nor a spectacle.

In retrospect, I doubt I belong in the official big family club.  I’ve never been much of a joiner, not since I got kicked out of Brownies for a dispute over Easter Egg dye.  I’ve always been the loner, like when I took shop in Grade 7, just to make a point.  But this point is a little bit bigger — the next time these folks make you feel like you don’t measure up, remember that they even get under the skin of the Gal with Six.

Good mothers support each other.  They don’t look for chinks in others’ armour to play a game of “Who Loves Our Kid the Most.”

Post Navigation