We had a lot to laugh about in our house. There was so much pandemonium between the four kids, the two dogs and the constant moving that you had to allow yourself a good chuckle every once in a while. Sometimes you can’t take life too seriously. I often wondered what went through people’s minds when they came in contact with our family. On the outside they were laughing at the absolute chaos and on the inside they were probably thinking, “Thank God I can go home to my nice quiet household.” On a typical day this is what you could walk into: Baskerville running around the house with a satellite cone on his head bumping into walls after having had another fatty cyst removed; Sam screaming that, “Daddy has a tail” after she saw him come out of the shower; the dogs scrambling after the food that Shane was throwing from his high chair; Bailey doing somersaults screaming, “Watch me, watch me”; Jade taking all the books off the book shelves; Sam trying to bite someone because they took her toy; Jade throwing a fit because she wanted to tie her own shoes even though she didn’t know how; Shane picking up the dog poop with his bare hands; Bailey upset because her younger sisters and brother were not doing what she said.
No wonder my husband was so eager to get out of the house in the morning and work late in the evenings. I always thought he was working hard to provide a good life for his family but now I think he just wanted out. I look back on those times now and wonder how I managed to stay sane. The most stimulation my brain was exposed to was Candyland, Playdoh, dolls, and the oh-so-entertaining-game of “mommy, watch this!” If I never hear the phrase, “mommy, watch this!” again I would be a happy woman. Your child shouts with excitement, “mommy, watch this!” and you look over to find your four year old hopping on one foot. Am I supposed to get excited over this? At first I give the fake, “Wow!! That is wonderful!” response, but by the end of the day I have the same monotone response that every mother gives, “yeah, that’s great.” You know what, when you can do a double back hand spring with a twist then I will be impressed. As the kids got older they became better at playing amongst themselves and it eventually got to a point where they didn’t even want me to play with them because I was bad at it. They found out mom was not so good at playing imagination games – I couldn’t get into character.
One other “little kid” craze I couldn’t wrap my brain around was the birthday parties. With four kids I have been to every themed birthday party at every location. The front runner is Chuck E. Cheese followed by bowling alleys, gymnasiums, art studios, YMCA, pool parties, pony parties, McDonalds, cooking parties, spa parties, dancing studios, and warehouses with big inflatable jumpy things. I had a hard time pretending to be having fun – all those screaming kids trapped inside an enclosed place. I can get that at home. At least once a month one of my children was invited to a big blow out birthday party, most of the time the party was for someone at school who I had no clue who the child or parents were. Parents would send out invitations to the entire class. I very rarely had big birthday parties for my children and I certainly wasn’t going to invite people I didn’t know. We usually celebrated with the family and a few of their close friends. I guess you could call me cheap but I wasn’t about to buy party gifts, cake, pizza, and drinks for 25 kids I had never met. But, after going to these great birthday parties every month they just assumed that was how every birthday was celebrated and when all they got was a balloon, a few friends, a cake, an eloquent rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” with a special howling solo from Baskerville and Tisdale they were not too happy. I am sure that is another reason why my children will need therapy.