've been collecting, on the notes app on my phone, a list of things that are reality to a big family. I've been wanting to write a blog about it for a long time. I've decided to just post it right here, in bold, just as it is on my phone. If there is any explanation necessary, I'll add it in regular type. Here we go.
When you have six kids
They talk about food constantly It's appropriate that the first thing on my list was food. There is constant discussion about what's for snack, what's for dinner, whether they like it or not, and especially how much or how many they can have. In my house I chastise them for grabbing apples while I am cutting them. Because if I let them eat them while they are being prepared, then there would be none left when I was finished. Pancake breakfast: overheard comments are not intellectual discussion or compliments to the chef. It is all, "Mom! She already had 4!" and "Wait! I've only had 2!"
You're always afraid you've left someone I can't seem to get past this. I'm constantly asking if everyone is in the van. And if I don't ask I try to look back there but it's hard because my smaller kids sit behind my biggest. So I've learned to listen for their voices, so that I don't sound like a paranoid idiot, repeatedly asking if everyone is in the van.
Immense dirt piles full of random stuff This will never cease to amaze. When I sweep the floor it's like I've swept the floor of a toy store, fast food joint, and office supply store all at the same time. Oh, and a slobs house.
Misc bins full of stuff More stuff. There is so much stuff.
Step on counters, stools, anything to make yourself taller My fifth child is especially good at this. When you have a busy mother, you learn to fend for yourself. You get it even when you can't reach it, because, well, you want the blue bowl and if you have to wait for someone to get it for you, the food you're trying to put in it will most likely be gone. Penelope learned to put things in and out of the microwave and work the buttons way before she was old enough to reach. I'm sure it is extremely hazardous but no trips to the ER for third degree burns yet.
Some sort of show every night ("be your tv" recently) My kids are always putting on plays, fashion shows, concerts, etc. Recently the girls told me that they like to entertain each other while they are on the potty. While one is going, the other is her "tv" and performs. Then, they switch.
Your husband always asks you how old someone is Or, he just asks the kid himself.
When you open the van door something may fall out I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote this. Something may not fall out. Something WILL.
The oldest with the youngest- reading to, looking at me with knowing how cute. Having little ones with big ones around is awesome. They get it. They see how special it is to have a child. It's a huge reward.
The middles forming bonds daily. They do. It makes those three in a row close together totally worth it.
The picture moments constantly. This is true for no matter what size family.
The inability to remember everything. This is infuriating. Today Jackson read to me from this very blog something I wrote and I had no memory of it. Ah!
The knowing you'd do things differently if your older self could tell you things, but the inability to do anything except live in the now Again, true for any and all parents.
Everyone else seems to think you have a lot of kids but you just keep thinking of how maybe you should have had one more (or two) and you also think about how there are so many people with more kids than you. It's true. Sometimes I have to remind myself I have twice as many kids as most people. I feel like I just have a normal amount.
More about food- snacks. Someone always want s a snack. My kids eat. Some kids are birds. My kids are pigs. See above. Can never stress how much they talk about food.
You forget what time of day and how much each baby weighed. You feel like a terrible parent when you have to go look at the hanging on the wall to remember what time of day they were born and how much one of your kids weighed. Even though you birthed the kid and made the wall hanging yourself.
Your kids call expiration dates "due dates" When the milk is about to go bad...wait a minute, that never happens. When you find a can of something someone gave you (because that's the only food that goes bad) that is expired, one of your kids announces that the due date is such and such. I mean, there is always a due date looming.
You never never never remember to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store Because you are more concerned with making sure everyone has shoes on. And that they are all in the van (see above).
You marvel at people who do. and who exercise I do this. I watch nicely dressed ladies walk into the store with their reusable bags neatly folded and you wonder if you'll ever have time for such a luxury. I don't marvel at all exercisers. Just the ones who do it in the middle of the day. By themselves. Looking like they enjoy it.
Lady in grocery store shopping in heels and cut off jeans Many shoppers astound me. Who goes to the store in heels? To shop for groceries? My trips to the store are not for fun or enjoyment. They are purely utilitarian and usually involve someone pulling on my shirt.
There are unexplainable things that happen to you. Jug of water in garage. Mustard on your bra. Mystery poop.
Some things are unexplainable. Let's be real. A lot of things are unexplainable.