Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yes, this is normal

Sometimes my husband and I come upon scenes in our house that make us want to grab a video camera. Because no one would believe these stories.

We often wonder if our kids are the only ones who constantly act like animals who've just been let out of cages. These videos could have a variety of applications: evidence in our commitment hearings, blackmail, guilt, justification for humiliating them as teenagers.

Unfortunately, only my husband saw this one through the window as he took a business call outside last week:

Fiona and Owen were tossing sticky notes from the desk drawer. Danny grabbed a handful of index cards and threw them in the air. Danny then got a hold of the dog's collar and began riding her side saddle as she sprinted around in circles. I think he may have been wearing just his underwear. Meanwhile, Owen was teetering on the third step trying to mimic his siblings' leaps onto the bubble wrap runway below.

I was the one who caught my daughter jumping off the ladder on her brother's bunk bed. She was on the second rung from the top. I sort of thought that's what she'd been doing all along. It certainly sounded that way in the kitchen. The bunk bed was disassembled this week. For their safety and our sanity.  

Some things you expect and meet with laughter, such as when the toddler, the third one we've encountered, violently pushes your hand away and tells you no because he doesn't want to stop shoving moss into the dryer vent. Poor kid. I can't meet that kind of adorable defiance with a straight face anymore.

Some days, though, I look around at what is actually going on and wonder "How did I come to accept this as normal?" Weird things happen all day long. Incongruous, bizarre, unexpected yet completely predictable.

Earlier this week, the kids and I played out in the yard for the first time in a while. Between the cold, rainy weather and illnesses, we've just not gotten out much. Danny, Fiona and I kicked the ball around the front yard. If you'd driven past my house at the time, you might have been jealous of the mommy magazine-quality time I was spending with my kids. It all seemed so normal. Until I spied my 22 month old contentedly shoving leaves in a toddler potty in the front yard. Don't even ask why there's a potty in the front yard. 

Later, Fiona appeared wearing a football jersey to match her brother's jersey, all three of her tutus and a butterfly backpack.

"I have a tutu tower, mommy," she says.

Meanwhile, her big brother is losing his mind because she has all three tutus on. He begs her for one of them. She rejects his earnest request. I was impressed that both of my children seem oblivious to gender stereotypes.

All this played out as I was making monster be-gone signs for their bedrooms. It's the only way I could convince my son to sleep with his bed under the vent in his room. We printed out Do Not Enter signs and a picture of the Lowe's NASCAR, because, of course, NASCARS scare away all monsters. I slapped some contact paper over it and punched a hole in it before stringing it up on his vent.

Later that afternoon, Owen wouldn't nap, so I let him loose to hang out with his siblings. I hung out in my bedroom for my own quiet time. It didn't take long for all hell to break loose.

Danny came rushing in to report that Fiona was pulling on Owen's privates. I rush in and find Owen crying sans diaper.  Fiona had pulled the little potty into Danny's room where there were books and stuffed animals everywhere.

I asked what was going on as if I'd get a somewhat logical explanation from a 3 year old and a breathless 5 year old. I already knew what was going on. She was trying to teach him how to use the potty. I can only imagine that she was trying to manually make the pee pee come out. Who knows, really.

Of course, I had no explanation for the blood trickling down his chin. And it just didn't even phase me. This kid busts his lip at least once a day. Hell, he even busted his lip during Mass two Sundays in a row. By now, I'm sure most moms, or at least those with only one child, would be freaking out at, well, everything. The mess. The crying. The penis pulling. The blood. The impromptu potty training led by a 3 year old.

Blood wiped. Diaper reapplied. Time for toddler nap, take two.

I banished older kids to rooms and returned to my own room. Then I hear the all too familiar, completely maddening trickle of water. I'm pretty sure that sound is going to drive me over the edge one day. I peek out to find Danny sipping water from the sink with a straw.

"I'm getting a drink of water," he says. Of course you are.

Deep breath.

This is normal. I need to get out more.

1 comment:

Monica said...

i awarded you a totally irreverant (and a tad funny) award. i hope you like it. have a great weekend. :o)