The other day, we had an admittedly awful, hateful day. I don’t know if all parents struggle with those ups and downs–I would imagine they do but I don’t hear about it all that often, like it is admitting some kind of dark failure. I think it is kind of sad people aren’t more open about their struggles, especially in today’s society of ridiculous expectations, instant gratification and unrealistic perceptions as to what family life should be. Maybe the divorce rate in this country would be lower if people understood marriage is a roller coaster ride and it’s not the immediate lows they need to be thinking about, it’s the lifetime of highs. You can remind me of that next time I want to kill my husband! I do know there is no way I would still be married if not for the brutally honest advice of my oldest sister who ripped the Cinderella book right out of my hands and cracked me upside the head with it. Family and marriage is WORK–non-stop, grueling, relentless work. And the good days may come a little fewer than the rotten ones but it is like God sent a ray of sunshine straight to me to remind me of my purpose, my love and my devotion for our crazy little family with our warped sense of humor.
It started with our 3 1/2 year old, whom is the spit and fire of the five children, laying on my husband’s bare chest and cuddling with him while he watched tv. She kept poking at his nipples, pinching them, and he kept swatting her hand away and telling her to stop, it hurt when she pinched. She then tells him, very matter of fact, “Your nipples aren’t stupid……but they are pointless.” I thought my husband was going to cry he was laughing so hard! You will get to know her over time and see that there is no exaggeration in the stories about her–of all the children, she probably scares the crap out of me the most. She is fearless, fierce, shrewdly intelligent and will be four in April. Thinking of trying to harness her energy and focus it in a positive direction makes me hyperventilate just a little, although I will do my best never to let her see my bluff–that I actually don’t know what I am doing!
My two year old is definitely the baby. She blinds her grandma’s with her sweetness but she also has the baby of the family’s talent for being bossy, demanding, and a bit manipulative. I have been casually working on potty training her for some time now as she early on developed an unfortunate habit when dealing with potty habits. With a family this big, potty humor is unfortunately ever present as it is a rather big part of our day, every day. The first time made me scream and the other kids laughed hysterically. I hear her calling ‘Mommy! Mommy!’ and go to her and she holds out her hand to give me something. I reach out my hand to take it from her and just in the nick of time, realize what it is and pull back my hand with a shriek as a large turd falls to the floor. She hasn’t been able to fool me since, as I am always wary any time she tries to ‘gift’ me with anything, although when I was at the Mayo with our oldest, I heard from my mother who was watching the little girls while we were gone, that Mom was ‘gifted’, much to her disgust! Anyway, I was laying on our bed with my hubby, talking about our day and the little one was laying on the bed with us. Despite her sweet appearences, she has the ass of an old man and with her legs in the air, interrupted our conversation with a horrifying, absurdly long old man fart, immediately resulting in my husband bolting from the bed and tears falling from my eyes as I laugh uncontrollably. As we are fleeing from our room, she starts laughing and saying ‘I’m poopin’! I’m poopin’ in your bed!’ Teasing is a huge part of our family dynamic and obviously our kids have picked up on this from birth. My husband replies by telling her ‘I’m gonna go poop in your bed!’ She of course, sobers up immediately, as if this were an actual possibility and sits up and yells ‘No! Don’t poop in my bed!’. So she chases him from our room and he runs into hers and jumps up onto the twin bed, and, committed to it now, pulls his pants down (leaving boxers in tact, of course) just enough to give the desired illusion, and squats on her bed, making the most horrible facial expressions of one being constipated with a turd the size of a bowling ball. Baby girl of course is PISSED and screaming at him to stop pooping on her bed! The absurdity of it all had me on my knees laughing till it just hurt too much and I am quite certain I will never get the image of my husband squatting like that on his daughter’s bed out of my head. She followed him downstairs chewing him out all the way and at the bottom of the stairs, he hands her a plastic Wal-mart bag and tells her she better go get the turd off her bed. She actually took it and grumbled all the way back up the stairs and spent the next few minutes searching her blankets for her dad’s little gift!
I am almost afraid to find out if we are that weirdly different from other families. I only know it works for us and makes those rough days non exisitent for the moment and makes me love the crazy. Possibly only the crazy that we will understand. The crazy that is ours.