What is normal? I have been pondering this question as I sit amid the chaos of my house, drinking my third cup of coffee, with 2 of my 4 kids running around with no pants on eating Pop Tarts and having animal rescue missions with their stuffed animals with names like "Puppy-Dog-Treat" and "Turd The Turtle." Jackson is growling like a lion, -- or a dinosaur, or a jaguar -- with a yellow shoe-string that he calls his sea crate hanging out of the back of his Pull-Up and Lorelei is wearing her kitty-cat hat and changing her name to "Yellow" for the day. They have built an obstacle course on the stairs using almost all of the plastic kid dishes, they are making a pirate ship out of the plastic slide upstairs, and the dog is hiding from them in my room. Although the plan was to get everyone dressed and go to the gym before going to the school to retrieve the 2 older minions, Jackson has used his left shoe as a watering can to water the flowers he made out of Legos. Since these are the only shoes that fit his fat little feet, I will have to burn calories at home today. After I take the barefoot (and probably still pant-less) kids to pick-up at the school, we'll all come home where there will be arguments about who gets to watch what on which TV and why we can't have marshmallows for dinner. There will be something spilled on the carpet (this past weekend it was an entire bottle of liquid hand soap), there will be some sort of potty incident, I will hear "That's not fair!" somewhere between 2 and 20 times, and I will most likely lose my temper at least twice. So, is this normal?
Here's what I've decided -- there is no normal. There is no normal and there is no fair. Is it fair that the 2 and 4 year old make messes that I make the 7 and 9 year old clean up? Is it fair that the 9 year old gets invited to go to his friend's house, but the 7 year old's best friend is sick? Is it fair that the 2 little ones get to/have to go to the gym with me every day while the older 2 are at school? Nope, none of it is fair, but guess what? THAT'S LIFE. Is it normal to fixate on certain colors, or stuffed animals, or phrases or songs for a day, a week, a month? It is perfectly normal for Lorelei to do those things. Is it normal to get up in the middle of the night and remove your clothing and go back to sleep in the den floor with your naked little butt sticking up in the air while you stare at the blue screen of the television? It is for Jackson. Is it normal to know ABSOLUTELY everything about the Star Wars universe, but not be able to learn your multiplication tables? If you are William it is. Is it normal to be 7 years old and make "crafts" out of paper, plastic clothes hangers and Bendaroos, that look like a big ole mess of jumbled up crap but get overly upset about it when your mother thinks that it IS a big mess of jumbled up crap and cleans it up? For Bella it is. Is it normal or fair that I had 4 kids on 4 different kinds of birth control in less than 8 years? Nope. Its wonderful.