Are my kids normal? (a checklist)

*Please note that this blog post is about parenting, so that means there’s foul language in it.

Motherhood looks only a fraction of what I thought it would look like. Oh, I knew there would be bursting-heart moments of unexplainable joy and pride. I knew there would be mama-bear scary moments of fear and protection. I knew there’d be busy days and dull days and days that never seem to end, so help me God.

But then there’s all this other stuff I didn’t anticipate: Academic and social challenges, personality clashes, unforeseen habits, conversations I never thought I’d have, and the complete LACK of RESPECT for proper organization.

And body odor. Particularly boy body odor.

More so, there’s the emotional tug of always wondering if you’re doing the right thing, making the right decision, or being any sort of mother these boys need me to be. 

Real Mother's Day 2013
Mother’s Day 2013

Today, while transferring little boy laundry from the washer to the dryer, I contemplated a myriad of things about my specific parenting experience and whether or not my children are like most children.

Here’s a quick run-down of questions I’ve pondered. Do tell me if I’m all alone here:

1. Do all siblings fight over the most nit-picky shit in all the free world?

2. Do all children ask for candy every single solitary day of their lives, even when the parent explains that “treats aren’t treats if you have them every day”?

3. Are all children blind to the dirt under their fingernails and raging body odor, and subsequently, is their bath water incapable of removing them?

4. Do all children complain at meal time and bed time? Do they not realize that EATING AND SLEEPING ARE TWO OF THE MOST PLEASURABLE THINGS OF LIFE?

5. Do all children have an intrusive sixth sense, specifically designed to interrupt phone conversations, lengthy bathroom visits, and any sort of at-home work that requires concentration, since that seems to be their prime time for unimportant interruptions?

6. Do all children lose socks, books, pencils, papers, shirts, stuffed animals, LEGOs, shin guards, swim goggles, toothbrushes, toothpaste caps, and underwear on a DAILY – no, HOURLY BASIS?

7. Do all children negotiate for fewer school assignments, only one bite of peas, a later bedtime, one more television show, no bath tonight, for the music to be turned up, for the music to be turned off, for pizza for dinner AGAIN, for Sprite – or better yet, ROOT BEER instead of water, for dessert, for more money but no chores, for a new toy today (and then a new toy tomorrow), for more privileges, for better privileges, and to be treated like an adult at 11 years old?

8. Do all children have eighteen thousand urgent and necessary questions at the exact moment of bedtime?

9. Do all children stuff dirty clothes in every possible location in their bedrooms EXCEPT the dirty clothes hamper, which is located directly next to their dresser?

And finally,

10. Do all children make life one adventure after another, challenging you daily to be better, stronger, smarter, and more loving, adding flavor to a bland world and opening your eyes to how much life there is to live?

Did I hear a yes? Oh good. I guess that means my children are normal.

Whew.

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