Sometimes we pretend we’re normal folk

Once in a while — a great while — the stars align and we manage to accomplish a handful of feats that may be everyday to some but are a rare glimpse into normalcy for us.

Yesterday appeared to be one of those days.

Feat #1: I washed all of the laundry that was stacked in the laundry room. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I swear, we have more laundry than any other family. It’s a job that has no beginning or end, like a grass-stained and foul-smelling Mobius strip. Part of this could be because I suspect that I wash Boy #1’s clothes over and over again without him ever wearing them. His hamper is ALWAYS spilling over, and he wears the same 2 or 3 outfits every day. Seems a bit suspicious to me.

Nonetheless, we are always woefully behind on the laundry, which means I usually just get the dirty clothes from our bedroom washed (if we’re lucky), and leave the 4 or so baskets full of random rugs, winter coats and mismatched socks in the laundry room for “another time.” Well, “another time” was apparently yesterday, because those baskets are now pretty much empty.

Notice I didn’t say that I had all the laundry from our bedrooms caught up as well. That would be WAY too normal for us…

Feat #2: I prepared supper ahead of time, and it was actually good! Okay, so it was easy as sin, but that’s not the point. I actually put chili on the stove at lunchtime and let it simmer all day, the way it’s supposed to (unlike the 20 minutes I usually give it) and we could tell the difference. Yum!

Feat #3: I made dessert for once. This is not a regular feature for us. In fact, Boy #2 asked me what I was doing in the kitchen this afternoon, and I said, “Making a cake.” His response — “Why?” This is so different from my house growing up. After every meal, my dad could be counted on to ask, “What’s for dessert?” And Mom always had something (still does). It’s that farm wife in her, I suppose. Apparently I didn’t inherit that gene.

Feat #4: Boy #3 wore matching pajamas to bed. How sad is it that we were both excited when I found (in my recently folded laundry piles) the Toy Story 3 pajama top AND pajama bottoms? To top it all off, we even found Toy Story 3 underwear. “Now I just need Toy Story 3 socks!” Boy #3 said.

Even though I swear the boys have about 35 pairs of pajamas between them, if they ever actually put on something other than underwear to sleep in, it’s always a complete mismatched spectacle. Star Wars size 4T top that’s now a midriff paired with a size 8 pair of blue snowflake pajama pants that are more than a little saggy in the rear. The night before last, Boy #3 completed the look with one black sock and one white sock. And he wore this most of the day. Last night, however, he looked respectable . . . even if no one but us saw him.

Feat #5: I actually played with my kids. Well, two of them anyway. Boy #1 is in that doing-stuff-with-the-family-is-so-uncool phase, so he opted out. But Boys #2 and #3 and I set out to put together a 100-piece puzzle. Which would’ve been much easier if we hadn’t started putting together a puzzle that, for some reason, we have two copies of, in the same box. So we had twice as many pieces than we needed and not only had to put this bad boy together but also had to determine which were duplicate pieces. We took puzzle putting-together to a whole new level. And there was only minor yelling and hitting between the boys. I consider that a good evening.

But despite the fact that we dipped our toes into the “normal family” pool, we didn’t exactly jump in with both feet. It was after 10:00 when I finally got the two youngest to bed, and that was after Boy #2 told me he was scared someone was going to jump through his (second-story) window. And then he told me that he was the most afraid that Fred, that totally annoying internet-sensation teen who talks in that stupid baby voice, would be the one to come through the window. Darn new-fangled media. Now it’s making kids paranoid! (Although I have to admit I’m a little bit afraid of Fred too. He’s creepy!)

I’m sure the normalcy won’t last long, though. It never does. I noticed as I left for work this morning that we have a Tonka dump truck that’s  been spray-painted red in the driveway (That little sh*t “It Wasn’t Me!” did it, of course.), and the largest Nerf gun I’ve ever seen (that I think must launch nuclear missiles) is lying in our landscaping. I’m sure by tonight the boys will be either naked or mismatched, and we’ll be reverting back to the McDonald’s drive-thru for supper.

I’ve learned to never get too cocky.


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