For some people a family of five is HUGE. I frequently hear, "You really have your hands full!" when I am out with just three of my kids. So it staggers the minds of some when I let them know I have two more at home.
One grandmother told me it was too expensive to have more than one or two kids these days...because kids need a television, stereo, computer and phone in their rooms. Well, in our house we call the room that has all those things the living room. Those things are community property.
That's right, electronics are community property and if you follow the rules, you might get to enjoy them, too. For some, though, this is an outrage. Kids NEED these things.
I'll tell you what kids need. Suffering. And it's my job as their mother to make them suffer. Let's face it. If they're happy, I'm not doing my job.
Child #1 walks in the door, ecstatic that she finished all her homework on the bus. It's my job to swoop down and snatch that happiness away by sending her to her room to clean it up. Sounds simple, right? She should be done, in what, an hour tops? Noooooo.
The only reason I haven't cleaned it up myself yet is because the Salvation Army hasn't got any more room for the things I donate. They actually peel out of the parking lot when they see me making my way to their donation truck.
Child #2 sees how the game is played and quickly lets me know that she has a long obscure report to write. That's okay. I'm not above flinging open the bedroom door to find both goofing around. This is how I get my dishes done.
An hour later I have two sulky pre-teens and half the house is cleaned. Just in time for Child #3 to walk through the door.
"Hi, how was your day?"
"Mom, I've had a rough day, okay?" He gives me a "don't start with me" face.
Don't start with me? "When you're finished having a rough day in your room, you can take out the garbage and recycling and THEN you can play on the X-Box."
I love wrecking my kids' afternoon plans.
The younger two are not old enough to help out with chores, but that's okay. They're my ace in the hole. Between the hours of three and five PM the house is quiet...because any one of the older children know that if they make a peep, it will remind me that they are just as capable as I am of changing a diaper.
Motherhood. It definitely has its perks, but whether you have one or many, it's not for the feint of heart or feeble of mind.