When you have kids, nothing is allowed to be normal.
You can't just get in the car and drive somewhere. You have to search for your keys for 10 minutes, pray for guidance, feel prompted to go back and check in the car again, and then hear your 3-year-old say with a smirk, "Maybe da keys are hiding under da couch!"
When you have kids, you can't just listen to music on the radio. You have to deal with logical arguments against your favorite music, such as: "Girl songs are boring," or "Change it! This is not a boy song!"
When you have kids, you cannot "just" dress them for church. You have to coax, persuade, and eventually compromise to get that collared shirt buttoned up and on with a tie. Eventually you don't care anymore that when you walk into church people will probably see that your son's favorite t-shirt is actually on UNDERNEATH his dress shirt, and hanging out the bottom a little, because that was the compromise.
When you have kids, you don't just leave church as a happy family and peacefully load up in the car to go home. You have to stop to teach your 5-year-old that even though he's outside the church building, it's still not appropriate to be goofing off in the grass as cars go by with his shoes off, holding his Sunday shoe by the shoe-string, and twirling it around his head like the slingshot in David & Goliath.
You know that can of Pringles in the pantry? Can't have it! Your kids downed it in 0.5 seconds!
That final, most crucial hour of sleep that you desperately need? You're joking, right?! There's no end to the ways your sleep patterns might get interrupted by your kids.
All of these events listed above really happened (today or in the last couple of days) to me and my kids. And just when I was tempted to wish the day away and want peace and quiet, I had a flashback. One day when I was pregnant with Miles, ALL I WANTED WAS A BREAK. All I wanted was some peace and quiet, and Mitch was gone somewhere and so were the kids. I don't remember any other details, but I do remember that I sat down at the table and ate my dinner all by myself, and I cried the whole time because I didn't want to be alone. This is a true story. "Isn't it ironic? Don't ya think?"
Last night I saw my friend Lori, who happens to be raising SEVEN BOYS--more than double my crazy life with THREE. And I asked her how it is. She said, "Oh it's crazy, but it's better than being like, "huh?" [with nothing to do]."
You know, I have to agree with her. She's right.
I'm glad I have kids. And I just have to laugh, because everything I do that used to be easy or "normal" isn't normal anymore. Not by a long shot. That's what I love about having kids.