We’ve had the great joy/excitement/privilege/good fortune the last two weeks to be at all sorts of doctors and dentist appointments. I say that with a large quantity of sarcasm, obviously. Because while our kids are “rockstars,” (the dental hygienists proclaimed it, so it must be true!) in the waiting room and with the actual docs, the amp up to it all is wreathed with anxiety. So. Much. Anxiety.
And that’s just them. Add my own special flavor of nerves and things can get all kinds of fun. Yes, we have more than 3 children. No, we don’t want that “normal” procedure. Yes, I will be staying with them (see anxiety above). No, I need to discuss it with my husband first. So. Much. Fun.
Anywho, it turns out that at this time of year everyone and their mother (literally) is trying to get their checkups done and out of the way before school starts. And that means the kids have been asked countless times when they’re going back to school/where they go to school/ what grade they’re in. Being the homeschool weirdies that they are, these questions are met with an awkward pause, a deer-in-the-headlights look, and a mumbled response.
“Uh. . . We’re homeschooled . . .??” (Always with the “we” pronoun because we are more of a small gang apparently.)
That’s when things get uncomfortable for everyone. The asker starts to back pedal and the kids stumble around trying to explain themselves and I plaster on a smile and laugh louder than necessary trying to convey, “We are normal! Totally normal!”
At some point, the questioning person will turn to me and say, “Wow! I mean, I only have two kids/cats/houseplants and I can barely handle THAT!” Every time I want to say, “First, it’s not a contest. Second, who says I’m handling anything?” Inevitably, there is a shake of the head and something along the lines of, “I just don’t know how you do it all!”
Spoiler: I don’t. The house is a mess, Monday pooped on the stairs this morning, I can’t remember when the girls last had a bath and they’ve worn Jac’s t-shirts as jammies for a week. Max’s peers have all started or will be starting high school this week and I have yet to spend any time pondering how we will go about this next stage with him. I mean, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about pondering this step, so that counts for something, right? Really, the most pressing item on my to-do list is figuring out why the bathroom stinks like pee and where it is coming from. Obviously I’ve got more than a few loose ends around here. So. Very. Many.
I remind myself that it’s not a contest. That there is no hurry and we are as “normal” as we are ever going to get. And that if worst comes to worst, bleaching the whole dang bathroom will surely get rid of the smell.
** If you live in the Hills, Keiffer Family Dental is as good as it gets even if they don’t know what to do with us homeschool weirdies. Plus, Dr. Liz unapologetically rocks the wildest messy bun this side of the Missouri so I always feel at home with my crazy mom hair.
Yesterday I was chatting with another mom at preschool and when I mentioned I have a 2 month old, she said, “Wow! You look so put together!” (subtext: for having a newborn) I died laughing on the inside because 1) first time I’ve put in make-up since baby came and only because she had an appointment with the pediatrician 2) I was rocking my new wash/sleep in/take down/don’t look too closely hairstyle 3)I was wearing the only pair of shorts that fit. Also, my self-care for that afternoon involved getting my Zoloft prescription refilled and
picking up a six-pack of beer. Because BOTH the baby and I had been crying all afternoon and I needed alcohol stat. All this to say: not a contest indeed!
But if it WERE a contest, you’d for sure be winning with your amazing hair (TRUTH) and Zoloft/beer combo. That’s serious victory qualifications in my book!