Last night when we called the kids into our room for prayer, everyone was acting a little wild and crazy. OK, they were acting a LOT wild and crazy. No matter what we said or did, no one seemed to be able to settle down and get ready for the prayer, let alone the rest of our bedtime routine. Curtis, my husband, looked like he was getting a little frustrated with the lack of cooperation, so I whispered in Maizie’s ear, “Go tickle Dad.” Before he knew what hit him, he had nine kids dog-piling on top of him and tickling him from every angle. The kids were giggling hysterically and soon, he was too! As soon as he’d pull one child off, two more would be on him in a flash. He was defenseless, and I was in stitches as I watched it all unfold.
Cora, our almost two-year-old, got into the action and rolled Curtis’ exercise ball out into the middle of the bedroom, and pretty soon kids were bouncing off the ball as well as off of their dad.
My camera happened to be sitting on my nightstand, so here’s a little peek into the craziness that occasionally ensues at our house.
I offer this little slice of our life up because so often when people ask or comment about our family, they tell me there must never be a dull moment, that they’d like to be a fly on the wall, or they liken our home life to a zoo or even a circus. I know these comments shouldn’t get on my nerves, but for some reason, they do. I guess I dislike the idea that people imagine our home as chaotic and without boundaries, and maybe a little something like “Lord of the Flies.” “Must be like herding cats,” someone said recently.
I’ve written before about how larger families – or at least THIS larger family – rely on structure, routines and order to be able to do what they do and do it well. Any fly on my wall would see that in there are no wild, naked, dirty children running amok in our home. No one’s eating off the floor, playing with bare electrical wires or experimenting with the wonders of pipe bomb construction in the basement. The refrigerator and cupboards are full of food – none of it rotting (at last check, anyway), the kids are clean and clothed, my house is neat and tidy, my laundry is done daily, the kids get their schoolwork completed without too many battles, and we have honest-to-goodness peace and quiet – quite frequently, I might add.