What is normal?

My husband and I debate on a regular basis what a “normal” household is like. I won’t say who believes what or how we each define “normal,” but I will say the following is a typical, low-stress 4-hour snapshot of our household.

6am – baby wakes

6:05am – Sure that I have successfully convinced baby to sleep by putting the pacifier in his mouth, I begin making gleeful plans to have my coffee, good workout, and a morning devotional time sans kids.

6:07am – baby cries. Is up for good.

6:15am – read email my husband sent at 3:20am, when he was up with both the baby and the 16-year-old, looking at college websites. Entertain baby and hope he doesn’t wake 3yo with his super-precious gurgles.

7:15am – baby falling asleep and 3yo still in bed. Yes!! Re-enter plans for quiet time.

7:17am – baby almost asleep, 3yo starts yelling “MOM!” from her bedroom, interspersed with fake crying.

7:25am – give up trying to get baby to sleep and give in to shouts from the 3yo. Both baby and 3yo awake. Do various first-thing-in-the-morning activities with 3yo.

7:45am – start putting baby back to sleep. Hear ominous rattling noise coming from hallway that doesn’t quite sound like the dog’s collar. Risk waking the baby by poking my head into the hallway and find previously-nightgown-wearing-but-now-underwear-clad daughter running down hall, dismantled activity mat arches — toys still attached — in hand, shouting that they are stilts and she will now walk down the steps on them so she can wake her big brother for school. Must put baby to sleep, so say a short prayer she is alive when I exit the nursery.

8am – baby down, 3yo still alive and without injury. Walk downstairs on “stilts” with 3yo so we can wake teenager.

8:04am – feed 3yo waffles with blueberries and try to convince her marshmallows aren’t a breakfast food.

8:20am – Wake teenager.

8:22am – Wake husband.

8:25am – Wake teenager.

8:35am – Wake husband. By which I mean tell him to get up NOW or we’ll never make it to the doctor on time.

8:35 – 9:30 Various things, including get ready to go to pediatrician and somehow convince 3yo I’m building a Lincoln Log farm with her although I’m really eating cereal and loading the dishwasher. Register 16-year-old for traffic school. Order new blanket for baby that will magically make baby sleep through the night. Check FB, which is exceedingly boring so far since no one else is cool enough to be checking FB at 8:45am on a Friday. During shower, receive text from teen stating he simply cannot make it to first period today so is it okay if he just stays home?

9:50am – 3yo sees reflection in stove and provides husband and me with general amazement at how cute she is:

IcanseemyfaceandmycrownandmypantsandmyhairandmysocksandmyboogersandmynoseandOWWWWWW (hits knee on stove).

10am – minutes after I clean the baby with a wet wipe in effort to convince the pediatrician we actually bathe the child on a regular basis, baby pees all over his changing table, managing also to get pee in his hair, in his ear, and on his face, arms, and legs. Re”wash” baby.

Normal? One of us thinks so.

4 thoughts on “What is normal?

    • When I reread this post (I wrote it a few years ago) I wonder how in the world we survived the early years. They were SO HARD. 🤪 Thanks for reading and commenting!


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