Before I write some new thoughts, I have a few that I wrote for an old part of my webpage. They are from a different stage of my life, but still relevant, so I hope no one minds that I didn’t write these today.
Large Families… or what you don’t know
For the curious: yes, the logistics of a large family are different.
First of all , everything is bought in bulk sizes or multiples. Boxes of couscous, crackers, cans of soup-three minimum for a single meal, and don’t ask about boxes of cereal (although shredded wheat lasts a little longer than most). There is a type a of rationing, no one is happy with the individual who decides on playing robber baron with goodies. I look on in horror if a child wastes fresh fruit and have been known to “clean the plate” myself rather than waste.
Everyday is washday. Household chores are shuffled, spread around, and everyone who walks is a contributing member of our society. There is no such thing as male or female chores, although I keep insisting that cleaning the car is a man’s job, and the boys complain less about taking out the garbage than doing the dishes. (But then, teenage boys grouse about everything). OK, so that’s a mom’s viewpoint.
Things break, lots of things break, and no one ever knows why.
On trips, kids are assigned to care for younger ones. And in crowded zoos I have used those little harness things (one briefly lost child is one too many for a lifetime, – I don’t care how barbaric it looks).
Most hobbies are do-it-yourself, and anyone who is bored is introduced to the joy of work. Then there is the “sock situation” which is distantly related to the “shoe situation”. Trying to find a pairs before outings should inspire a sit-com- if distraught parents rummaging through drawers, under furniture, in toy boxes, is humorous to you. (And there were always nice neat pairs just a day or two before). When, God forbid, this situation extends to the car keys- prayer alone helps. How do you explain finding them underneath the throw rug in the kitchen?
I know some of this happens in smaller families,but the twist in large families is discovering new variations in multiples as each child displays a unique talent for playing hide and seek with their (and your) belongings.Who needs brain teasers, 1,000,000 piece jig saw puzzles or mensa quizzes? Just getting through the day with three toddlers requires all my mental capabilities…And just when you think you know it all…