Monday, April 25, 2011

What is Normal?

Our family consists of a home with two parents of the opposite sex, 2 children of the opposite sex, 4 cats (3 girls and 1 boy), 3 goldfish (of undetermined gender), 2 cars, 3 working TV’s, one video game console (wii), 4 working laptops (one just barely and another holding on by a thread), 2 smartphones and 3 cordless phones, 2 of which are almost always missing in action.

My house is “lived in” which is a euphemism for not always neat and tidy. I try, but don’t always succeed in keeping it neat. The above-mentioned children and cats generally contribute to the lived-in-ness of the home by leaving toys, clothes and sporting equipment around (kids) and knocking things off shelves and spreading them around (cats). It is normal in my house for a forgotten glass of water to be knocked over thus creating a puddle in which an unsuspecting pedestrian can step and even possibly slide across the floor. It is also normal in my house for laundry to be washed twice because it has been left too long in the dryer and has developed recalcitrant creases.

It is normal in our house to be constantly on the move between the hours of 3:00 PM and 7 PM most days of the week, sometimes later depending on the day. It is also normal in my house for my children to eat dinner seated at a table with both of their parents, and to consume a relatively well-balanced home-cooked meal at least 5 nights a week.

Normal noises in my house include a brother and sister arguing with one another, computer keys clacking, a television droning, a telephone ringing, cats screeching and meowing, a fish tank filter humming, baseboards creaking (fall/winter) or A/C cycling on and off (spring/summer), door alarms beeping as children run in and out of the house, and finally the sound of water filling bath tubs at the end of our busy days.

On a “normal” night in our home there are bedtime stories, hugs, kisses, and “good dream medicine”  (Rescue Remedy), and two parents who just about make it into bed before being completely overtaken by the exhaustion of being so normal.

Thanks to Social Moms for inspiring this piece…


  1. Good one, Lisa! The part about barely making to bed after such "normal" day particularly echoed with me (as I am sure would with others!)!!! But... you wouldn't change it for the world!! Right?!?! :)

  2. No... this is not normal, its cookie cutter creepy, for some, and the correct model for others... as such, we should care less on the correct model, as that which works of individual (families) and encourage that which affirms live, in its most vibrant forms. Yes, you are stereo-typical normal, but following another pattern is never necessarily wrong, and as it stands, your normal, is out of vogue, perhaps.

  3. Thanks for the feedback St. Stephen. The entry was inspired, as noted, by a writing prompt at about what is normal for MY family. Unlike your feedback, my offering was not judgmental, I do not purport that my normal is THE normal, and frankly, I don't really think we're all that "normal" at all. Honestly, families eating dinner together nearly every night of the week is not the norm in this country. I'm also a stay-at-home-mom, which is also not the norm. But hey...thanks for calling me creepy. That's something I don't get every day.

  4. My house is so lived in! I know what you mean with 4 kids and 2 cats...

  5. Right Jenny? Sometimes I wonder who makes the bigger mess, the kids or the cats!