Thursday, September 4, 2008

Define normal please

*Motherbumper is one of the first blogs I ever started reading and more than a year later it is still one of the most unique and original voices out there in the blogosphere. Katie has a quirky way of looking at the world that never fails to make me laugh - and also seethe with jealously over how effortlessly witty she is. Who else could seamlessly incorporate Chuck Norris into their blog on a regular basis? Enjoy!*

This week, for the zillionth time since becoming a parent, I got whacked in the face with reality.

Reality is the thing I try to ignore because I sure do prefer the life-long movie I've had running in my head. You know: the one starring me, where I'm never wrong and I'm adored by everyone. Come on, I know I'm not alone in understanding what life-long movie, complete with soundtrack and occasional voice-overs, is all about.

By the way, if you don't know me, I'm katie from motherbumper. I'm slightly delusional and pretty much in a weird place at all times. I'm not very lonely in the blogosphere because from what I read on other blogs, it appears that there are many other folks out there that are just like me.

But I also feel the need to clarify that in real life, I don't really appear that strange. In fact, I appear pretty damn normal. Yet the inner workings of my head, the stuff that spills out online, well it's more than slightly different. In reality, I look like a quiet mouse, using my quasi extro/introvert tendencies to conduct my ongoing observations and research. I really do consider myself a bit of an anthropologist who specializes in examining the craziness of ordinary, but that's not where I was going with this post. By the way, tangents happen to me often and trust me, I know that they are more painful for you than me.

This also might be a good time to mention that I'm notoriously lazy and am out to prove that the "lazy mom's method" concerning important parenting stuff, like potty-training for instance (e.g. buy the potty, point it out, and let it be used as a dust-collecting device for months on end) - well I'm out to prove that this "lazy mom" methodology doesn't really work that well.

Perhaps I could consider myself an example for "not what to do" in the genre of parenting, but I think most of the time I just make other parents feel like rockstars. I'd like to think the majority of caregivers at least take the time to explain the basic fundamentals of using the potty instead of just pointing and saying "it might be a good idea to start using that thing over there. Good luck with that, kid".

But back to getting whacked in the face with reality; in the past few weeks some of our friends have had their second child. Every single member we know of got-kid club seems to be adding an "s" to "kid".

Recently we went to visit my friend Xia, who I met in parenting class. Our particular parenting class was a free public health new-mommy-clusterf*ck, with about a dozen women, each slightly baby-brain insane. I met Xia the second week and her daughter was this teeny tiny newborn with a full head of hair. Gigi was almost four months old and already proving how much of a handful she was going to be in coming months.

Over the next two months Xia and I saw each other every week but never really talked. Yet we obviously liked each other because on the last day of class we exchanged phone numbers and walked away with plans to meet for a mom&tot movie the next week. Later we shared that we made this plan because the idea of having nowhere to go the following week, meant we were retreating back into our homes with our babies to go ever so slightly more insane.

Anyhow, our families are now friends and they just had another baby and bought a new home. So here we found ourselves - our two families - sitting around their beautiful new home, having a few celebratory drinks while passing around the new baby.

And that is when it hit me - brace yourself, it's a doozy of a realization - good golly, I've become a responsible and normal member of society.

As weird as I consider myself and slightly offbeat, somehow I've achieved something very normal, very calming, and somewhat responsible.As I've tried to eschew the "expected" things that a parent is "supposed" to do and retain our slightly-nonconformist ways, I've still managed to produce and raise a pretty normal kid.

Somehow in doing my best to examine and question all the information that has flooded and nearly drowned my senses since having a child, combined with my my abject laziness and penchant for only doing the bare minimum, I've still managed to keep it together and make what I believe have been the best decisions for my family.

That is, my darling Gigi hasn't joined a gang (yet), she isn't feral (it was a close one), she isn't the playground pariah, and we haven't become the grifter family I kind of expected us to become. We have turned out to be a pretty darn normal family. Period.

Am I disappointed that we are so normal? Nope. Not one freakin' bit. In all my years of trying to stay as far away from normal as possible, I've realized that there is some kind of wonderful with embracing my inner ordinary and making it all shiny and new to me. You can't tell me that's weird, right?

For me, normal is an accomplishment and I feel damn proud. But of course, that doesn't mean I, per se, am normal - just I've got a pretty normal family and that makes me smile. I, on the other hand, am completely wackidoodle crazy which just makes achieving responsible and normal even that more special.

Ack, my head hurts from the exertion of figuring this all out, I need a nap.

By the way, I must say a huge thank you to Kelly for offering me the keys for the day and I'm extremely pleased that I kept my swearing to a minimum in this pretty Don Mills Diva space. I'm kind of surprised I was able to do that. This is definitely a red-letter week. Bring it on.

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MarĂ­a said...

KATIE! How dare you make me look like a heathen by barely cursing through out this entire post??

Ugh. So hurt. You're no longer in my club.

You're normal, but not really normal. But your normal is the type of normal all normal people should strive for. So much better than the average normal.

Heather said...

i think the kids really bring out the "normal" in all of us. But I am glad you are embracing your inner average joe...but happy to see the wackidoodle crazy too (is that even a word, if not it is yours chickie!)

Baby in the City said...

Well you balance the wackidoodle with the normal very well Katie! That is why we love you. But lazy? Girl, I have to challenge you there. You are everywhere - in front and behind the scenes. I was beginning to think you'd perfected human cloning, making a Motherbumper army to take over the blogosphere. (I'm hoping that I'm right btw. That is a life movie I wanna see!)

~*Jobthingy*~ said...

crazy moms is where its at!

Blessings From Above said...

Crazy moms = fun moms!!!

Heather said...

I don't mind being nuts at all. It makes it easier to deal with the little people that live in my house.

You always make me laugh, so you can't be THAT crazy. Or maybe we're both crazy and that's why I like you.

Wow, this IS tiring. I need to go to bed now.

Laski said...

"I've become a responsible and normal member of society."

Scary day when that happens, isn't it?

for a different kind of girl said...

OK, well, it seems my kids are, in fact, feral. If you could have seen the aftermath of the basement they spent all summer playing in, you'd have gone back upstairs and had a stiff drink. Which is what I wanted to do. Instead, I waited until those creatures got home from school and I totally let loose with the classic "Big Talking Threat I'll Never Carry Through With", which is to cart all their toys out to the the driveway, light a match and tell them to say bye bye to it all.

I am awesome. Awesome and lazy.

Not as much as you are, though. Awesome, I mean!

In my mind movie, btw, we break out into song and dance every 8 minutes. Excessive, I know, but it all works with the storyline.

Vodka Mom said...

In parenting I've learned- no decision is the right decision. According to my teens- nothing I say or do is right. (If they are mad at you, however, you must have made the right decision...)

KG said...

I, for one, am decidedly still abnormal. Abnormal career path, abnormal way I got there. Just abnormal in general. Thuogh mercifully, my kid appears to be mostly normal.
*sigh of relief*

Kyla said...

I love that you are wackidoodle crazy. It is weird suddenly realizing you are a normal, grown up type person.

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Crazy is the new trend! You're right on track :).

Queen of My Domain said...

You mean your not normal? I just figured we were all basically the same. Love this post though.

mamatulip said...

I was thinking about this very subject in the shower this morning. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, WOMAN.

Kat said...

Normal is highly overrated. I prefer offbeat myself.

moplans said...

I like to think of it as everyone else is crazy too, but if you prefer 'normal' we can go with that because compared to me I think you are.
Also I like to think of my kids not being in a gang (yet) too. I never have doubt that all of this will go to hell for me. Just like Palin my idol.

I'm glad Kelly mentioned Chuck Norris bc really that is one of the things I admire most about you. That devotion could not be feigned.

Run ANC said...

Oh, you make me laugh! And honey, if you're lazy, then can I join that club? I like it waaaaay better than the Alpha Moms over in my 'hood.