Around Here Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer.

After spending over a decade in law enforcement, victim services and social work, we circled the wagons and brought our kids home from public school. Now, we are on year five. After the first years, we learned to lay to rest all of those good intentions of facilitating unrealistic goals of growth, having tri-lingual kids, and raising prodigal children. We now focus on strong vitals and an education that stands just above 3rd world countries.

Frankly, our boys live like college freshman – stay up late, sleep late and cram like it’s their job. Yes, we have the same 24 hour day as the rest of you, but the mental exhaustion of homeschooling puts that productivity at around 4 hours a day. By the time I do my own jobs, home school and some typical chores, I am mentally done. So, I add wine to the equation and gain a few more hours of productivity.

What do I do with this 2nd wind, you might ask? Mostly, I curl up with a book and ignore all types of responsibilities for a couple more hours. What are my boys doing during this sacred time? They are enjoying endless amounts of technology – YouTube, Xbox, Ipads, TV, etc. Why? Because it keeps them quiet. Because it keeps their vitals strong. Because it protects my sanity.

My boys often ask if we are normal and I say, “Yes!” with resounding confidence. I explain to them that they belong to an internationally, renowned private home school program, I somehow manage to work enough to contribute to my part of the household bills and 80% of our food budget goes to home-cooked food! Did I mention the strong vitals?? We are good, I say!

What’s ‘normal’ anyway. Around Here Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer.

If I tell you a duck can pull a truck, then shut up and hook the sucker up!

It started off as an amazing idea to complete the parental duty to our kids, do something Facebook worthy and of course….help our boys be better boys. I was excited, my friends were excited, the boys were excited.

The idea….was camping.

We checked our calendar, selected a date at random and began making our lists – so we could also check off as many boy scout requirements as possible. Why go to all of this trouble and not cross every T we could, right? So, each kid planned a meal, make a checklist, worked on knots, packed a bag…..pure excitement.

Then the day came….in all its glory. After hours of running errands and grabbing last-minute things, meeting up with our camping partners, we were finally ready to set up camp.

The tent wasn’t so bad. It had picture diagrams, in addition to written requirements. And I had beer, along with knowledgeable people. Things are still looking good.

Next…food. We had already planned the meals, so it was just a matter of putting them together and praying for something edible. Golden.

Then came darkness.

Thunder. Lightning.
Random questions asking if I checked the radar…..


Quickly throwing everything in truck, other than tent.

Coming home and crawling in warm, soft, dry and safe beds.


Sometimes, you only have one oar in the water…..

So, my soon-to-be 7-year-old just lost his first tooth. Yes, I know that this passes the typical age, but Dr. Google told me that at least five other kids on the planet were also afflicted with delayed tooth liberation. So, it’s completely ok. Anyway, he was uber excited to get his Tooth Fairy money and actually wanted to go to bed at a decent hour – read, before midnight. Fantastic.

Of course, I’m trying to mentally go through my wallet to inventory my Tooth Fairy money and sending frantic ESP vibes to my hubby for him to do the same. Since the kids are in the room, this looks akin to rapid eye-widening stares with a tilt of the head to add drama.

So, my youngest and I get ready for bed and then he takes the “Tooth Fairy” pillow, with the wadded up napkin holding said tooth, barely shoved in the little pocket. For the next ten minutes, he re-positions the pillow eight times and cries once from sheer anxiety over the best possible location for the pillow. We finally agreed to set it on the nightstand and leave the light on to help guide the Tooth Fairy.

By 11:30 pm, I am texting my hubby to get his ass and the ass of our oldest in bed, asap; so that I can make the dreaded swap and finally go to sleep.

12:30 am. I am mentally rehearsing a conversation with the kids in which I reveal all of the fabrications that I have built their childhood on, once and for all.

Finally, I start to hear welcomed signs that the rest of the house is settling in for the night.

I make it to just before 1 am. Earlier, my hubby had thrown a dollar at me and in a panic, I had put it under my own pillow. Now, it wasn’t there. Fantastic. I finally found it towards the foot of my bed, under the covers. Whatever.

I complete the swap. Realize that the bill, my hubby gave me, was a $5. I don’t even care. I am too tired to think, but I have to get rid of the tooth.

So, I shove it under the mattress.