Friday, September 25, 2009

Normal Problems

This morning (it's Friday, but my computer is refusing to allow me to post anything to blogger or even comment on other blogs, so this will have to go up later) I was doing my frantic change the sheets, put on the dishwasher, general clean up and I was listening to a radio show called, "Is My Child Normal?"

Now, right after I finished my domestic diva duties, I went hunting in the basement for material to make a Halloween costume. When I came back upstairs, the folks were still talking about what constitutes normal. I was holding some old feather boas, yellow crepe paper and glue. Nothing wrong with gathering some material for a Halloween costume, right? Except this is to make a giant chicken costume for Philip. Somehow I have to figure out how to make size 13 chicken feet.

We could buy a chicken costume, but Philip is the only one of my kids who still likes to make them with me like when they were little. As I was putting the boas in a box, Cami, one of the kittens, ran past with a beaver skin that Christopher has had in his room for a few years. I was still thinking how to make chicken feet as I wrangled the beaver skin away from Cami. She was panting under the dining room table because she thought she had caught some big African game.

When I came back, the other four cats were frantically attacking the feather boas and the feathers were floating in the kitchen. I forgot I had put Emma's dress up boas down there because the cats were getting into them all the time.

I looked up at the time, but I remembered we don't have any clocks downstairs. There's the microwave clock, and a clock built in to the stove because Emma finds the sound of ticking clocks unbearable. It reminds her of bombs.

My computer clock, and the weather, is set for Los Angeles because Emma is completely crazy for anything LA. She has done this to all the computers in the house. We are constantly adding to the time to see what time it is where we are.

Emma also believes there is a ghost who is attracted to the scent of her conditioner. Whenever she is in the shower, as soon as she opens the conditioner, the ghost knocks on the wall. Three times. (This is in addition to the ghosts that haunt her classroom bathroom)

The radio people were talking about fearing birthday parties. The Zen-sounding psychosomething said this was just a little social anxiety. My kids never had normal problems like that.

Christopher seems normal, probably the most normal, but then again, he moves around the house like a stealth bomber. I'm not sure how he could hang around with us all these years and actually be normal; I think he's just learned compensatory behaviors.

Then again, he decided in kindergarten that he would wear nothing but jeans, and he has lived it for the last dozen years. That can't be right.

The next radio problem was a child's reluctance to try new foods.

I remember giving Emma a bowl once, she looked at it, looked at me, and said, "It's too blue. I can't eat from that."

Philip once slid under the table at a Chinese buffet and refused to come out because "the food is too shiny here; it looks alive." That was an interesting cultural exchange between me and the ultra polite Chinese waiter.

I thought about calling in.

Or maybe I should just write a parenting book, "Raising the Paranormal Child," -- or something along those lines.

I'll bet it would get picked up by Time Warner.


adrienne said...

Hmm, that all sounds pretty normal to me - I wonder what that says...

It's so cool that your son still likes to make Halloween costumes. Good luck with those chicken feet - I get some of my best inspiration from the 99 cent store. :)

Anne Spollen said...

Well, Adrienne, I think that means that I would have exactly one audience member for my parenting book...

And dollar stores! They are almost as good as thrift shops for weirdly wonderful finds.

K.C. Shaw said...

I'd buy a book called Raising the Paranormal Child, and I don't even have kids. Have you ever read Shirley Jackson's books about her family, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons? I think you ought to write Raising the Paranormal Child along those lines.

Sometimes I think "normal" means "non-creative" in too many cases. I think your kids are awesomely paranormal (and good luck on those chicken feet).

Jemi Fraser said...

Who wants to be completely normal? It would probably take all of the fun out of life :)

Christy Raedeke said...

I am completely fascinated by your children. Particularly love the too-shiny food and too-blue dish bits...

Anne Spollen said...

I love Shirley Jackson! I didn't know she wrote that book; mostly I've read her short stories.
So I am going to order it. Maybe if the mom writes, she gets these strange kids...

Hi, Jemi, and welcome. Yes, completely normal = dull. Good thing b/c we wouldn't qualify.

I think, Christy, they are called something like "sensory" kids - I forget the exact name, but they sort of "feel" the sensations (anything that comes in through the senses) of the world more intensely than most other kids. At least according to their preschool teacher. Of course, that could be a nice way of saying, "Your kids are a little bit nutty..."

Katie said...

hilarious! And yes - Raising the Paranormal Child would no doubt be a hit!