I would say our family is like a three-ring circus, but that implies a sense of order and direction we have yet to achieve. Also, circuses are managed by ring masters, and who are we kidding? The unicycle-riding bears run the show around here.
With a blended family of nine people, we’re not just outnumbered, we’re overrun by children. And if they ever decided to organize, we’d be overthrown. Thank heavens for sibling rivalry!
Their periodic angst and constant energy are understandable. Coming to terms with a blended family is simultaneously exciting and disheartening. On the one hand, you’ve got enough players for two-sided Red Rover. On the other, getting one-on-one attention from parents requires a dizzying coordination of schedules, imaginative distractionary tactics, possibly a babysitter and/or the incapacitation of their competition. Also, because there are so many of them, our children seem to believe that being heard requires being inexplicably loud. And they are very good at that.
Only one oldest and one youngest child have retained their family ranking. My baby was bumped to middle-child status, and he’s still struggling to come to terms with it. Although he has maintained his title as Troublemaker. So there’s that.
This may explain why my youngest gave Mr. Charming’s youngest a shiner in the heat of a frying-pan ping pong game early one Saturday morning. I say ‘early’ so that you understand why Mike and I were sleeping instead of refereeing.
The reigning frying-pan ping pong champ is also the loudest in the house and is the one child who has spent more time inside of his room than outside of it. He’s also the first blamed anytime someone cries. Including me.
So all of us are experiencing growing pains as we try to adapt to blended-family living and determine what, exactly, our new roles require. It just so happens that in the midst of this process, we moved into a nice, older neighborhood in Idaho Falls. While in the early 70’s this was probably a block full of younger children, now it’s the place where mature couples are settling into their golden years.
Enter the Belyoaks.
So let me issue an open apology to our neighbors who may wonder if our home doubles as the residence for inexplicably loud and boisterous children. Yes, it does. But it also houses a slew of imaginative souls doubling as superheroes, time lords, dance champions, and, on bad days, ultimate fighters. Give us a chance and we just might save the world someday.
Or avoid jail time.
Either way it’s win-win, right?