05/29/2015 12:33 pm ET Updated May 29, 2016

5 Things Friday, 5 Kids Edition

Joni Edelman

About a year and half ago, new neighbors moved in across the street. They seemed alright. They were an older couple; he liked to tinker with cars, she liked to sit in front of the house watching everyone else -- a neighborhood watch of one, only with more opinions. When I met the husband, Larry, he asked how many children we had. And when I answered, he paused, puzzled, and finally said, "Don't y'all have a TV?"

Yes, actually, we do. Thanks for asking.

We have five kids anyway (we don't watch much TV).

Wondering what five kids in a house looks like? Here you go.

1. Dinner. A glimpse into our dining area would reveal something that can only be compared to a pride of lions tearing apart a zebra. Take my five kids, add their boyfriends/girlfriends/imaginary friends, and you need a buffet-style table, possibly a trough. We must have not only a space for Jerry Wiggins (who I've never seen, because HE IS INVISIBLE), but sometimes even an additional chair for one of Jerry's invisible pals. Besides all this, there is usually at least one naked child, two glasses of something/anything spilled, four people trying to figure out who did/did not get silverware and three people getting water/refilling spilled water. Chaos reigns.

2. Laundry. Oh HOLY NIGHT. Can you even imagine how much laundry five children and two adults (and three dogs and a cat) create? The answer is no, you cannot. I invite you to come see my laundry room. It's a Mount Everest of filth in there and I've got to scale it at least twice a day, without benefit of a sherpa, thank you very much. A load each of whites and colors must be done, daily. Must. Plus towels, bath rugs, sheets (and I have teenage boys, ahem) at least weekly. Summer is upon us, and for my next trick, I will add beach towels into the pile. If you don't hear from me, come looking -- i'll be in the laundry room. It's highly likely that I've been buried alive.

3. Sports paraphernalia/music instruments/toys/etc. I almost died last night, an unfortunate casualty of the Hot-Wheel-On-The-Stairs War. There are blocks, Legos, puzzles, crayons. I have a son who plays the bari sax. Have you ever seen a bari sax? It's taller than a toddler. This same son also plays golf. Golf clubs are NOT SMALL. And guess what? Golf balls are HARD. He also has a bow and arrow. Because, why not? The other son plays a handful of musical instruments. Horns, drums, guitars, whatnot. Those things aren't even the worst of it. I'll take a French horn over a lego any day. Twice on Sunday.

4. Costco. Other people are like, "Oh, it's payday. I'm going to go to Costco to stock up. I'm buying all my meat for the month!" And I'm like, "I'm going to go to Costco EVERY MONDAY FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS." And PS: I am not stocking up. I'm just shopping for the week.

5. Communication. There is a lot of yelling, "So and So, WHERE ARE YOU?" And also texting. I've been know to text a teenager one room away to tell them dinner is ready. I gave each of my five children their very own first and middle names. And I still can't use them appropriately. I call Kelsey "Ella." I call Ella "Kelsey." Sometimes I get really creative and combine them and say "Kella" (that one can be used for both of them. Timesaving!). I call Owen "Max." Sometimes I call Max "Matt" (which I think is fair, because they are REALLY close). Sometimes I call Max "Owen." I don't usually get Sean mixed up with anyone. Maybe because he's 6'2" and just SO VISIBLE. Sometimes I screw up their names so bad that I just yell, "HEY YOU. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. GET OVER HERE."


6. Love. There is a lot.

This story by Joni Edelman first appeared at, an alternative news+culture women's website.

More from Ravishly:

Ask Momma Bare: Is My 15-year-old Having Sex? What Do I DO?
5 (Insane) Things Toddlers Say
No One Needs Acid For Their Double Chin--Tell That To The FDA