I have been telling people for years (a little over 8 years to be exact) that I have given birth to four children. I have photographic proof, medical records, DNA evidence and enough upstanding witnesses to prove it in any court of law. I also have a step-daughter, so when I say "We have five kids..." it's true. At least I thought it was, but the fact of the matter is, I'm pretty sure I'm wrong. I'm beginning to think we actually have six.
I think everyone with two children, should just go ahead and say they have three. People with three, should say they have four, and so on. You might as well resolve yourself to the fact that the number of kids you have is not accurate. I know this to be true, because that's how it is here.
Our sixth child has a name. It's not a particularly glamorous, cute, or delightful name, but it is fitting. His name... is Notme. Now a little history about Notme. He was born somewhere between the births of my second and third child. Which is a miracle in and of itself, considering my second and third children are only 19 months apart. But I suppose it could be done. Notme is a very unsocial child. He has this habit of being quite shy, he never shows himself in public, and has never even shown himself to me. Matter of fact I don't even remember seeing him when he was born, but when that postpartum amnesia set in, I'm guessing it took away more memories than I was expecting. Notme is always hiding out somewhere, and as far as I can tell, my children are the only ones who have actually seen him.
I know my children have seen Notme, because whenever I ask who left the milk out, they say Notme did it. My kids (like most of yours, I'm sure) aren't prone to telling lies, so I'm pretty sure that when they tell me Notme did it, then one of them must have actually seen him do it. Notme has also been spotted leaving the bread bag open all night, leaving ice cubes on the kitchen floor to melt, and drinking so much juice that when he puts the container back in the fridge it only has six drops remaining.
I feel endeared to this sixth child of mine. He probably suffers from some sort of complex due to all the complaining that goes on because of the poor choices he makes. I feel sorry for him. I wish he would just come out and I could see his face. It probably has black marks on it though, because last I heard, Notme was going around coloring peoples body parts with permanent marker.
As a mother, my heart aches whenever I think of Notme making it through his days without hugs and kisses from me. I wish he wasn't so shy. Matter of fact, I never even knew if Notme was a boy or a girl until just a few years back. I had my suspicions for a couple years, but once I found out that Notme had been leaving the toilet seat up - it was pretty clear. Notme also forgets to follow my well-versed advice, "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." Obviously - we have another boy on our hands.
Notme is famous for clogging the toilet, leaving forks outside in the dirt, taking dishes upstairs to the girls' bedroom where he leaves them and also eating all of the granola bars. I don't mean to complain about this child, because I really do love him and all of his imperfections, but sometimes I get really frustrated when Notme doesn't do his chores. I often ask who's job it is to do the dishes, and most of the time the kids say, "Notme!" Well, he just never does them, so someone else has to do it. It's kind of a bother.
It's not all bad though. I do feel some sense of satisfaction in knowing that Notme is well cared for, even if he doesn't respond well to human touch. He is fed because he leaves messes in the kitchen, he is well dressed judging by all the dirty clothes left on the floor in the boys' room. He has plenty of activity and play time. Just one look at how many puzzle pieces, legos, sports equipment and books he leaves laying around and it's irrefutable.
I'm so thankful that one day I can look back and say that even though it was difficult to have several near-perfect children and only one challenging offspring, I will smile. I just know that because they have a brother with difficulties, it will be easier for them to raise their children. They will be more caring, more forgiving, more gracious and merciful... and if heredity extends to another generation, they will also have a child named Notme. It just seems to be tradition in our family.