On the Art of Being a Spectacle

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Well. I’m not sure it makes sense to brag about something that happens so naturally. But, we’ve pretty much perfected the art of being a spectacle. I’d put our shenanigans up against the best. Without even breaking a sweat we can draw a crowd, turn heads, and get 293756361936 questions. A spectacle. But it’s not hard to do when you take up more than your share of space everywhere you go,and your kids are incredibly well behaved (My blog. My biases)…and they are also, well, let’s call it imaginative.

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Eating donuts while watching more being made. (just felt the need to clarify why all of their hands are at their faces)

Here are a few of my favorite spectacle incidents…

In the neighborhood. We regularly commandeer the entire cul-de-sac near our house for our kickball league. There could at any moment be baby dolls in strollers at home plate, people in costumes, trading of designated boys ball (Star Wars) and girls ball (Frozen), and shouts of victory (or complete tantrums over defeat). The full glory of all of this, I can’t really put into words. I think the best thing I can tell you is that there is a house on the culdesac in which two elementary aged children live. Although we’ve invited them to join us, they always just stand safely inside their front door and stare throughout the game. Spectacle.

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On Mondays, we frequently have a trail of children running out our front door and down the sidewalk together to chase the trash truck and wave.  And anytime we go for a walk or bike ride, we turn heads.

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But our true neighborhood spectacle status was probably secured by this. 20141021-201956-73196114.jpg That would be our super seven seen hunting for plastic bugs we had hidden all over the front yard. All of them were dressed the part and very intensely looking through shrubs for treasures. (Thanks, SB for the leftover party favors).  The smirks on the faces of neighbors passing by was AWESOME.

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Back to school haircuts.20141021-201837-73117922.jpg I don’t even really feel the need to say anything more about that.

In restaurants We mostly visit restaurants where we go through a line to order. This means we have our food faster and it is easier for the kids to order for themselves. And ordering for themselves is completely necessary to enforce the “you chose it, you eat it” rule. When the sweet person taking our order reads it back they are nearly out of breath by the end. Then we take up several tables, make multiple trips to the bathroom and to get water refills and have conversation volume levels continuously on the rise.

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In the grocery store.

The grocery store is always an adventure.  Which is why I rarely go with all seven anymore.  But one story takes the spectacle cake. Recently I had the super seven in Sprouts. It was Monday afternoon right after school and I literally needed 3 things. Well, we didn’t even make it in the front door before the littlest tribe member declared he had to “go”. So we went. And stayed in there for 25 minutes. No.stinkin.joke. But that’s not even the story (although it could be). By the time we went back out into the store, I was a hot mess and In A Hurry. And no one else was. Testmypatience. As I scooped the pinto beans while corralling kids, hissing under my breath, and trying to fake a smile for the crowds, a sweet lady came up and started the question routine. I know to expect this multiple times anywhere we go, but this time it was different. Her questions weren’t curious. They seemed a bit concerned, or at least like she really felt the need to know our story. Iaintgotnotimeforthat, so, as kindly and firmly as I could we parted ways and off we went to our next stop- frozen pizza.  BUT she found us again and this time held out her hand with a bit of cash because she “just really wanted to help us with our groceries”. Honestly I was dumbfounded, I really appreciated it, and said so, but in all our spectacleness a complete stranger has never offered us cash. I was already frazzled and that just caught me off guard. When we got to the car, I had KJ take a picture of us, because I just wanted to remember the incident and process it. Everyone got buckled and I looked at the pic on my phone. And.cracked.up. Now, I don’t want to diminish he fact that The Lord moved her! and her heart generously gave. But I also think there’s a very real possibility she took one look at my mess of a gaggle and thought there was trouble at home. Because in addition to the mess we always are on Monday after school and work, there was something I had forgotten. My eye was swollen- nearly shut, it had been for a few days thanks to nasty allergies and I genuinely had kind of forgotten. Looking at the picture I could ONlY imagine what that added to the narrative in her head, especially since I dodged all of her questions. My word. I LAUGHED SO HARD at the sight of us staring back at me from that picture. Let’s say it together- SPECTACLE.

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Yes, all 7 kids are tagged “farm fresh chicken.” Lou got stickers for them all from the butcher. Of course.

And there you have it.  An absolutely free DIY guide to perfecting the art of being a spectacle.

But you know what? About the only thing worse to me than being a spectacle in public would be staying home and not having the adventures with this little clan. Totally worth it.

ABL

Updated: October 23, 2014 — 4:27 am

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