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No One in my Family is Normal

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Some might describe my family, which consists of Lanni, Erin, Megan, Garrett, Elli, and me, as “energetic,” “unique,” and “interesting.” Others might say “creative,” “different,” or “weird.” Every person in my family has some qualities that are different than the “norm,” as Lan would say.


My family as a whole does a few weird items together. One of those is a game called Hammer Schloggen. Hammer Schloggen is a game that could be described as classy to some and as hick to others. It uses a large, round stump, a wedge hammer, and nails. To play, one must follow a set of steps. First, the player must start their nail in the piece of wood just until it can stand without falling. Then, set the hammer on the wood. Holding the end of the hammer, the player has one swift motion to lift the hammer up and swing down to try and pound in their nail. The first person to pound in his or her nail wins. We find this entertaining.


My parents are weird on their own, so they did not give us a chance to be normal. My dad, for instance, thinks that sleeping in is sleeping until 6:30 a.m. When he sleeps in this late, his mood is altered; he turns upbeat and goofy. For example, this morning my father was working from home so he was able to “sleep in.” When I walked into the kitchen for breakfast, my father swung me upside down. He carried me over to the couch in the living, plopped me on my back, and walked away.


My mom, or “Lan” as the family calls her, is a perfect match for my father; she is strange in her own way. Lanni enjoys making faces. Her best face would have to be where she makes her top lip come to a sharp point. We call this her turtle lip, but she thinks it looks more like a giraffe.
Speaking of turtles, if Lan saw one on the road, she would point and say, “Look at that cute little turd!” This is an example of how Lanni abbreviates almost everything she says.


There are some activities that the kids in my family do together, like make home videos. When we lived in Andover, I can recall two of the bigger videos we had made and thought were “so cool.” The first was of a journey of a piece of Styrofoam, named “Sty,” down a river, which was the carpet ball table in my basement. Sty encountered a variation of animals and objects including Mars the marshmallow and Pork the porcupine. The second video was of an old lady, played by me, who was robbed. In the video, I lost my puppy named Giant who was played by my hamster, Julie. Amidst the searching for my puppy, the robber came and stole all of my money. The video ended with my little sister, Elli, being pushed onto her face by the robber.


Rather than with all the kids, three out of the four kids share some qualities. For example, Megan Elli, and I all do handstands on the stairs. Daily, we walk up, put our hand on the third step, kick over, and kick back down.


Megan, Elli, and I also call our mom either “Lan” or “Lanni.” This is because she will never respond to “mom.” We’ll say, “Mom, Mom, Mother, Mom,” with no response. Once we say “Lanni,” we get an immediate answer of “Yes?”


Since Megan is now in college, Garrett, Elli, and I partake in some activities together. We regularly play a game on the Xbox called Kung Fu Chaos. Kung Fu Chaos is a fighting game where whoever is playing run around as little characters that kill each other. We also have a club underneath our stairs known to everyone as “Club Franklin.” Club Franklin is complete with carpet, a bean bag chair, and blankets, but one must be careful when sitting up or they will bonk their head.


Without Elli or Megan, there are some games that we play that one might consider odd. An example is that we go Hillbilly Sled Riding—which is in the summer—where you put on a snowsuit and four-wheeling helmet and ride around in a toboggan being pulled by the gator. Garrett and I also eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every morning for breakfast. Sometimes, we have water fights inside the house that end messily.
Elli and I sometimes hang out together. We regularly talk like “Aunt Tilly” around our house. We also do something called a “thip check.” This came about because Elli wanted to do a hip check with me, but her hip only reaches my thigh. Thus, she combined the words “hip” and “thigh” and coined the term “thip check.”
Also, as individuals, the children in my family are odd. My older sister, Megan, used to be by far the most “interesting” of us all. According to Megan, someone is trustworthy if they are wearing stripes.
One Christmas, Megan came down stairs announcing, “Are you trying to kill me?” because of the Christmas tree in the house. This was Megan’s way of telling us she was allergic to pine trees, and we have had a fake tree ever since.
Megan and her friend once had seven free passes to sea world for anyone 12 and under. They decided that they wanted to take Sam Schieffer all seven times, but he refused to attend. Megan and her friend also slept in the pantry with the door closed.
Her freshman year at college, Megan posted a video on my Facebook wall of herself eating a sandwich. The message she was trying to convey was and still is unclear. She also finds entertainment in watching videos of food with faces.
The second eldest is Garrett. He is bizarre in a different way. Just last week, Garrett ate my report card. He enjoys running around in his pig costume that he bought off eBay.
I, Rilee, am the next oldest in the Meagher family. My different side would include that I have a handshake fetish. I always make unique handshakes with other people.
When I was younger, I would never drink out of blue cups because I once saw something that resembled puke in one of them. Also, when Lan was pregnant with Elli, she craved and ate quite a bit of pancakes. I wanted to be pregnant too, so I also consumed large amounts of pancakes.
The youngest, and probably the weirdest of my family, is Elli. She is very outgoing and never lets anything get her down, which I look up to her for. Medically speaking, Elli is one in a million because of her disease. Without it, her personality alone is one in a million. Elli has an obsession with ostriches. Every time she has a pen or pencil she will sketch ostriches on paper, post-its, or bananas. Elli sometimes dances like an Oompa Loompa and the only way she gets onto the couch is via a gymnastics move called a front walkover.
The other day, Elli put a cardboard tube on her arm. She marched around stiffly saying, “I’m a zombie.”
One may have to see my family to believe it, but I’m proud to say we are different; it makes us unique. No matter what others think of us Meaghers, we are never going to change. Nunca, nunca, nunca.

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ThisLitIsBananas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Your crazy family just made my day! Thank you for blessing me with this great story :)

P.S. What disease does Elli have? I don't think you mentioned it.

 
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