When you have five children you don't really have five children; you have at least 15. Let me explain: First you have each individual child to relate to. Each offspring has their own personality, challenges and demands. Then you have multiple combinations of relationships when they deal with each other one on one. Which come with it's own characteristics, challenges and demands. Then there's the relationships when they deal with each other 3 at a time, 4 at a time, and finally all five together. The math gets crazy I know, but managing everything concerning my 8 year old completely changes when I have to handle issues that are a combination of my 8 year old and my 16 year old together; my 8 year old and my 19 year old together; and my 3 year old and my 22 year old together. By now I think you get what I'm talking about. Even when my 9 year old was still alive and my youngest son was 3, her attitude and demands changed completely whenever he was around.
In addition to attitudes and personalities of so many offspring, diet requirements among my children range from vegetarian, medically required low protein, and nightly dessert demands that span option from vegan ice cream to homemade brownies. As a single mom on a budget, I learned early on that the dinner menu can change in a millisecond. I'll have a set plan in my head, let everyone know what to expect, and go to start preparation only to find someone drank all the milk that I needed for the macaroni and cheese. Then, when I present something different to the crowd, I'm met with disappointing sighs, complaints and questions like: "But mommy what happened to you making...?". I couldn't take it anymore. So when my small community one by one asks me "what's for dinner?" I reply, "Food!".