When you grow up in a family with 7 kids, you tend to learn certain things that other people (translate: those with only a sibling or two) never need to know.
1. Take all the food you want when you first fill your plate at a meal. There will be no second helpings available.
2. You must hurry in the bathroom if you want any privacy at all. Someone will need to use the bathroom before you are finished (doing whatever), guaranteed. There is something not right about hearing human breathing and scratching from the other side of the door while you try to take care of business.
3. If you go out to eat as a family in a restaurant (which may also include McDonald's, Taco Bell, or Wendy's), expect to be openly and obviously counted. It's fun to smile into people's pointing fingers and dropped jaws. It's especially rewarding to hear brave souls ask, "Are they ALL YOURS???" Duh. Can't you tell we all have the same nose and the same tallishly handsome good looks?
4. Cookies, the ones round and small and delightful, are only baked once every other year. It's just too damn difficult to roll 8 dozen cookies into balls first. Cookie dough is just as satisfying and delicious as baked cookies, so you may as well skip the labor part and get right to the enjoying. If you bake the cookies, they will most often be cooked in pan form, like brownies, and cut into squares for your eating enjoyment.
5. Mothers of 7 kids quit hearing the word "Mom" years before they should, simply because they hear it so often it becomes static background noise that is easily tuned out. That's why I had to invent new names for my mom that she would actually hear and respond to. "Mom" became "Madre" which later shortened into just plain "Mod" (or "Maude" may be a better way to spell it...I can't exactly spell it "MAD", can I?). Hence the reason her comments here will come from "aka Madre."
6. If something is particularly important, all kids who grow up with that many siblings learn how to perfect their own DAMIEN VOICE. This is the voice that not only gets your mom to actually hear you, but it also has the pleasing side effect of making your younger siblings think that you have powers within you that cause Satan himself to tremble in fear.
A person who knows how to wield this power is set for life.