Saturday, January 11, 2014

No, I'm Not Pregnant

Let's get personal. First of all, if you are one of those people who comment on the size of a family, other than to say, "What a big beautiful blessing these children are." stop it. Cease and Desist. Yeah, you guessed it, another fabulously awkward conversation with a stranger was the order of the evening last night.

C had basketball practice, her first of the season, last night. I arrive at exactly one minute before practice was supposed to start because, well, herding cats and inconvenient bathroom breaks, etc. Her coach introduced himself and then asked, "How many are there?" Five dude, I think, I don't know anymore. He then informed me that everyone thinks that anyone with one more than they have is crazy. Reread that last sentence, it will begin to make sense sometime next year. So, he tells me, he has four and those with three think he is crazy, and he obviously thinks I am crazy. Nice to meet you, Coach, this is going to be a long season.

This is one of those classic, "What I should have said..." moments. What I should have said:
  •  We don't have a T.V.
  •  Congratulations, that was an original insult on the size of my family that I have never heard before. I applaud your creativity, and expect you will do well when your children are teenagers. 
  • Shut up. 
  • *Sigh* 
  • We are very well to do. (Said in a stage whisper.)(This would have never worked because of what I was wearing, which I am embarrassed to report, was smeared with pea soup that Mariana had on her hands and wiped on my black pants.)
So here is my one and only effort to ever explain the existence of my children, and any future children to the world. Scott and I love each other. We love children, big families, chaos, and any lifestyle that will pull our noses out of our bellybuttons long enough to make us more human and less plastic. We wanted four boys and two girls and two dogs and lots of land, an organic garden that didn't attract deer and rabbits, and durable carpet that didn't get stained 37 seconds after installation. We have, so far, 4 girls, one boy, one dog, one cat, one ohdeardoIlovethatboy snake, a normal medium-small yard, vegetation that either dies from fungus or deer or rabbits, and stained builder-grade carpet in our suburban home. While we are aware of what causes children, and how to "stop that from happening" our choice of NFP has helped us get the timing part of planning right. Unfortunately we've discovered, barring some kind of rule-making exception, timing is about the least important part of child rearing.

So now that you are aware of the most none-of-your-business parts of our lives, lets talk about you. If you are the type to say:
  • Don't you know how that happens?
  • You've sure got your hands full. (Unless this is accompanied by an offer to load or unload groceries, push a cart while I peel a filthy and distraught child off the floor, or some other form of assistance. Say whatever you want as long as you are helpful.)(Because, God help you if you say this while sipping from your Starbucks while sporting dangle earrings that the mother hasn't worn in 14 years because her oldest baby ripped one out and she has a slight case  of PTSD from the experience, but boy does she love dangle earrings.)(Didn't happen to me, but I have an active imagination.)
  • Do you want more children?
  • Are you done?
  • I made my husband get "fixed". (To which my go-to line is, "You mean broken, cause you realized it was working before, right?)(And to those who have had this surgery, just know that if you broadcast it by calling it "getting fixed", you totally have invited me to make my opinion on the subject known. Cause I never wanted to know the state of your vas deferens in the first place.)
Or to those without children:
  • Do you want children?
  • When are you two going to have children?
  •  Life is not complete until you have a child.
  • Life will have so much more meaning once you have a child.
  • Babiesbabiesbabiesbabies
Stop. It is none of your business. If you want to know if it is your business, take this quiz:
  1. Are you responsible for assisting in the making of the future child?
That's it. If you are not going to be doing the thing that makes babies, or filling out the forms that adopts babies, then zip it until you are invited into a conversation. Even if there was a previous conversation, you better be really careful about asking for an update. Why? BECAUSE IT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

I realize that you should get it by now, but I feel as though there have been 34,528,987,211 articles, books, blogs and graffiti published on this topic, and yet it is still happening. To be clear, I have been guilty of this, and may even slip up in the future, due to lack of sleep and nutrition consisting of left-over smoothie and Nut Thins crumbs. However, I hope it is to someone with whom I have a very close relationship, though I will not be surprised if I receive a snarky reply or a punch in the nose. Also, if the offended was polite, I'll be hitting up confession, because, well, see above.

I bet you thought this post was about being fat.

Post brought to you by the letter "no sleep" and the number "parentheses".


  1. I any believe you got a snake

  2. I try to assume most people who say some of these things ( esp. "You've got your hands full") are thinking back to their own youth or families. It's usually older people who say it to me, and then they reminisce about having 4 siblings or their mom was one of 14,.... So I am usually patient with it. One woman did say to me once, :"Are they all with the same dad?" which sort of blew me out of the water. But then I realized she was elderly and concerned about her own young family members who had children with multiple partners. So I try to smile and say , "Yes, but they're fun!" (or mostly fun if I'm being honest).
    As for some closer acquaintances who say some things, (like "what were you thinking" when I announced I was pregnant with my 8th), I either smile and assume they're just concerned about by general welfare, or ignore it because it's none of their business. (as for my response to the above, I grinned and said "apparently I wasn't" we both laughed,and life moved on.)
    I hope you get some solid sleep soon!
    from a mom of 10.75 kids

    1. As the youngest of 8, I admittedly have a chip on my shoulder from hearing comments directed at my mom when I was right there. It gets me worked up when people say certain things in front of the kids because I know how they feel. It's embarrassing and rude. I understand people aren't coming from a place of malice most of the time, but it's still poor manners.

  3. Anonymous7:58 PM EDT

    It seemed to me that the coach was sort of making fun of himself, implying that it makes just as much sense for you to have the standard that five is the right number of kids as for him to think that four is the right number. I seem to remember that Bill Cosby said that whenever people asked him and his wife why they had five children he always said because they didn't want six

    1. Could be, but given the situation and his tone, I doubt it. He's a good guy, real sweet to the kids, but there were more interactions that reinforced my initial feeling on it. At any rate, welcome, hope you will introduce yourself sometime!