(which is not the same as saying "I don't want to be rude, but..." 'cuz I hate it when I say that)
Anyone else feel like a circus act when you take your children in public?
Do you feel like people stare as if you must be the only woman in the world to go out in public with several small children (2, 3, more)?Does it take you 30 minutes to get milk from the grocery store because of the questions/comments from strangers?
- Are they twins?
or better yet, don't even ask if the boys are twins and just tell me they can relate to me because their uncle's neighbor's second-cousins' babysitter also has twins
- How far apart are they?
- Where do they get their blond hair?
While I don't blame ANYONE for wanting to stop and admire my children (they are completely irresistible you know) sometimes I just want to find a way to politely remind these strangers...they may be children, but THEY CAN HEAR YOU. A couple of my favorite somewhat insensitive remarks are
- "Are you so glad you finally got a girl?"
Because we were so sad that we got stuck with the first two not-girls... and the fact that we didn't have a girl yet was definitely the sole reason we got pregnant for a THIRD time in three years.
- "Wow, don't you have your hands full?"
(While there are some days that I want to answer "yes, i most certainly do, would you mind taking one of them for the afternoon"...I also never want my children to know that those thoughts cross my mind. At least until they have children of their own and can understand.)
- "Don't you KNOW what causes this?"
(Um, yes, apparently we do...but they don't. and i'm not ready to have that conversation with them quite yet. and why are you referring to my children as a "this" like they are a flat tire or something else that I should have avoided.)
Pause for disclaimer...In each of these instances I totally understand the well-meaning gesture. And I'm well aware (and ashamed) that I have said some equally insensitive things (or worse) in my time.
But my favorite are the conversations where you KNOW the person walks away and thinks to themselves "WOW, did I really just say that out-loud?" and I feel at liberty to put those words in their mouths because I have personally been on that end of the conversation more times than I can count.1) RRL was at the dry cleaner with all of the children in the car. He drove through to pick up clothes and the attendant loaded them in the back of the van. Noticing the boys, the conversation went something like this:
Attendant: "Oh they are so cute. How old are they?"
RRL: "3 1/2 and 2"
Attendant: "Awwww. Are they twins?"
seriously? yes, they are twins. and 19 months apart. both.
2) In line to checkout at Target
Nice man behind us: "She is adorable. How old is she?"
ABL: "6 months"
nmbu: "How sweet. Is this her first Christmas?"
um, yes. it is. well except for that other Christmas we have had in the last 6 months.
And those are just a few of the ones they say to my face. There are lots of nods, "knowing" looks, even giggles from strangers as we pass by. Glad Team L could provide your entertainment for the day. Now the ringmaster would like to continue her grocery shopping. K? Thanks!