Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Grab a cup of tea -- it's a long one, folks!

What NOT to say when you encounter a large family
(Or, how to be rude without really trying)

Wow. Are they all yours?
Nice response: Yes. I am blessed.
Not so nice response: Nah. I pick up kids along the way. I hate grocery shopping alone.

:: snicker :: Don’t you know what causes that?
Nice response: :: blank stare::
Not so nice response: No. Please explain it to me, step by step.

Better you than me! (usually said with disgust in the voice, for full effect)
Nice response: I am blessed.
Not so nice response: Well, with that kind of attitude, I whole-heartedly agree.

How do you handle all those kids? I can’t handle the two I have! (said in front of the children, of course)
Nice response: A lot of humor, grace and prayer!
Not so nice response: Perhaps if you didn't speak like that in front of your children, more grace and respect will be shown?

And you homeschool them?! Oh my insert rude word here I would go nuts! I need to be away from my kids (said in front of the kids, of course)
Nice response: We love our time together.
Not so nice response: Do you hear yourself right now? Your kids can sure hear you....

You must be Catholic or Mormon!
Nice response: No.
Not so nice response: No. And if I were?

How do you afford all of those kids? What does your husband do?
Nice response: We try to be good stewards of our time and money. It works.
Not so nice response: Are you planning on contributing to our savings account? Why else would ask about our financial standing and/or career choices?

I suppose you stay home? (with the *look on their face)
Nice response: I am busy at home.
Not so nice response: No. I keep having kids so they can do everything for me.

You have your hands full!
Nice response: Happily.
Not so nice response: Wow. I’ve never heard that comment before! Now, instead of standing there gawking at us, how about holding the door for me?

Are they all from the same father?
Nice response: Yes.
Not so nice response: You know – I just can’t remember.

:: While watching the person silenty count my children, staring wildly... ::
Nice response: :: smile ::

Not so nice response: Here. Let me help you count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and yes 6!

Don’t you know our world is over-populated already?
Nice response: That isn’t true, actually.
Not so nice response: So. You will be leaving soon then?

Don’t you feel like a ‘breeder’ with all those kids?
Nice response: :: blank stare ::
Not so nice response: Don’t you feel like an idiot for saying that to me?

I have this huge bag of hand me downs and extras. When can I drop them off?
Nice response: Thank you for thinking of us. Perhaps the church or Salvation Army could use them more?
Not so nice response: Assume much?

I would hate to see your grocery bill! Do you eat a lot of beans and rice?
Nice response: Really, the bill isn't too bad all things considered. I have it down to a science.
Not so nice response: By the looks of all that 'stuff' in your cart, I'd hate to see your bill (or arteries) too!

When we had four daughters (and no sons) we had a whole set of questions/comments:

Oh. Where is the boy? You need a boy.
Nice response: We have four great children. Aren’t they beautiful?
Not so nice response: Where are your manners? You need manners!

Oh, your poor husband. All those girls…..
Nice response: My husband is the richest man alive.
Not so nice response: Oh, poor you. All those rude ideas….

Are you going to try for a boy?
Nice response: God will give us what He thinks is best.
Not so nice response: Are you going to try for manners?

Wow. You have four daughters?! (said with great surprise)
Nice response: Yes.
Not so nice response: We do?! How in the world did that happen?!

Oh, ol’ hubby can’t shoot girl sperm, huh?
Nice response: :: blank stare::
Not so nice response: Oh, you can’t control your mouth, huh?

When we became pregnant with the twins and people found out they were boys -– more comments:

Twins? I am so sorry. You are already so busy.
Nice response: :: blank stare ::
Not so nice response: Wow. Did you set out to be so rude today?

See what happens when you keep trying for a boy. You get twins!
Nice response: We are so blessed. We wanted children. Gender doesn’t matter.
Not so nice response: Oh, you are so funny and witty. Thanks for the education.

How did you get pregnant with twins? Sex or drugs?
Nice response: The old fashioned way (or blank state, depending on my mood)
Not so nice response: What? Would you like to see my ovulation chart too?

I always wanted twins. How did you do it?
Nice response: No special way.
Not so nice response: Would you like diagrams and pictures? Maybe hubby and I can show you right here, in the cereal aisle?

When the twins arrived, more comments:

(While looking at two identical babies, side by side in a stroller) Are they twins?
Nice response: Yes.
Not so nice response: No. One is really 12 months old. He is just really small.

Do they run in the family?
Nice response: No
Not so nice response: Babies can run? Man. No one warned me!

Twins? You can’t possibly have them vaginally or breastfeed. Right?
Nice response: That isn’t true.
Not so nice response: Well, they passed through my birth canal so I guess your theory is wrong. As for the nursing issue…..two babies – two breasts. Viola.

Which one is “good” and which one is “evil?”
Nice response:
They are both blessings.
Not so nice response: Which one of your personalities is speaking to me right now? Good or evil?

I understand that most people are trying to initiate converation and mean no harm, but some folks are downright rude! I do my very best to answer curious minds with grace and tact, but geesh, whatever happened to saying "Hello" and "How are you?"

Chris, Carmen, and Owl have lots to say on this issue! Check 'em out.


Blogger Mimi said...

Oh my goodness, Kim, I laughed so hard tears are streaming down my face! I love your "not so nice" responses. BWahahahahaahahahahahahaha.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

HAHA! The nice and not so nice responses were great! I especially can relate to "Don’t you know our world is over-populated already." On hormonal days I really do want to say - And you are leaving soon?
But God holds me back as do my children being present!
Yesterday we were at Costco and as I turned the corner this lady was passing me and she said "Wow, and they just keep coming. Too many!" in a very sly voice. It made me GRRRRR inside. I ran into her twice after that - all I could do was smile. (Thank God!)

6:15 PM  
Blogger JenMom said...

Oh. Kim...I am shouting AMEN in Georgia over this post. I have been asked some downright RUDE questions about my triplets...Like are they "REAL?" And my favorite response to the "Your hands are full!" comment is "Better than empty!"

6:46 PM  
Blogger Perri said...

I like the "Are any of them brothers and sisters?"
I just say
"yes, that's what adoption is."

Or - "do any of them have the same father?" Well, duh, yes - my husband.

but once I was feeling particularly snippy, after being stared at rudely till the old woman finally comments on how many kids I have, I say, "yes, I have 6 kids by 5 different men. It's exhausting." And I walked away.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Brianna Heldt said...

I got to your blog through Mary's adoption blog and LOVED your answers! That cracks me up!

I wonder if I will ever stop being astounded by peoples' rudeness! I for one would like to know when children stopped being considered blessings...

7:12 PM  
Blogger LisaQuing said...

LOL Kim! That was truly hilarious! I "only" have 4 and I get some of the comments too.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous HolyMama! said...

people ask if you feel like a BREEDER? Ew. Ew. Ew. That's just wrong. as are the others, also, but that one? Gah.

Way to go with classifying the nice responses and the not so nice. Love that. nice touch!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Kathy Pitt said...

oh wow, that was just too funny !! I must admit i have made a few of those comments myself and had a few made at me ! Will remember to bite my tongue next time, or use one of your witty comebacks lol

TFS :)

1:48 AM  
Blogger RANDI said...

Personally I have never encountered the "are they all from the same father" comment but I think that one takes the cake! I am not sure whether to crack up over it or get mad!

When I was PG with baby #4 a man asked me if I knew how to prevent this sort of thing. When I went out of the store and got into the car I made the mistake to telling my hubby what the guy said. My hubby promptly got out of the car and went into the store to find thae man but LUCKILY he was nowhere to be found. I have no clue what my hubby would have done but I sure was worried while he was trying to track the guy down! I will say as a disclaimer that my hubby is not a violent type of guy and does not make a habit of doing stuff like this! ;)

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Rachael said...

I can't believe some of things people will say. Your very nice responses prove you have more class than most.

And besides, what better way to have your hands full, than full of little hands.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Kym said...

OK, I am totally cracking up here. People do say the dumbest things sometimes. Shoot, I started getting comments when we had #3 soon after #2. The "all the same father" question really blows my mind. Did someone really say that to you? {shaking my head}

10:25 PM  
Blogger texasblu said...

I had a friend that was asked the "Do you know what causes that" question (she only had 4 at the time!) and her reponse was "Yes, and I'm very good at it too!"

I love your polite/not so polite responses. For all of us with large families (and I am just now feeling like I have a large one) - it's something we can all relate to! :)

12:16 AM  
Blogger Juliet Echo Mike said...

Thanks for sharing this post. I enjoyed reading it and just laughed and laughed at the differences in your "nice" and "not so nice" responses.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Jess Elliott said...

This is hilarious! I'm going to email it to my SIL who has 7 kids (the most recent two are twins) and I'm going to put a link to your blog in my blog. I've already got friends who give me the raised eyebrow because I'm pregnant with number 3 and talking about wanting a 4th.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and really enjoy reading it. I feel calmed and your belief in God is refreshing and soothing for me.

As I am not yet married, I don't have any children. I have a lot of concerns about having children and how I would be able to do it and adequately care for them and my future husband. Because I am scared at the prospect of one, the idea of 6 is overwhelming. In reading your blog I am convinced that you are a great mother and the world is lucky that you have brought 6 children into it.

I think that most people are well intentioned but ignorant. Some of the comments that people have made to you are very rude. Others I winced a little because I could have said them. I'm a nice person and they would have been said in a well intentioned way. I'm sure that most people don't think ill of you, they are merely using your children in order to start conversation.

Best of luck and God Bless.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Thanks for the laugh today!

(Remembering the friend who, when our 2nd girl was born, said, "Oh, that's too bad! If you'd had a boy you could have stopped.")

12:49 PM  

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