Okay, my friend Ann left me a comment here about Californians and their incessant need to be shocked by anyone with more than two children. She's dead on, people. DEAD ON! (her advice about being enthusiastic? Well, I'm taking it, but doing it differently...)
I am so tired of answering the same questions wherever I go:
"Are they ALL yours?!"
"You must be so brave!"
"I could never have more than my one. I'd be too tired!"
(And I only have four! My friend has six...I wonder if she gets it, too...)
Now, I can understand the need to speak to a complete stranger while standing in line and it's taking forever, or hanging out on the BART heading into the city, or even if the conversation was started differently and then steered to children because one of my kiddies decided to pull out his sister's hair, and sometimes it truly is a sight to see me and four kids at Costco/Target/The Dollar Store --BUT I truly am getting tired of the staring, the questions, the assumptions. And so, to retaliate, I am no longer answering with just "Yes, they are mine. Yes, I am busy/brave/tired." Here are the latest encounters:
In my post a few days ago I mentioned the "brave" comment. I responded by looking at her like "what are you talking about?" (mostly because I wasn't sure). And then she gestured towards my children and I said "Oh." And then kind of shrugged my shoulders. Instead of saying "Oh, yes, I'm a superhero!" or "No, not really, they were all accidents." I just kind of ignored it. Wasn't rude; wasn't nice, either. I should work harder on that one.
Another person, on BART, asked if they were all mine and I said "They sure are! And we're thinking about having some more."
"We sure hope so!"
That one leaves 'em baffled. Funny thing is, I was being honest.
Yesterday, in Costco, I got "Are they all yours?" and "I only have two..." and before she could say "That's all I can handle" and "they are crazy/hellians/busy/too hard" I said to her, with a straight face:
"And they are wonderful, aren't they?"
She just looked at me like I was nuts and I left.
One shining moment:
Pharmacy lady: "Are they all yours?"
me (sighing inside): "Yep! We're hoping to have more, too."
PL: "That's wonderful! I have six myself and my daughter has two, but she wants six as well."
The conversation then turned to how big families (with kids close in age) are so fabulous. She made my day. Absolutely made my day!
So in conclusion:
THAT'S IT, PEOPLE! I will no longer agree with you that I'm tired/crazy/busy/brave. I don't care if it's true. I am also amazingly blessed/fulfilled/happy/content.
But, if I am going to take Ann's advice, I should still respond nicely and positively. So, for her, I will try. Can't guarantee anything, but I will try. :)