Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Are they all yours? and other stupid questions

Why are people such busybodies? Nosey? Whatever you want to call it?

Today I went to Wal-mart. Maybe that was my first mistake. However, I needed to get a new ink cartridge for our printer so we could do our geography maps this week, so I went. We went straight to the ink cartridges and got what we needed, then I looked around a little in the baby clothes for Miss Baby. Then we hit the food area and got a few frozen items and then some cereal. That was where Mr. Nosey was. I came around the corner, Miss Baby and Mr. A in the cart, oldest 3 walking with me. Mr. Nosey, who I will describe as an older man...gray hair...probably in 60's....noticed us come around the corner since he was right there near the end of the aisle...and so it begins:

Mr. Nosey -   "are they all yours?"
Me - debating on being a smart aleck (I SOOO want to be sometimes, but in the interest of being respectful to my elders, I resisted) - "Yes"  (with a smile)


Mr. Nosey - "are some of them twins?"

Me - "No, a couple of them are just close in age" (right now Mr. A and Miss A look like twins heightwise and he's 2 years younger! Boys!)

pause  (as I instruct the children they can each choose a type of cereal)

Mr. Nosey - "how many...4?"

Me - (is this guy blind?)  "5"  (with a smile)

longer pause

Children are picking out their cereals

Mr. Nosey begins to leave aisle and leaves this gem with me - "You have my sympathies."

Me - FOR ONCE, my brain is in the moment and not as distracted with keeping an eye on everyone since they are doing exactly what they have been instructed to do retort with - "Well that's something I DON'T need."

Mr. Nosey disappears.....I don't know what his reaction to my comment was...if he even heard me...I really don't care. It's bad enough when you're pregnant - everyone thinks your pregnancy is their business from the vague questions to the insane people who think they can walk up and touch you without your permission. Then, your children are born and it continues...insane strangers walk up right outside the Walmart bathroom and put their hand on the face of your child to "ward off the evil eye" - uh...that lady had better be glad I remained calm....then they get a little older and are walking about and have multiple siblings and it still doesn't end....are they all yours? you sure have your hands full? any twins? etc. etc. etc.

Since when is my family anyone else's concern? Since when are my children their concern? Did that man stop to think how his comment might affect my children? What they might think when someone perceived I needed sympathy because of them? This REALLY irked me. I was ranting to myself all the way home in the car - spewing forth venom in my mind that was really intended toward this man and his careless remark.

I don't often let things fly on the blog - but this time, I guess I just needed to vent a little bit.

Anyone see the most recent version of "Emma" on Masterpiece? Emma's brother-in-law, Mr. Knightly comments out in the town one day to someone, I can't recall who right now, as that person starts to make a comment about Mr. Knightley's sons who have run on ahead, and are acting like boys do and should, about why it is that everyone feels it their responsibility to comment on the behavior of his offspring. Why, indeed! doesn't end there.

I remembered I needed to stop at Sam's for a couple of things, so we embarked on that mission before heading all the way home. Nothing remarkable happened whilst shopping, we checked out and headed for the door. There's an older lady there to check our we approach her, she says "What a lovely family!"

Well, thank you very much - much bigger and more genuine smile given to this woman who actually realizes that children are a blessing and a gift from God and not something to be looked down upon, given sympathy for, pitying the parent who is so apparently in misery because of their progeny. Thank you, I said, and off we went. Some of the sting from the earlier incident was assuaged, you can see...not all of it.

Mr. Nosey - keep your thoughts and your sympathy - I don't need them. I am blessed above measure with 5 beautiful children and it is I who pity you - YOU have MY sympathies.


Heather said...

I only have 4 and I get the same comments. But, it is so easy to be smarty, I do have to bite my tongue and smile.

Melanie Hodges said...

I know what you mean. My 1 year old Bethany is very cross-eyed and wears glasses - she has since she was 9 mos old. I have had people come up and out of the blue ask me if she has down syndrome or some other medical condition. Usually I laugh it off, but one little 4 year old girl really irked me. She was standing with her mother and said: "Why does your girl have glasses?" I explained they help her see better, etc. Then the little girl said: "Well, I think she looks stupid with her glasses on...and I think you look stupid with yours!" Then she stuck out her tongue at me. I was aghast. All I could think to say out loud at the moment was: "You are a very unkind little girl whose mother forgot to teach you manners." This got me a scowl from the mother, but I mean, the nerve! I know what you mean though, and you are the epitome of blessed beyond measure. Keep on doing th right thing, showing them the Lord without having to say a word!

ReBecca said...

Unbelievable. I have a friend who has 9 kids and you would NOT believe the horrible things people have said to her.

Molly said...

I'm pregnant with #5. Someone just told me last night she thought it was time to stop, and implied that it must be that I'm trying for a girl (we have 4 boys). I'm planning to buy a shirt online from Big Family Shirts that says, "Yes, we know what causes it!" since that is one of the questions I hear most frequently. Maybe that will ward off some of the remarks before they are uttered.

Matt said...

oh this makes me MAD! I am glad I wasn't there! Hey Molly - I'd love to get a couple of those shirts please! We are expecting #3 - we have a 2 year old and a 1 year old (next month) and are due in August and when we announced we were expecting #3, the common line was "don't you know what causes this?" UGH! People just don't get it!!!!

Molly said...

Hi Matt,
Here's the link to the maternity section of Big Family Shirts online their sidebar links to see the rest of their line.

CAB said...

:) I've heard that comment once before as well and was aghast - why do people think something so personal is fodder for conversation...with them? I wouldn't buy that shirt, but some of the others are cute.

CAB said...

Oh Melanie - how awful. Shame on that woman for not at least apologizing for the insensitive comment of the child, whether or not she has been taught anything, she is her parents' responsibility. Sigh. Even when we teach them what we believe to be the right things, they can say some pretty surprising things at times! :) I'm trying (TRYING!) to not let those comments get to me as much, but when it blatantly is offensive and causes a child to think "why would that person say such a thing...about us?" then it tends to get under my skin. TRYING.....