It's Travel Tips Tuesday! Walking On Travels and I will sharing our best travel tips and we would love it if you would share your travel tips by linking up at the bottom of the post.
No matter where we travel, whether it’s around the block or around the world, people always comment on the size of our family. Sometimes it’s a long conversation, but more often it’s just a passing remark that reminds me (as if I forgot) that I have more than the standard number of children.
I get it, and I’ve mostly made peace with it. I understand that most people are just trying to make friendly conversation, and the most likely conversation starter is the thing that sticks out the most. And when you have four little boys following behind you like a line of ducks on uppers, there is no way that is not the most obvious thing. Occasionally, people use these comments as thinly veiled ways to pass judgment, and as much as I enjoy having my sex life, my fertility, and my parenting skills condemned all in one fell swoop, I could use little less of this drive by criticism.
If I were making wishes, I would love to have these comments stop all together, but it seems like there is no end in sight. So, let this serve as a public service announcement for those who will comment about my family size.
~Yeah, it's like that~
Please, people! If you are going to insist on commenting on one of the most private decisions of a person’s life, at least have the decency to use a little creativity. I just can’t hear one more “Boy, you have your hands full,” or “Don’t you know what causes that?” Boooo-rrrrring! Come on! You can do better than that!
I’ve heard them so many times that I have actually had a chance to work up a schtick to go along with each and every predictable comment the general public throws at us “fertile Myrtles.” I’m not generally one of those people that can come up with a witty comeback on the spot, so you need to know that this is a routine that I have perfected over years of being subjected to the same old phrases. Its part comedy, part “did you really mean to say that out loud” and all meant to keep me entertained. After all, with four kids, the most exciting part of most days is digging the cheerios out of couch. A girl’s gotta get her kicks somehow.
~When kids attack~
Also, fair warning: I have different comebacks depending on my mood, which, with amount of daily crazy I put with, is volatile at best.
Overused Phrase #1: You’ve Got Your Hands Full
The Happy Mommy Response: “Better full than empty or Yes, aren’t I lucky?”
The ‘Don’t Make Me Release the Winged Monkeys’ Mommy Response: “Yes. I’ll pay you to take just one home with you.” <said dripping with sarcasm>
Overused Phrase #2: Four Boys?!?!?!
The Happy Mommy Response: “Yes, aren’t I lucky!”
The ‘I’ve been in sixteen public restrooms and the kid still peed his pants’ Mommy response: “FOUR???? What happened to the other three?”
Overused Phrase #3: Don’t you know what causes that?
The Happy Mommy Response: <weak smile, and nod>’ cause there’s nothing you can really say that isn’t crass.
The ‘You know you just brought up sex with a total stranger’ Mommy response: “Yes, I know and we are obviously very good at it.
Overused Phrase #4: Are they all yours?
The Happy Mommy Response: “Yes, aren’t I blessed!”
The ‘My Ears are bleeding from all the noise’ Mommy Response: “Nah, I just think taking extra kids to the grocery store makes it more aerobic.”
Overused Phrase # 5: Were they all planned?
The Happy Mommy Response: “Yes, we always wanted a large family and we are so blessed to have all these boys.”
The ‘Please stop poking me’ Mommy Response: “Well, once we figured out what was causing it, we planned the last two.”
Overused Phrase #6: Were you trying for a girl?
The Happy Mommy Response: “No we just wanted to add to our family and we have been so blessed every single time.”
The ‘What kind of idiot makes such a backhanded remark in front of my kids’ Mommy response: “No, we were trying for a monkey, so we were thrilled when we got a little boy.”
Overused Phrase #7: How do you feed them all?
The Happy Mommy Response: Honestly, I never know how to answer this one. Are you asking if I can cook (I can’t) or if I can afford the food (I can, so far) or if they are eating everything in sight (they are)?
The ‘I just went to the grocery store yesterday and the pantry is empty’ Mommy Response:” I’ve found a square nosed shovel works best.”
Overused Phrase # 8: Was the last one a surprise?
The Happy Mommy Response: “No he was much wanted and we are so happy to have him!”
The ‘Hey that’s my baby you are talking about’ Mommy Response: “No, we just had a BOGO coupon from the hospital, so we figured, why not.”
Yes, I have heard it all. People really have said each and every one of these things to me too many times to count. And yes, I have said many of the crazy things on this list, but most of the time I just think them in my head because I’m a sweet southern gal and I don’t like to cause trouble. And also, most of the time, even on the days when I just want to pull my hair out from the noise and mess and bodily fluids, when someone asks me about my kids, all I can say is “Yes, I am blessed.”