Posted in Concerning Strangers, With The Kids

The Day The Comments Wouldn’t Quit

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Remember that time when I said I was going to blog the annoying things people say to me so I don’t go crazy on people in public? No. Well, I said it. At some point.

People aren’t always mean. In fact, last week, a few days before Christmas, a lady came and asked me if they were all mine while we waited for a table at a local Mexican restaurant. I replied that they were, and I even smiled. She just smiled and walked away. A few minutes after we were seated, she appeared again, and told me that we reminded her of her family when her kids were small. They are all grown now, she informed me. She said that someone had once paid for their dinner around the holidays, and it was such a blessing to them. Seeing us, she was reminded of that night, and was doing the same for us. Merry Christmas. And that was awesome. So generous, so sweet.

Four times over the weekend (my inlaws were in town, so we were eating out more than often), someone approached me or The Pastor to tell us how wonderfully behaved our children were and how great it was to see our family. (A couple times, I might have looked a little shocked. It isn’t easy on my end to keep them civil while waiting at the chiropractor or waiting for a table in a busy restaurant. And my boys are, well, all boy.) But I was surprised and encouraged. It took a lot of work to keep them quiet, feet not on seats, and eating with silverware, but apparently my hard work was working! People were not bothered by my children, but delighted by them.

boys

Then I have a day like today, and all those positive, encouraging interactions seem to fly out the window in the face of some crummy ones. Today, I felt like a walking target. The kids were being decently behaved. We took them to Waffle House for breakfast. We had to wait on a table because apparently everyone decided Tuesday was Waffle House day. But they were waiting well, in anticipation of waffles and hot cocoa, I suppose.

Then came the comments.

And they came. And they came. And they came.

“Are they all yours?!”

“Oh my God! And pregnant again?!”

“Bless your heart.” (And you Southerners know this is NEVER a compliment.)

“Better you than me.”

“Your hand are full!”

“Please tell me it isn’t twins again! Or worse, triplets!” (Apparently, my boys being dressed alike made many people assume they were triplets or twins.)

“You must have more patience than me! I could just never…!”

And all this, repeated over and over, in front of my kids, while I am working my butt off at that thing where I keep them all nice and polite in public places and not let them tear Waffle House down with their bare hands. I think the worst part was most of it coming from the employees. We couldn’t even get orders out without multiple snide comments. Let me just say, I wanted to be mean. I wanted to put someone in their place. I wanted to scream.

I don’t like being in the spotlight. I didn’t have kids to be in some bizarre public spotlight. This is just our life. A life that I could do without the snide commentary on.

And I’d like my kids not to feel like outcasts, particularly from adults who should know better. (And especially from adults who are expecting a tip from my order for 7 people!) I don’t need pity. My kids don’t need pity.

I wanted to tell these Waffle House workers that yes, the children are all mine and I thank God that I get to be their mom every day. Yes, I am pregnant again, and I find it just as miraculous as I did the first time. The infertile couple now has six, count them, six children! That is what God can do. I’m amazed. Still. Yes, my heart is very blessed and I am very thankful. And while I am glad that God has given these to me, it does make me sad that so many people are so clueless to the blessings that children can be. I am glad that it is me, but I would like for you to be just as blessed, if not more! Yes, my hands are full. My life is full. My house is full. The car is full. All things I am extremely thankful for. My days are filled with a thousand hugs and kisses. (Even kisses on my hands like I am some kind of Queen because my 3 year old insists on kissing my hands all the time.) No, there are no multiples in the bunch. Not in my belly. Not at the tables. I’m not sure why this is disappointing or surprising. Those boys you think are triplets are 3, 5, and 7. They aren’t that close in age. Sorry to disappoint you. Yes, God has given me more patience with the passing years. It is one of the miracles of motherhood, that God uses it to make us better, to make us holier people. Each child makes me a better person if I can let go of myself long enough to let God change me. I didn’t start this journey with unnatural patience. I still don’t claim to have that much, but proof that I endured this barrage of negativity is probably proof that I do, indeed, have more than I once did. But I am happy. We are happy. This is our life. We’re living it like everyone else here right now, eating Waffle House for breakfast on a Tuesday. And we’re enjoying it. My kids are not burdens. They are not problems to be dealt with. They are awesome little people that I am lucky enough to know.

But I didn’t. Instead, I ordered. I pretended the comments didn’t bother me. I helped my kids cut their waffles. I held it in, knowing that just days ago, I encountered encouraging people who helped build me up. I held it in knowing that I knew what they didn’t- we are happy, all of us, and that is something. I let them overcharge me for my meal. I tipped without a grudge. And I hoped that maybe later, we’ll come across some more of those encouraging people who make the days easier. And hoping that I could be that encouraging person that makes someone else’s days easier.

Posted in Concerning Strangers

She Said What?!

People can be stupid. People can be especially stupid to me. I’m not sure what about me attracts the mean/dumb/insensitive comments from strangers. Maybe it is because I look like I need dumb advice. Maybe it is the 4 kids swirling around me. Maybe people are just dumb. Whatever the cause might be, I decided it was time to start blogging the comments I get from strangers. I’m turning their comments into a game. (Helps me see the humor in it and not get angry.) So, here you have the first of such posts!

Lady at The Ballfield

“Oh my! You have four?!”

*nod*

“You one brave woman! At least they all cute!”

*stand stunned, laugh, and then walk off* 

Posted in Out Of My Head, Under Our Roof

Snow and Spam

So, the dreaded winter storm hit the parsonage about 30 minutes ago. It is snowing pretty hard for us southerners. Not sure what it will amount to, but my children will inevitably be chomping at the bit to get out in it at an unreasonable hour. Why do they wake up so stinkin’ early when it snows? Is it a light thing? I mean, being surrounded by a virtual forest usually ensures me sleep until 8:30. 9:30 on an overcast day. But have it snow, and they’re up at 6 am and begging to get out in the nasty, cold, wet stuff. (I’m not a fan of snow. Or cold for that matter. I think when I retire, I’ll move somewhere tropical. But then I’d have hurricanes and after Katrina, I’m not up for another one of those.) In fact, I just looked up and Aidan put on his rain boots and is walking out the back door! BRB! ………. Okay! So, that boy is silly. And why isn’t he in bed?! Anyway. So, yeah, snow. It is here. It is white. It is cold.

So, I’m reading through some of my spam comments (yeah, I read the spam comments) and I find that one is not spam, but one is hilarious. Like, laughing out loud funny… Great… now Imogene has on rain boots, mittens, and her sleeveless pajamas and is trying to go outside. Will they stop this snow induced insanity? Okay, where was I? Oh yes, spammers cracking me up. So, usually I get generic spam, sometimes it isn’t even English or isn’t coherent sentences. Today, I find an invitation to a “beach body” contest! Ha! I can see my 15 week, pale pregnant self in a “beach body” contest. If we are talking about the bodies we normally see at the beach in terribly ill fitting swimsuits, then, yeah, I’d take home first prize. But in the traditional sense of “beach body,” I’m not even ranking on that one. I’d be that one crazy person that enters those contests thinking they are hot stuff for one reason or another and ends up looking like a complete doofus next to the other bronzed, sculpted bodies. (Not that I want that kind of body- I do not. Ever. I prefer my pale, happy, healthy self. I’m just saying I’m not winning any bikini contests any time soon.) Thank you, clueless spammer, for the laugh.

Back to the snow, The Pastor (who, BTW, is blogging again) is now taking the kids out because there is no getting them back in the bed without seeing the once in a blue moon. Isn’t he sweet. I told them tough luck. It is cold. And wet. And holy moly there is a lot of accumulation in just half an hour. Yeah, you’ve got to see pictures of that!

And of course, since now our road is completely impassable, the local idiot brigade is trying to shovel a car’s way down the street. Yep. That is how people down here think. Oh, 3 inches in 30 minutes, yeah get shoveling! I guess they are planning to shovel the car inch by inch to wherever it is they think they need to go right this second. Sheesh.