As a mother of four, I can honestly say that I am amazed at the crazy things people will say to you in relationship to children. It starts when you're pregnant with the, "Wow! You're as big as a house!" and the ever-famous, "You look miserable. You look like you're ready to pop!" First of all, these comments usually come when you've got about 3 months left. So, through gritted teeth, you share this information with the moron that just insulted you and they inevitably do the WRONG thing and make that "OMG!" face. Secondly, pop?...Really? That's the word you're using for someone who is about to go through one of the scariest experiences of her life? Great choice.
I wish that I could say it stops there, but as many of us know, it does not. Being a mother of four, I usually get the "are they all yours?" question. It's not the question I mind, it's the tone with which it is asked. You can ask someone, "Oh, are they all yours?" and give someone the feeling that you think they appear happy and content with their lives. But we can tell when you say, "Oh, are the ALL yours?" that you are actually no longer listening for the answer, but are instead making a mental note to check the web later and see if my face matches any of the profiles of escaped psychopaths. And my personal favorite..."Don't you two know what causes that?" I've heard this one enough that I've come up with a few good one-liners that usually end the conversation right there. I either go with:
A: Yes, but if you've ever seen my husband you'd know why we keep having them. (Go ahead and make your disgusted face, and freak out because I just "crossed the line." But, I'll bet you won't ask me that one again, will ya?)
B: No, but I've got time if you'd like to sit down and tell me. Do I need a pen?
C: Go to hell. (Granted, it's not all that original, but it gets the job done)
Wanna hear something really crazy? We mothers of 4 or more children have CHOSEN this. That's right, folks! We WANTED the happy chaos that comes with a big family. We wanted our boobs to hang down to our knees and our bellyrolls to sit on top of our pants. (I've affectionately named mine the "flub chunk") Saggy boobs are in, didn't you know? Have you picked up a National Geographic lately? It may take awhile for the trend to hit the states, but when it does, I'll be ready. And it's only a matter of time before c-section scars and stretch marks make a comeback. When they do, I'm immediately moving to a nudist colony where I'm sure to be crowned queen.
The point is, we know all about the chaos of our own lives. And my guess is that if you ask any of us "Mother Hubbard" types, not one would trade it for the world. They may consider trading one of their limbs for an afternoon nap, but they wouldn't totally give up their babies. So, if you don't want to get the textbook out and start pointing to body parts, you may just want to put on a smile and keep walking.