Having the number of children I do, once disclosed to anyone usually results in total shock. Either after they have fallen over in disbelief, (or written me off as some real freak) some of them are actually able to compose themselves enough to eyeball me head to toe. I am then treated to the usual remark “you do not look like you have had 9 kids.” Nice. What exactly do you mean? Apparently “looking” like one has had children automatically means that you are “fat”, “tired” and “old” looking (they should meet my husband). Who knew? Why would anyone want to have children if that is how you are supposed to look afterwards? No wonder the population growth in Canada is at an all time low. I have developed answers back to many of the bratty (if not down-right rude) comments I regularly attract parading around in society with some ( if not all) of my nine kids in tow.
The following is a SMALL sampling of questions I have been asked over the years along with the responses I have developed to “politely” address their concerns (also to keep myself out of incarceration for assault charges).
Q: “Are they all yours?” (This question is almost always posed right in front of my collective offspring) With the exception of discerning whether the entire faithful assembled are not composed of let’s say “extra” kids (friends of my children along for the ride) this is a most rude and insensitive question.
- “Well let me see…last I checked they were”
- “Nah, not all of them…I am a child collector”
- “Only the beautiful ones”
- “Why? …Is there one you would like?”
- “Yes…and I have even MORE at home”
- “None are mine these kids just keep following me around.”
- “I tell my husband that they are all ours”
Only to be outdone by the next question ….
Q: “Were all these kids planned or were some accidents?” No, really? First of all how dare you ask the question, next what would you think the children think hearing this? … Can you imagine being one of the children hearing this??
- “Nope, every one of them is an accident!”
- “Planned by whom?”
- “Only the beautiful ones!”
- “Why? …Is there one you would like to order?”
Q: “Is this one your last?” Love this question, I have no clue who this stranger is but in the matter of a mere moment they have decided that I should be sharing information with them that my husband and I have not even discussed yet as a couple.
- “I never call a child [my last]… meet my youngest”
- “Yep we are going to keep going till we get an ugly one!”
- “Can’t stop now we are part of a government research project we can only stop when the project is complete.”
- “Nah! My husband and I are very intelligent people, and believe we should pass on these great genes as much as we can.”
- “Before we were married we planned on having 2, but I didn’t know that my
husband couldn’t count!”
- “Well, we have room in our van for 1 more. LOL!!!!!”
Q: “Do you know what causes it?” This question blows me away. I am in a public place; a stranger thinks that they can ask me this presumably because NO ONE would willingly have this number of kids, therefore ignorance of the basic must be the cause.
- “Haven’t a clue…maybe you could visit my home later when the kids are in bed and explain it to me.”
- “Yes, I do…don’t you?”
- “Well, we THOUGHT we did, but if that were the case, we’d have thousands of them by now.”
- “Yes, and it is something I am very good at … (!!) proud of it!”
Q: “You certainly have your hands full!” This comment usually happens as several of the younger ones are running around and I am at the checkout trying to balance the escapee-artist-baby, the bank card and bag groceries all at once.
- “Totally…wanna help?”
- “We can’t figure out where they’re all coming from!”
- “You should see how many I left at home!”
- “I’d rather have them full than empty.”
Q: “How do you handle it?”
- “Duct tape…and a lot of alcohol.”
- “I wash laundry all night instead of watching TV!”
- “I have been institutionalized and today I am out on a pass”
- “I am mentally unstable and proud of it”
- “I don’t …I am in DENIAL”
Q: “Why did you have this many?” Again, I don’t know this person and yet I am being asked to put a reason out there for why I have had children.
- “So there will be enough tax payers to contribute to the services you may require in old age.”
- “Just making the world a more beautiful place…one kid at a time”
- “I need this many to justify the mess I live in!”
Q: “Same Father?” This question is just an amazing notion, especially when uttered in earshot of the children. I then proceed through the check out and the conversation as we head to the car is kids trying to determine which of the tribe originated by different dads…yeah, Thank you NOT!
- “No, that would have been boring”
- “You know…I am not really sure.”
- “Shhh-My husband thinks they are all his.”
Q: “Haven’t you heard of birth control?”
- “Yes, I’ve heard of it, I hope you are using it!”
- “Yes, that’s great stuff for people with ugly kids!”
- “Oh yes, we do know what birth control is; it’s for people who don’t want
Q: “Don’t you have a television?”
- “Yes and running water!”
- “No…can’t you tell?”
Then I get to either hear how much the interviewer wished they could have had more children but had to stop because they do not have the extreme financial wealth everyone assumes that I must have. (??)
Q: “How can you afford having so many?”
- “My parents could not afford me and I am here.”
- “I figure you spend what you make, you may as well spend it people you love.”
- “I’m still not sure how we do it…but it works!”
- “Do you want my address (?) I accept cash and cheques!”
Q: “Do you get any time for yourselves?”
- “Kinda …obvious ..that we occasionally do.”
And the winner is…..
Q: “Boy, am I glad it is you and not me!”
“Yes, me too!”…“My kids are glad it’s me and not you too! ”
:) The Garden Goat