- You take your extended 15 passenger van across the border and present the appropriate documentation to the customs officials who insisted on coming out to your vehicle to “eyeball the kids” (mine was a no-brainer as most of the children look very similar and have red hair) to be sure we are not transporting illegal immigrants.
- Your kids are hoping to make hot chocolate and they pull out the big soup pot to make it.
- Only half a dozen of the kids are home and you consider that it is hardly worth making a real dinner.
- You make mashed potatoes and You peel the WHOLE bag.
- You are stopped in the grocery store by the limit police who seem to think that all the cans of spaghetti sauce on sale you are buying are for some restaurant. You tell them it is your family and the grocer asks to see birth certificates.
- You pull up to the restaurant where the sign outside reads “Kids eat free” and before you can unload the kids from your 15-passenger van a sign is up in the window indicating the restaurant had to close suddenly. The following week the same sign on the front now reads “kids eat free when each one accompanied by an adult.”
- The government is doing a census and you are asked to list all your dependants and you have to attach another page as they have only allowed six spaces for your family on the form.
- You decide in the middle of a Saturday afternoon to pick up a few groceries for supper and the cashier wants to know if you are the planning the soccer team barbecue.
- You file into a church and take up several pews.
- Your monthly grocery bill is higher than the mortgage payment and house taxes combined.
- Your neighbor reports you to the city by-law enforcement officer for running a bicycle business out of your house. The 12 bikes on the front plus the two tricycles are the hard evidence. The by-law officer literally turns the colour of a tomato once he realizes that 11 people actually live here.
- It is insurance renewal time and the husband calls you from work to make sure that he has accurately recorded all the birthdays as even he cannot remember (I tell him that he has to at least remember the first four as any fool can do that).
- You call the doctor to book vaccinations for the children and are told there is not enough vaccine on hand to do that many kids…they will call you when the order comes in.
Some things in life are just different when you have more children than the average family in North America.
I show up at a family owned and operated farm and petting zoo close to the city we live in. The prices for admittance are based as $5.00 per person or a family for $15. Naturally we request the family pricing. The older lady working the admission booth points to the sign which (in small print) reads a family consists of two adults and no more than two children. You should have seen the looks on the kids. I try to explain to the lady that I should be entitled to the family pricing as after all this is my family (on this particular occasion I only had 6 kids in tow). No, the petting farm has decided what they are ready to accept as family and I have four children too many to be considered for the family pricing. (!!) With a sweet smile this gal lets me know that she just reinforces the rules she does not make them. I was stunned. Try and explain to the younger kids why we are not considered a family because our family has more kids than the national average family size.
My best friend is visiting for dinner and offers to help me peel potatoes. Half-way through the bag she wonders out loud when will enough potatoes have been peeled? I tell her only when the ten pound bag is empty…she says “you’re kidding right?” No I am serious.
Another time a national hamburger chain was offering free hamburgers (one per person). So drive up the drive-thru with the 15 passenger size extended Ford E350 van. The ordering went something like this… “Hi, I would like to order 11 free hamburgers” the response “Sorry Sir it is only one free hamburger per person!” Husband answers with “I have 9 kids here and two parents that is why we need 11 hamburgers”…SILENCE…then “I will have to get my manager”….more SILENCE…Now the manager reiterates “Sorry folks it is only one burger per person this is our policy.” Again the van answers that we are a family of 11 and therefore require a hamburger per person.
Apparently NOT! The manager answers with “I cannot serve you in the drive-thru because it is only one hamburger per person.” My husband answers with “It is …9 kids and two adults make 11.” The answer back was hysterical. The manager (still over the drive-thru intercom) says “Well, if that is true Sir I will need you to park your vehicle (yes you would think this was the police giving this instruction) and get everyone out of the car and into our store in a lineup so I can verify that what you are saying is true!” Well…we parked the car and went into the store. You ought to have seen the sheepish look on the manager. He wanted to compensate with extra burgers…we had to remind him “only one free burger per person!”
The Garden Goat