I have noticed a transformation in strangers’ interest in our family, now that I’m very visibly 7 months pregnant with #5. When we had 3 under 3, I felt cut down by the “you have your hands full” comments. Yes, jerk, I sure do, why don’t you hold the door for us rather than reminding me how overwhelmed I am.
These days, though, people really want to talk about it when we’re out and about. It’s more like: “Wow, are they all yours?” Yes. “Almost 5?” Yep. “Wow. So how is it? I mean they look great. How is it?”
I don’t feel insulted, because the comments don’t seem intended that way. I actually think people are hoping to hear that it’s possible to do family planning the big family way and still thrive.
And the comments are at least as rewarding for my kids. My 7 year old daughter, who relishes attention and is quite the performer, has interpreted this ongoing dialogue with strangers in her own way:
“Mom, it’s true! We’re famous!! Everyone wants to look at us and interview you everywhere we go.”
My other kids have internalized this, so now when I’m stopped, they nudge each other, stand up a little straighter, and put on their best Academy Awards smiles and postures. No joke.
On a typical day last Saturday at Trader Joe’s, with all 4.8 kids in tow, we took it to a new level.
At the sample station, the sample lady counted our kids to distribute samples and lost count, so the kids got handed an entire bag of dried strawberries.
And at the checkout, when my kids used their best manners to ask for stickers, the checkout guy also lost count (it was a busy Saturday). He handed us the entire industrial size roll of Trader Joe’s seasonal stickers. More glorious than treasure, in my kids’ minds.
And as we walked out of the doors eating free dried strawberries from the bag and covering our shirts in Trader Joe’s Summertime stickers, my 7 year old daughter proclaimed:
“Oh mom, see, now we’re rich AND famous!”