i'm mad at that guy at walmart. and here's why.

okay, so if you haven't heard, i'm pregnant.  with my fourth kid.  and my oldest is four.  needless to say, i get a lot of stares when i'm out in public.  (maybe not because of the kids thing, but maybe more because of the unshowered-and-desperate-looking thing.  but also maybe because of the kids thing.)

usually, if people say something about the size of our family, it goes one of two ways.  either they're sweet about it and compliment how cute the kids are (this, unsurprisingly, is my favorite way for the scenario to play out) or they say something snarky and/or confused about it.  things along the lines of "you know how that happens, right?" and "are they all yours?!" and "*winkwinknudgenudge* you have your hands FULL!"  i usually head these people off by saying something like, "full of good things!" or something equally cheeseball that shuts up the jerks and steers the well-intentioned toward saying something nice rather than giving me unsolicited advice.

honestly, i usually don't really mind when people comment.  even the jerky things roll off relatively easily because i know people are just sincerely curious or taken aback.  but yesterday i was about ready to punch this one guy.  i'm standing there in walmart, trying to pick out a prenatal vitamin and some tums, and my cart is full of diapers and monkey-children (i was seriously like a walking caricature), and this guy walks past, sees us standing there, then backs up and waits at the end of the aisle for us to finish and walk toward him.  as i pass him, he's all, 'you're going to have your hands full when that baby comes out.'  not smiling, just super serious and patronizing.  and i was all, 'full of good things!'  and he was all, 'no.  seriously.  not that what you're doing is wrong or anything, i guess, but just wait and see.  it's going to be a handful.'

um, thanks, stranger.

seriously.  i have not been so annoyed by someone in a long time.  i keep trying to tell myself that he was well-intentioned, but he was seriously so doomsday about the prospect of me having to do the work of raising another kid that i can't stop imagining him getting mega-wedgied by some random bully who decided to loiter around his cart and ruin his day.

anyway.  here's a tip for those of you in the audience who don't really know what to say to in-public moms trying to wrestle their tiny children through the store:  if you must say something, please say something pleasant.  'you have a beautiful family!' is a wonderful thing for a mom to hear when her kids are unbathed and covered in popsicle juice and climbing under her skirt and opening the granola bars before they've been paid for.  we all know you mean it conceptually.  and that's fine.  just something that doesn't communicate the fact that you regret her decisions on her behalf, or that watching her makes you want to die inside, is appreciated.

my two cents.


todd said...

suffice it to say, i wish i had been there.

Hannah said...

You DO have a beautiful family! I believe we will be getting more of these kinds of comments soon. We have a 2.5 yo boy and 1.5 yo boy and baby 3 is due Aug 16. I've been trying to say "full of blessings!" and that seems to stop any further comment, but I do get the stares and inquiries if they boys are twins. Sometimes, when I sense people are watching, I find it an encouragement to honor the Lord with the way I interact with my children. I've enjoyed many encouragements from the "4 moms of 35+ kids" authors.
Enjoy your beautiful family and keep training them up in the Lord!

Lisagrace Alsbury said...

Is it creepy that when I see moms with kids in Walmart, I want to ask them if I can play with their kids so they can feel free to move more efficiently through the store? Even though I don't really look like a murderer, it's probably creepy. I also don't want to offend mom's by offering help, as if they weren't managing to wrangle their kids and grocery shop at the same time.
But I do like to distract kids with smiles and proclamations of "you're the cutest!" in the check out line, so their parents can pay with a little more ease.
Anyway, I love you and you are definitely one of the most amazing, God-fearing mom's I know AND you're kids are explosions of cuteness and totally worth it. And I want to punch that guy in the face as well.

Jessica said...

I second everything Lisagrace just said. I, too, want to take them to the toy aisle and be crazy...which is probably it creepy that it would also make my day?

Probably. I also like to make faces with kids at restaurants and play games with them over the booths...which usually ends up getting the kid in trouble by their parents for "annoying the guests"...and then I feel HORRIBLE - because I egged the kid on, and I was having a lot of fun and wasn't annoyed AT. ALL.

Guy at Walmart sounds like a total axx-munch who makes snap judgments and likes to tell people them. (that was a typo, but I liked the way it turned out)

Go all Cee-Lo on him...

ModFarmhouse said...

My 90-year-old (super good looking) grandma, mother of 10 girls & no boys, always keeps Dum Dum suckers in her purse to give kids in stores who are sick of riding in carts and car seats. I am never quite sure if she does it for the kids or the mommas, but I'm guessing it's both. She's like a mobile version of a bank teller from the good old days. I am looking forward to following in her steps, but if my 5 kids knew I had a candy stash in my purse, the dentist would be able to live off of our family alone.

Also, I just moved myself out of a 3 year long creeper status. I am an alumnus of ISU/Cornerstone, and currently attend church with Chad & Shaina, and my whole family is from the Winfield/Mt. Union/Mt. Pleasant area. My grandpa used to be the sheriff at Old Threshers, which makes me pretty much famous.