As you may have seen if you read my reviews, we’re expecting our fifth child. In my experience of telling this to people, you’re probably in one of two categories if you’re anything like the strangers I encounter…either you gasp and become baffled as to who, what, why, and how this happened, or you congratulate me and tell me how blessed I am, while you probably still think I’m crazy (lol). Really though, it seems like after we passed that average American 2.5 children, we’ve been considered a big family, whether that’s seen as good or bad for people.
On one hand, we’ve been too big for a “family-size” anything in a very long time. A four-pack of tickets to somewhere sounds fabulous but it won’t do our family any good! We’ll have to be that family who pretend that several of the kids are just really advanced two-year olds (oh, you’ve never done that?! Me neither…).
On the other hand, we feel so blessed to have a large family. My husband tells people, “I’ve just increased my odds that one of my kids will take care of me when I’m old.” The kids can play and help with each other. The more kids I have, the better chance there will be someone who can hear me when I’m shouting from the bathroom that I ran out of toilet paper. Plus, there are more to love, of course. When you’re making that transition from one child to two, you fear that your love will be divided but you quickly learn that it doesn’t divide, it multiplies.
Still, it’s not quite the “norm” to have so many children these days. Actually, we’re breaking a bunch of the rules and people never fail to tell me about it. You see, we had three girls before we had a boy. That’s not how you do it at all. You’re supposed to have one of each gender and be done. You probably knew that and maybe you even did it right, go you! Me, though, I screwed it all up. I had a girl and then when I was pregnant again, everybody said I should have a boy so I could be done. But I didn’t listen to anyone and I had another girl!
After my second and third girls, people would pass me on the street and ask if I was trying for a boy. My girls would look at them and I’d try hard to stifle my sarcasm, “Ugh, yes and I keep getting these consolation prizes instead.” My husband wanted to throw some Game of Thrones sacrificial boy references (fellow readers and viewers will hopefully understand that) out there to freak people out but I thought that might be too intense. If you try it, let me know how it goes?
Our fourth was a boy. Now strangers would come up to us and tell us it was time to get “fixed”. My jaw always dropped. This isn’t The Price is Right, you aren’t Bob Barker, and we’re not feral cats. Is this really happening?! Sometimes sarcasm won’t even work when you’re just so blindsided that you can’t find your wit!
We’re pregnant again. Oh dear. Do we know how that happens? It’s our favorite. Don’t we own a TV? Well, they do keep cancelling our favorite shows (Are you kidding CBS, Partners was hilarious!?) Why don’t we use protection? Now it’s my turn to gasp. Did you just ask about a specific detail in our love life? I feel like you’re opening yourself up to a world of TMI if you’re going to go there. My husband and I will delight in your embarrassment too much to feel it ourselves. If you really want intimate details on how we got pregnant and what we plan to do about pregnancy in general, we’re gonna go there. Be wise with your inquiry, I warn.
It doesn’t even end there. Several months back, I got my nails done for the first time in a decade. The woman informed me that I was way too young to have so many children, and I’m used to that too. I’ll be 28 before this child is born. Having five kids at 28 couldn’t be further from the norm and then the stereotypes really begin. People assume I’m receiving assistance, although I’ve only heard this one through the grapevine and never to my face like the discussion with the nail artist.
The nail artist looked me dead in the eye and asked if all of my children were my husband’s. Oh man. I stumbled on the reply, I’d never been asked that before, so I was completely serious. On the way home I did that thing where you replay a conservation over and over again while you recite all of the better things you could have said. I could have told her that I wasn’t really sure whose any of them were. I could have said that two were mine and my brother-in-law’s or one was my husband’s love child that I was raising. Instead I had to forego sarcasm and tell the truth to such an ugly question. How disappointing! Sarcasm is my favorite. Scratch that, obviously making babies is my favorite with sarcasm being a close second. Aren’t you glad sarcasm can’t get you pregnant?
If you’d like to see how this all unravels, be sure to keep following me here on Eighty MPH Mom or at my own blog, The Crunchy Mom Next Door.