Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There’s an odd phenomenon I’ve encountered over the last couple of years. I find that parents, mothers in particular, when hearing how many children I have, tend to start explaining how they wanted more children  or how they had considered having more or how they might use IVF to have more children. I’m not sure if my family size is a general conversation starter, much in the way modern art is. A sort of “What the hades?” type of thing. I might be hearing things incorrectly, but those explanations often sound like they feel like they need to justify the number of children they have. As if I care how many children anyone else has. I don’t. Not because I am a rude or self-absorbed person, which I may be but that’s beside the point, the real reason why I don’t care about anyone else’s reproductive choices is because that’s my son over there, licking the slide.

See mom, whose hair looks brushed and actually has makeup on, you don’t have to explain how two kids works well for you. Two kids worked well for me too. My silence isn’t me judging you; my silence is me trying to remember if I got Mac clean underwear this morning. I know I did yesterday, because he didn’t want to wear Doofensmirtz underwear, because he’s a bad guy. So, that means his underwear is relatively clean so that’s good. Did he just wipe his nose on his shirt again? Why? That sleeve was clean. Huh? You have your hands full with two, yeah I can relate. I had two once. I used to dress them in matching outfits, and pack those snacks no matter how short the park trip. Yeah that one over there is mine too, the one running around your child trying to throw bark chips at him. That in his hand? Yeah that’s a waffle. It was his breakfast yesterday, he stashed it in the car, not sure where, since his sisters allegedly cleaned out the car yesterday.

Having large quantities of kids does not make me super mom. Don’t feel like you fail to measure up to my standards. I don’t typically wear my shirts inside out. Typically, I don’t treat spit up stains as accessories to outfits, but if you got it, flaunt it. Or at least look as if you know you’re covered in vomit. And I would scoot closer to you to visit, but there’s poop on this side of my pants. Hey I remembered a change of clothes for the baby, I feeling pretty awesome actually.

So no, I’m not judging you. I’m not close to judging you. I am wondering how loud I can raise my voice to get Baby’s attention before you judge me. See, she’s supposed to be helping X-Man, who has now climbed the railing on the tall slide. But she’s still just spinning and singing. Thanks for having your child come to the rescue.

How do I do it? Not well. I’m sure one wears you out. I was worn out by one too. Now I’m just dazed and confused. You laugh, because you’re polite, but that’s the truth. Having more children than you doesn’t make me a better mother than you. It’s quite possible that there is nothing in this world that would make me a better mother than you. And I certainly don’t think anything of the number of children you have. I’m more preoccupied with the number of binkies I have now. Because I definitely had more when I left the house and I’ve been on this ride before and it ain’t pretty.

I just hope I didn’t traumatize you. Thank you for taking the time to tell me how sweet Baby is. She really is precious; being a big sister has really let her shine. My kids are pretty well behaved; they do play well with others. That’s the thing. Children are children. They are happy bundles of chaos. And if you delight in yours half as much as I delight in mine, you are a lucky lucky woman. A lucky woman who probably remembered to put on deodorant. 

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