My blog has become a place to vent rather than share experience as of late. Perhaps my tolerance is lower. Perhaps the new size and diversity of my family simply creates a stir and I only make time to blog when I need to get it out. Well, here’s another vent. Mostly though, I’m hoping I’m not alone.
Just to recap. I’m 4’8″, so my five year old comes up just below my ribcage (he’s small, too). Leo is six feet tall. We got lots of gawking before we had kids. Now, Simeon and the twins are exactly the same size, so the 17 months difference is completely lost on strangers. Of course they are both much darker than he and he darker than us. Then our sweet baby girl is also biracial-black and hispanic. Of course we draw a bit of attention. And I don’t really mind the quizzical looks we get as we tool about our errands and outings.
What I mind is people who think they have a right to make our business their business. Or the very worst, those who don’t think about the little ears who do pick up on all those comments.
These are a few of the comments I’ve recieved since THURSDAY of this week:
1. Pushing the baby in a stroller while the big kids hold on to various handles and straps. We’re all walking nicely and quietly into the store (a vast improvement from the sheer pandamonium that was us exiting the vehicle). No one was running, yelling, crying or walking all rubber legged. A woman walking towards us stops, looks at me and each of my children. “Wow! You have got your hands full!!!”
Well yes, maybe I do. But at the moment I’ve got four beautiful children politely and calmly walking into the store. So unless you’re merely doing the math and see that I’ve got more children than I have hands, you know nothing about how full they are.
2. While walking down the sidewalk a woman from the parking lot yells for our attention. She’s older and moving slow, so we stop and wait for her to catch up. I think for a second I may have lost something, or perhaps she needs help. Alas, no. She gestures broadly at my brood and asks if I’m a daycare. And if I am, would I be interested in buying some play things off of her.
3. Checking out at a store the cashier acctually points to my children (as though I don’t to whom she’s referring) and asks: “so, are you a nanny or somethin’?”
4. I was waiting in the car with Lyberty and our little cupcake while Leo took Raj and Simeon to potty. Because we can’t be in the car more than 20 minutes before someone has to go. And if one has to go… Anyway. I was waiting with the girls when a woman getting in her car sees us. “y’all in foster care?” Yes ma’am. “Y’all work with child services?” -not that it’s any of her business- Yes ma’am. “Why y’all work with ’em?” blink. blink. “Why y’all not work with an agency?” blink. blink. “If you work with an agency, y’all can make more money.” -not that it’s any of her business- thank you, but we’re not doing this for money. “course not, but them kids needs money.” Yes ma’am, I know exactly how much money these kids need. “Well, if y’all go through an agency, they’s gets more money.” Thank you, but we make sure they get.
At this poing she actually throws up her hands and peels out of the parking lot with annoyance. I have so many things to say. Like why did I even let that conversation go on so long? And she clearly has no idea what she’s talking about. Especially since THESE kids would get the same amount of money because if we were working with an agency we wouldn’t be parenting them, someone else would. And that someone else WOULD BE WORKING WITH CHILD SERVICES!!!
5. Finally, we were waiting in line at a resturaunt when the woman in front of us turns around to see Cupcake then notices the rest of us circled around her “awwww…gasp… Oh! My!”
So mostly, I’m astounded at the number of stupid things I’ve heard in the last 72ish hours AND how many people feel that we welcome their curiosity or commentary.
Which for the record, we do not.
Now. If someone wants to sincerely learn more about foster care and/or adoption, we will talk. I will buy you a cup of coffee and invite you to spend more time with us. I love to talk about nothing more. But frankly I don’t care if a stranger knows how we came to be OR what they think about it.
I’m getting tired of people talking so liberally in front of my children for no regard to their feelings or understanding of our family.
So friends, what stupid things have you heard this week?