Picture it. My living room, mid-winter, a playdate with a few girl friends and their preschoolers. I was on a maternity leave with our fourth baby and needed to vent.
“Four boys. Are they all yours?
Wow. FOUR boys – you must be busy.
You know, I’m getting a little tired of being asked that. What? Since I have all boys they must be holy terrors that run me ragged? I don’t think I like the implication that having male offspring automatically means I live in a zoo. Humph, I bet if I had a mix of boys and girls I wouldn’t get asked that. I bet if I had ALL GIRLS no one would say that to me. Sure, I have temporarily misplaced a son in grocery store. And there was that time that I couldn’t find one of them in the library, but that’s because they are little, not because I have too many or that they are boys.
When strangers gawk in disbelief that I can smile while carting my four young sons around, I feel defensive. THESE ARE GOOD CHILDREN. They don’t run out into traffic, they haven’t broken any bones (yet. There was that gash to the head during a game of Naked Run, but come on, every kid does that).
I’m not some freak show that people can just come up to me and comment on my procreation. I WON’T BE YOUR DANCING MONKEY.”
My friend slowly sipped her coffee, placed her mug down and calmly asked, “well are you?”
“Am I what?”
“Are you busy?”
I pondered this question for a few seconds, lowered my eyes and quietly answered, “Yes.”
“So, maybe they are just honouring that fact and in a round-about way giving you a pat on the back.”
“Yeah, well… MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT.”
This is why we need friends, people. To talk you down from the ledge, to tell you that your sweater is looking a little frumpy, that your eyebrows need attending, that your house is “clean enough”, and that maybe, sometimes you need to just settle down, Crazy.