Friday, July 17, 2009

An insult wrapped in a compliment.

This morning I woke up to a rainy day, so instead of listening to the kids whine about how boring it is to be stuck in the house, I decided to take them to our local science center.

Seriously. I can't handle the whining these days.

It’s always a huge production to take all four of them to a place like this, because I have to make sure I have provisions, (i.e. snacks, extra diapers, wipies, Purell, etc.) and well-rested children. The kids are usually very cooperative in these instances because they like going places. It also helps that I threaten them by saying if they don’t behave, I won’t take them anywhere fun or exciting anymore.

One misstep and the fun train returns to the station.

Well, maybe I don’t say it exactly like that, but that’s the message I try to convey.

I never said that I’m above bribery and subtle threats.

Anyway, we were having a great time in the ocean exhibit, my kids were being very good, and the boys were waiting in line to get into the simulated submarine. I was standing by the stroller holding Annabel’s hand. Another man was standing beside me holding his baby daughter. He looked at me and then he looked at my kids. Then he looked at me and then he looked back at my kids.

He finally said, “You have four kids?”

“Yes.” I replied.

“Wow. You look surprisingly sane for having four kids.”


I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that, so I just said, “Thank you,” and smiled. I usually get, “Wow, you have your hands full!” or “Boy, those kids must keep you busy!”

But to compliment my mental health? That’s a new one.

I guess 1-3 kids is okay. But to have a fourth kid (or more) must mean you have a screw loose somewhere. There are many families out there that have 5+ kids. This guy must think they’re certifiable.

What should a mom of four look like? Should my hair stand up on its ends? Should I have a permanent frown from all the yelling I should be doing? Should I be drooling and muttering to myself because my kids have taken control of my brain?

Surprisingly sane indeed.

He meant it as a compliment, so I’ll let him off the hook. But he gave me my chuckle for the day.

Is this how the Octo-Mom feels?

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