I hate that question. I know, I know, anyone who asks is just making polite chatter or seeking what to them is "innocent" information but to me it just starts the whole mind blowing but silent conversation in my head...not about how many kids I have, cuz I KNOW, but the whole, "what do I say, which is the right answer, how bad do I really want to make this person feel and do I really want to talk about "it" right now anyway???"
Today, when the grocery checker guy was scanning my food, he asked how my day was and I told him it was quiet since the kids were back in school. (So right there it's my fault, I brought the whole kid thing up) so he asks, "How many kids do you have?" And I have to wonder if he thought I was a little slow because I had to stop and think about all of the above musings and dilemma's before I came up with "2". And of course, I am saying in my head, "I'm sorry Caleb, I'm sorry Caleb, I'm sorry Caleb, you count, you count, you count, I just can't count you out loud...at least not yet."
The thing is I could have said "3", and not added any details right? But the next thing he asked was, "How old are they?" So if I had said "3", then I would have had to go "there" anyway. Or I guess I could have said, "Well, 10, 6 and my third is dead" or "10, 6 and a stillborn", I mean what's the right way to do that???? At least if I had said one of those, it would have nixed his next question, "Why'd you have them so far apart?", in a really condescending way. That one really pissed me off, more so than the "How many" b/c what f*ing business is it of his how I space my kids???? What if my apparently inappropriately spaced kids were the result of years of IVF and other forms of hell and nightmares so many of you know so well, what if I had one in between my "two" that had been the stillbirth, or 8 miscarriages. What if the spacing hadn't been by choice but by circumstance?? Then what? Does he really want to know that???
So now, I am more than a little peeved, because I am already upset in my head at what I feel was a total denial of my sons existence and now I am having to defend my reproductive choices to a complete stranger, who, in his little brain, is only making idle conversation. Jesus, I just wanted to buy some niblets, I did not come here to have my uterus or its abilities questioned!!!!
I remember when my friend, who works at my kids school, suddenly and so tragically lost her 5 year old grandson Robbie(he died from undiagnosed diabetes...sooo frickin scary what happened that I now have my kids tested almost every time we go to the dr...). When we got back to school that Fall, she was putting up photos of her grand kids on her desk. I asked her how many grand kids she had altogether as I had never really heard much about the older ones who came to her by way of a blended marriage. She told me , with tears in her eyes, "Well, 5 but 6 if you count Robbie." I looked at her and said "Why wouldn't you count Robbie? He's still your grandson." It never occurred to me not to count him, I had included him when I asked the question. But now I know, she was dealing with the same plate of shit that I just had served up to me today. She and I cried together that day for her Robbie and that plate of shit. The grocery clerk and me? Well, we pondered whether or not the Patriots would be able to pull off the perfect season.
Maybe we should run this more like an AA meeting. (NOOOO, I haven't been to one, just seen them on t.v., thank you very much) Hi, my name is ______________. I am a dead baby mom.
I have 3 kids.