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May I just rant with you for a moment?

Today, after a pleasant day at the park where I was particularly proud of all my kids for playing so nicely with the others, we went to the grocery store.  It was an agreeable trip at first.  As we were checking out, my kids were all helping put food on the check-out stand.  A couple items got dropped but that’s to be expected.  Thankfully, nothing broke.  The store was pretty empty, so a worker decided to “help” my kids and I empty the cart.  After trying to weave in between my kids to “help” us with the groceries (didn’t she notice I had plenty of help?), she said, “You need a nanny.”  What?!  I could see her saying that on one of those shopping trips where my kids are more wired and loud and whiney, but they were being helpful!  Was it because I had four children?  Was it because my four-year-old dropped a jar of artichoke hearts?  He picked them right back up.  They weren’t damaged.  What solicited that comment?  

I’ve had several “big family” comments made to me, most of them at the checkout stand at the grocery store: “You’ve got you hands full” is the most common.  Someone said that when I only had two of my kids with me, and they weren’t even making any noise!  And then there’s always, “Wow, four kids!  You do know how this works, don’t you?”  or “Someone better get them a TV.” and “Well, someone’s gotta do it.”  Have kids, that is.  Yes, and apparently it shouldn’t be you, mister.  When they ask me if I’m gonna have more and I say, “Maybe!”  They look at me like I just told them the Russians invaided.  My favorite was when a man walked by, looked at my preggo belly and my brood surrounding our cart and said, “God bless you.” My then 5-year-old said in a voice loud enough for him to hear, “Mommy, he knows God!  He blessed us!”  I seriously get comments like these EVERY time I go grocery shopping!  What the heck?!

I love having four kids!  I’d love to have more!  I happen to think they are a blessing and not a burden!  Thankfully, sometimes a kind elderly lady will smile and say, “Your children are so well behaved!” or “I had (4+) kids, too!  I loved it!  Enjoy these times, they go by so fast!”  I try to cling to these comments and shrug off the other ones.

People, really.  If you see a mother with more than two children at the supermarket (or anywhere, for that matter), please don’t spout off whatever you feel like saying.  We are not here for your proverbial target practice.  Remember what your mama taught you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  

Thank you for letting me rant.  I feel better now.
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Drought weights the trees, and from the farmhouse eaves
The locust, pulse-beat of the summer day,
Throbs; and the lane, that shambles under leaves
Limp with the heat–a league of rutty way –
Is lost in dust; and sultry scents of hay
Breathe from the panting meadows heaped with sheaves.

– from "The Rain-Crow" by Madison Cawein (1865 – 1914)


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