The title says it all. I'm a mom of two kids. Under 2. I am fully aware of this. Ever since it became obvious that I was carrying Baby A in my tummy, I started to get an outpouring of comments. Unsolicited. From strangers. It still amazes me to this day what some people feel the need to tell me as we pass each other in Lowe's or as I stand behind them with my children in line at Target. I know we live in a day and age of posting our lives on social media (I do it!), but there is a time and place -- and there are certain people -- to share that stuff with. And you, Inquisitive Stranger, do not qualify as one of those certain people.
This brings me to a list I have been putting together in my head over the past year. Maybe other parents of multiple young children can relate -- especially those who have multiple young children of the same gender. Here are the top five remarks I have received from Inquisitive Strangers when I am out with my two girls, M & A. I should preface this by saying that these comments came when M & A were being well-behaved. These comments are not derived from them screaming or running around in public (because that never happens to us). In those cases, I'd agree that some of these comments could be warranted.
1. No two kids are exactly the same. Is this a comment? Are you trying to start a conversation? What is one supposed to say to this? I just smile at them, and awkward silence ensues in line to the bathroom at Hobby Lobby. Someone please tell me what a person is looking to get out of this comment. Since I don't know, it annoys me.
2. Girls are good now, but you will have your hands full when they get older! This is usually followed by a comment on how their girls snuck out of windows, partied -- or whatever else they want to overshare with me. Or for parents with only boys, something like, "The little guys are crazy now, but will be a lot easier than girls once they hit the teenage years." Well, person I don't know, thank you for telling me how my children should be behaving now or will behave when they hit the teenage years. Again, WTF? I would hardly call any child "easy" at any age. I am pretty sure each child, no matter their gender, will cause some hardship for parents at all ages.
3. With two girls under 2, you must have a lot of screaming and glitter in your house. I think moms of boys can relate, also -- maybe to something like, "You must have lots of wrestling in your house," or some other thing that people relate to boys. First of all, glitter is the devil and not allowed in my home. And second, please stop with the gender stereotyping. Oh, and duh, they are small kids, so obviously they are loud and move around a lot.
4. They are really close in age. Was it planned? Wow, really? Let me justify my family planning (or maybe lack thereof) to a complete stranger. You, Inquisitive Stranger, keep standing in line at the gas station and keep your comments to yourself. You will never know the answer to this question.
And I saved my all-time top nails-on-chalkboard comment for last....
5. Are you going to try for a boy? Do you want a boy? And other boy-related questions. Parents with boys, switch this to girls. Again with the Inquisitive Stranger who thinks the topic of family planning should be discussed so openly. Are you suggesting our family isn't complete with our two beautiful and healthy little girls? Are you suggesting Hubby or I won't be fulfilled until we have one of the other gender? Do these people want me to confide in them? I should start responding, "Yes, of course. Our healthy and beautiful girls just are not enough; we are going to try for a boy, starting tonight. Can I have your number and keep you updated?"
For anyone out there reading this who may not have two or more small children, I do not mean to come off as rude. Parents of multiple young children appreciate conversation just like the rest of the world. Just have common sense and a filter when talking with us. We are tired, we are busy, and what we really want to hear is, "You have beautiful children and you are doing a good job" -- or what I especially love is when someone asks, "Can I carry that bag out to your car for you?"
Parents of little ones, do you agree or not? What is the weirdest thing an Inquisitive Stranger has ever said to you?