Sunday, October 30, 2011

How Many?

Today, we ventured out with the family to Bunnings to buy some vermin eradicators. Now, I'm not going to go into the disgusting details of why I need (yet again) to stock up on mouse traps and rat sack...but I do...Ugh.
Anyway I'm way off topic as to what I was going to post about today.
As per usual whenever we venture out...all six of us...we tend to get a fair amount of attention. People tend to stare. I can see them do a quick head count of the number of children, some smile and nod happily, some shake their heads, some actually comment...
'Wow, you have your hands full'
'Haven't you guys heard of television?'
'You do know what causes it don't you?'
Um, yes, yes we do.
We tend to get this where ever we go and today was no exception, luckily this trip was mostly positive, at other times I have either been deeply insulted by people's reactions or  really annoyed.......for example;
A while ago I was at a bit of a gathering. It was not with my usual social circle, so making small talk with relative strangers was a difficult occupation. Around my friends who know me well and understand me and my family I usually feel like a little ray of sunshine. Shiny, happy, sparkling. At an event with strangers I feel dull, boring and over-sensitive. This was not helped by a conversation I had struck up with someone just introduced to me;
‘So, are any of these yours?’ asked the person in question, indicating the group of children playing happily in the garden.
‘Um, yes’ I answered.
‘Oh, how many?
‘Well....all of them actually.’
The shock in this persons face was instantly readable as he took in the children playing in the vicinity.
Miss Two was happily eating grass at my feet.
Mr 5 was racing around with a soccer ball at a million miles per hour.
Miss 8 & Mr 11 were playing sword fights with a pair of sticks a short distance away.
‘All...... all...all of them?’  This person stuttered unbelievably.

I paused and watched the little monsters for a few moments.
I guess in this day and age having four children can be perceived as unusual. People who first meet us and find out the sheer number of our offspring usually regard us with a mixture of disbelief, amusement and a bit of an idea that we may be half crazy. Maybe they are right. But the decision we made when we were having our family is that we wanted a big one.  We love the craziness, we love the chaos, we love the sheer love that we give and receive in return. That’s not to say that these things don’t occur in smaller families...of course they do.  I’m just saying the right decision for us was four. Four felt right. Four felt complete. Four made us.
I turned to my questioner with a mixture of defiance and pride. I looked him straight in the eye.
‘Yes’ I said firmly “They are all mine....... each and everyone’

To say this conversation irked me was an understatement. Maybe I'm ultra-sensitive about people regarding my family in a negative light..and so I should be. My family is the centre of my existence and of who I am.
Anyway, rant over, I have death to dish out to rodents.


  1. Oh Lene, sorry to hear people say that about your lovely family. It's not so uncommon at my daughter's school. A lot of families have 5 children. (Must be the catholic thing. LOL) I couldn't care less how many kids people had. Some people are so weird. I'm so glad you continued to talk about this and not rodents. They're my biggest fear. Hope you get that problem sorted.

    Anne xx

  2. I'm one of four, so four is normal for me. I wouldn't mind having 4 myself.

    I have 2 at the moment, girl & boy, and it irks me when people say "oh pigeon pair, you don't need any more" ggrrr

  3. And what a beautiful family you are!! I have 3 boys and people often say the same sort of things to me ie "you must have your hands full" but I usually agree...and I wouldn't have it any other way :) and no, no i'm not going to be trying for a girl :)

  4. I'm one of four girls and I remember my parents hearing things like that all the time =[
    If it makes you feel better, having less children doesn't mean less rude comments and questions, just different ones.


  5. I know a number of families with four kids. I'm sure four is busier than two, but that shouldn't be a negative.

    I have two boys and ppl always used to ask me if I would try for a girl. Like Katie, that irked me! I used to say I have two kids, one for each hand! That's all I needed, but that doesn't mean it is better.

    Oh and Lene, cats are great for keeping the rodents at bay!


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