Today. (I Stink at Titles, Don’t I?)

June 2, 2008

First off, let me explain that when you’re the mom of a large family, and you’re around a mom with a SMALL family, you have to be very, very careful.  Because, once upon a time, YOU were a mom with a small family and you remember the thoughts you had.  You know the ones.  Kinda like the thoughts you had in high school when you thought your parents didn’t know ANYTHING, and you, like, knew EVERYTHING.  Like, totally. 

So you must watch what you say and how you say it and how your children come across and if you’re giving any information away that would cause a mom of 2 or 3 children to go RUNNING to the phone to call social services.

Today at church, I met a new, very lovely lady.  She has 3 children just like I did many, many years ago.  At least, if FEELS like many, many years ago.  Anyway, there we were, chatting away about curriculum and houses and baby names, when suddenly, my 3-year-old removed her sandals.  This would not have been a big deal if I had been talking with another mom of many children.  I wouldn’t have thought twice about the sandal-removal and the ensuing issue, and neither would she.  But whenever I’m around small families and my children do something large family-ish, I have to rationalize and explain and basically make a fool of myself trying to make them understand that this is NORMAL for large families.  And we DO feed our children three meals a day, and each child DOES have his or her own clothes, and if any of them needed oxygen, we WOULD supply it.  Really!

So she took off her shoes, and because she played outside this morning before we left for church, her feet were filthy.

And now I’m going to stop and use something I hardly EVER use.  A thesaurus.  And I’m going to look up better, more descriptive words for FILTHY, because FILTHY just doesn’t cover it.

Okay.  Here we go.  Her chubby little 3-year-old feet were REPULSIVE and REVOLTING and SCATOLOGICAL!  Scatological?  Cool word, although I would’ve thought it had something to do with animal droppings or fly-removal.

Ahem.

So I start in with the whole…..”Oh, her feet are just disgusting, aren’t they?”  Nervous laugh.  “Well, she played outside this morning before we left for church, and the grass was all wet, which means that the dirt was wet, which is, basically MUD, right?  And her feet WERE clean, but now they’re really dirty, huh?”  Another nervous laugh.  “We live in the country, see, and you just get DIRTIER in the country, believe you me!”  Nervous laugh number 3. 

So I try to pop Hairy Baby off of me because he’s in the middle of nursing, and I just HAVE to go clean 3-year-old’s feet RIGHT NOW before Lovely Lady gets out her cell phone and starts calling social services.  But then I realize that if I do, indeed, pop Hairy Baby off, then he will begin screaming and crying and flailing around pitifully.  So then I’ll have THAT to try to explain away TOO.

So I start getting a tad bit frantic and sweaty.

And then Lovely Lady says, “Isn’t that just the way it happens?  And look at her toenails!  No matter how hard you try, they just don’t get clean, do they?  I know that MY child is like that too, and it’s just so annoying that they have to do that right before church!  I’m SO with you on this!”

And I immediately liked her and wanted to take her home with me and feed her homemade bread and crochet her a sweater.

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2 Responses to “Today. (I Stink at Titles, Don’t I?)”

  1. Susan said

    I loved this post. It reminded me of when I had 3 children and there was a women at our church who had 8. One day her kids came to church and the little boy had on mis matched socks and I just thought that was terrible. Now I have to repent because I am there sometimes and I only have 6 right now what is it going to be like when I have 8.

  2. Lori said

    I don’t know – I only have two and my kids (at least my youngest) have dirty toenails and fingernails or spots on her shirt because she insists on wearing her “favorite” outfit that she has worn 15 days in a row – OK so I’m exagerating a little bit there.

    I don’t think of these things when I’m around large families – maybe it’s because I’ve been around the both of you so much, or maybe it’s God preparing my heart for a bigger family myself.

    Regardless, you don’t have to worry about me calling the authorities on you for any reason.

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