Too Many Kids
It happened for the first time at the supermarket. I had all three girls with me.
Let me be honest, here. I know this is weird, but I love taking all the girls shopping with me. Mostly because I figure if I can get in and out of there with no fits and no overpriced cheaply made poop-shaped stuffed emoji, I am the equivalent to a superstar.
And I like feeling like a superstar.
Anyway, my superstar status is not the issue here.
I was in the checkout lane and all three girls were talking. And talking. And talking.
To each other.
To anyone that would listen. Or…not, actually.
Talking is kind of their thing, you know? Like they never stop.
Anyway, their excessive talking is not the issue, here.
A sweet older woman smiled at me and asked, “Are they all yours?”
Let’s pause here. I’m a polite person. I really am. Sometimes it’s a virtue and sometimes it’s a curse. I don’t get easily offended and I figure most people mean well. And this old woman was just making conversation with me.
She was taken by the sound of their endless chattering. The three of them, while not physically hyperactive, can definitely wear a sister out.
She probably thought they were cute, with their stair-stepped heads and their look-alike eyes.
She wanted to say something but didn’t know what.
So I didn’t go all defensive on her, snapping that three kids is a perfectly acceptable number of children and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be applying to TLC for my own reality show due to our freakish-family numbers.
Instead, I smiled and proudly nodded, acknowledging the handful that they sometimes are. Because obviously, I’m pretty proud of the three of them. I actually (insanely) wish there were more kids to pack into the cart and wheel around while I endlessly chant , “No, we’re not getting that. It’s not on sale.” I wish there were a couple more steps on my proverbial staircase.
But here’s the deal
This world that we live in doesn’t really welcome families of more than two. Have you noticed?
The grocery cart that only has two spots in the really-cool-super-hard-to-steer-racecar.
The hotel rooms that only allow four people.
The amusement parks that seat two to everything.
The SUVs that lack a realistic third row.
The people who constantly comment on how busy you must be.
The many, many friends of yours that stopped at number two and now stare at you in admiration and/or fear.
The babysitters/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins that think three kids is insane and politely turn down your request for a much-needed night out.
The school schedules that don’t quite add-up and the practices that overlap.
This world isn’t made up for more than a duo-offspring setup. Not anymore. In the days when everyone was multiplying, things were a little easier. Everyone was juggling three+ kids. But now, parents work more. Moms are able to have successful and fulfilling careers. Life is more expensive. Expectations of gift-giving and home-size are startlingly different from fifty years ago.
Three kids is a little strange. And four, five? Don’t get crazy now, you little rabbits.
But you know what?
All of this is OK with me. It’s OK if my oldest is forced (gasp) to walk the aisles of the super market. It’s
OK for me to drive a minivan (I’ll admit…I love it). It’s OK for me to add a roller-bed in the hotel. Or “forget” to tell them about my youngest. It’s OK for one of us to ride the coaster solo. It’s OK when people make comments. It’s OK for me to feel proud that I have these little people crawling all over me, needing me at every moment for everything.
Because, darn it, I like it.
My family is full of fun and laughter and (did I mention?) talking. You and your one kid? Your two kids? You guys have a pretty sweet life. I bet you love your family and its cozy perfection (or lack of perfection). And I love my family and its perfection, too.
No size fits all, folks.
It may take some squeezing. We may not be conventional. But we love our family of five.
It’s the best for us.
Now someone pass me a Tylenol.