05 December 2011

Simon generously surprised me this weekend with some fancy kidless hours at the fancy kidless spa. In between diagnosing my chin with congestion and my forehead with dry patches, the kind lady doing the facial asked if I had any kids ... their ages ... yadda. When I answered with you know ... the truth ... a boy and a girl ages this and that she confidently replied, 
"Oh! So you're done!" 
 and then I had the exact same conversation with the exact same response with the manicure lass and the pedicurist.

While I don't think this statement is quite as rude as the, "was it planned?!" query, I think it flirts with the same level of intimate life details that are understandably not for sale ... or am I just weirdly private?  Was my awkward shock merely a symptom of how little I leave the house and these types of verbalized nosy assumptions are simply the norm?

Of course, the truth is ... I don't know if "I'm done." I most certainly hope not but unfortunately I don't have an accurate crystal ball detailing my child bearing future nor am I any sort of omniscient she-god (or um ... goddess). We know that every child is an absolute blessing and the possibility of any future offspring is not something that we can ever take for granted. So we don't.

Believe me, I've had more than a zillion moments of exasperation and near desperation these past several weeks with the two kidlets. There have been several times when they've both been crying and both needed something right this exact second or we'll exxplode and it will be all your fault you horrible mother and it's been tough and more draining than I could have ever predicted. But even in the most frustrating hour of the most frustrating day I can't imagine making any sort of "I'm done!" declarations.

In the fancy kidless moment, I was awkward and answered their gutsy assumptions with a little (faux) chuckle and a, 
"we'll see!!" 
Maybe next time I'll be brash and ask when their last pap smear was...just as rude and intimate of a life deet in my mean opinion.

*photos are from a kidful outing we took to the art museum this weekend. The trip lasted about 19 minutes before Julia melted. It might look like she is being cute and cuddly with Simon in the bottom photo but she was really mid-tantrum and her pants were completely saturated with yet another casualty of overhydration by diluted juice baba.


  1. well you know that i've been asked this a million times since Evie came along. it doesn't offend me though. i agree it's impossible to answer because there are so many things that factor into another, so i just say "we're open to more in the future."

  2. I have always thought the "so you're done" statement/question was so rude! (even when I did think I was done) Lately when I tell how many and how old I get hit with "so are you having more?" And I stammer out some answer like, "we're happy for now, but you never know!" (cause it's true) Maybe it's our town, but I feel people are more accepting of the larger family here than when we lived in the city.

    Sounds like you had a good weekend! How sweet of Simon; surprises like that are awesome!

  3. People can be crazy. I'm sorry they were all so rude.
    People tell me I'm huge all the time right now, and I'm like, "Um, thanks?" But I suppose huge = baby = blessing.
    When we were in California last week people kept looking at us and commenting as if we had this huge family because we have two and one on the way, hahahahahaha!
    But hooray for spa time! And 19 minutes in any museum with 2 under 2 is a record. I'm pretty positive about that.

  4. What can I say except that I agree with you--that is an incredibly invasive question. Definitely akin to the "was it planned" question, though maybe not quite so embarrassing!

    The museum outing looks like lots of fun even with a Julia meltdown and you look wonderful!


  5. dude.... when we told my dr. we were having a boy not only did she say "oh great, so you are done!" but then proceeded to ask me if I wanted her to also "fix me" while I was still open for my C-section so I didnt have to "worry" about getting pregnant again.... ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!?!? people are stupid.. that is why we dont hang out with them and just blog... at least you got a nice couple kid free hours, which is not indicative of your not wanting kids- in case anyone is confused.

  6. Sheesh. I wouldn't have known what to say. I would have probably gone the awkward chuckle route too since that seems to be my go-to response in uncomfortable situations.
    Anyway, I hope you guys aren't done - the world needs more cute little Pattons! Plus, we have to make sure that at least one of our offspring marries each other so that we will be related.

    Btw, I lovelovelove your shoes! Where did you get them?

  7. Grace,
    Going to the spa sounds awesome, having that convo, not so awesome :( I feel like you get this too much, you should definitely start asking about pap smears. You look fabulous!!

  8. I hate that question! I usually get "so are you having more?" I think it is rude and hate giving an answer. Like I need to answer to a complete stranger for my life decisions.

  9. Your pap smear comment made me laugh--saving that one! I don't know when people starting thinking such questions were okay. My usual response is to go WAY overboard with the information and make them feel uncomfortable for asking, "well, no, but I'm not really feeling up to getting it on yet, you know, since I just pushed out a kid, but as soon as we feel like it, I'm sure we'll just have so much sex that..." You get the point.

  10. With twins, I frequently get asked if I wished that we'd had boy/girl twins, so we could be done. I am also often asked if we went through fertility treatments and if I had a c-section. Why do people think these kinds of questions are ok?

  11. DO my eyes spy wedge booties?!? You stylish mama, you!

  12. Thanks for this're lovely :)

    ps. LOVE the shoes

  13. love your shoes/booties/shoebooties!

  14. After I was the lucky winner of my "matching set" of children, six years ago, I started getting that question.

    It took me a good five years before I made peace with it, and decided to respond to a mindlessly personal question (because it IS personal, and I honestly believe it's asked mindlessly, which is to say, with no understanding on the part of the speaker about how personal the query is), with a joyful response. People sense sarcasm and mockery like a shark senses blood in the water, and if I want to do my part to encourage a culture of life, I have to embrace my unlikely role as ambassador of that foreign country.
    So I dig down deep for Christ's light somewhere in the cluttery recesses of my stupid, stubborn, selfish soul, and respond with a sincere smile and say, "Are we done? Only God knows!"

    It's not something I could ever do on my own, or fake my way through. On my own, the smile is a grimace, and when faked, the voice is a growl. It's purely a grace God gives me, which I am humbly thankful, because left to my own devices, I'd end up snarling something like, "No, I love the hot sex my studly husband and I have every single night. Do you want to ask any more personal questions?"

  15. SO happy for you that you got to enjoy some spa time! You def deserve it! But oh my, the nerve of some people....I haven't been asked that question yet - with two girls, I think people assume we're trying for that boy!

  16. We have our 20 week ultrasound today and I am SO looking forward to some snide remarks from the nurse/doc/midwife/ultrasound tech/whomever. We're not even finding out the sex, which is sure to incite further unsolicited commentary...

  17. Unfortunately that does seem to be the norm. But that doesn't make it acceptable. Good for you for being gracious!
    I am so appreciative of the people who are so completely respectful when it comes to having kids. Case in point, (sorry if I already said this previously) I was discussing how important it is for me to have a vbac this pregnancy and when I mentioned how many children my mom had he didn't even bat an eye. And it's a pretty big number. My respect for him skyrocketed at that point. His response was, 'Okay, so we definitely want to get you back to giving birth the 'old fashioned' way."
    I think when so many people are so open about so many aspects of their life (and we have the *ahem* internet to thank for that) everyone assumes that it's totally fine to ASK about such personal aspects. It makes me thankful to be a SAHM, at least I don't have to deal with the comments at work every day!

  18. Two things:

    Went to get my haircut right after my miscarriage and the stylist, in making small talk asked if "kids were on the dinner plate" I tried to stay on the high road and not make him feel like a total a** with a wry "we hope so!"

    Also, maybe I've been contributing the problem, but in high school and college when I was tired of the awkward small talk during haircuts and such , I would casually let drop how many siblings were in my family and then just sit back and listen to the shock/horror/astonishment without having to say another word.

  19. You know, people are dumb. Here's the thing- they talk all big about not discriminating and not being sexist, but don't realize that their assumption that a family wouldn't be interested in more than one boy or more than one girl is about as sexist as it gets. So every girl in a family will be exactly the same? Every boy? Why bother having more, right, because their just all the exact same people. It's a terrible thought when you think it through. Sadly, people just don't. Think. Ya know? So yes, I have 3 girls and 1 boy, but no I don't "hope" the next one is a boy. I "hope" the next one is a lover of God. That's all.

    Humph. People.

  20. And look. I was so flustered that I used the wrong "their". Or rather "they're". Shame on me!

  21. i have a boy and a girl and people are ALWAYS saying, "oh nice! now you're done!"...i, too, have no definites. maybe we'll have another one, maybe not...we'll pray and leave it in the hands of a higher being.

    regardless, how rude. these people do not know our lives, our path, our feelings about our growing family. i wish i had a witty comeback. i need to think of one.


  22. I heard something recently about a really nice way to respond to these types of too personal / inappropriate questions in a simple way by just saying "why do you ask?" Puts the question back on the other person to (hopefully) consider what they just said. I love your blog, btw!

  23. people are ridiculous... i get asked about 5 times a day when we are moving back to the states, and i just want to say... i don't know. do i need to explain my life plan to you? or do i need to have it decided now...

    oh well. :) glad you got some good pamper time and some awesome museum pictures that make you look like a celebrity mom.

  24. Just found your blog through a friend and loved this write up. We have 4 under 5 but started getting the rude comments as soon as I was pg with #2. We have 2 boys and 2 girls which really makes heads spin. Our youngest is 13 months old and I am constantly getting asked how I enjoy being done and "certainly you are done right?" I always answer now "Oh my I hope not!!!" And give huge smile. People are usually so horrified (both old friends and NFP couples!!!) that the conversation usually ends.

    You sound just like me when we had 2. You are doing a great job and dont let anyone scare you out of another baby. It really does get easier. 2 in diapers is the hardest it gets. When #3 was born out oldest wasnt quite 3. I had more perfect strangers tell me that I was doing well than those who believe in NPF. Hang in there and keep up the good work!!

  25. Questions like that infuriate me!

    I linked to this post here, btw:



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