Saturday, May 2, 2009

On Having Public

I took 4 kids to the mall tonight alone. Hopefully it's obvious that I wasn't expecting to shop. Eric is out of town for the weekend, so we've been mostly "in" since he left. We were all a little stir crazy, so the mall seemed a logical destination. Our mall has a play area, a Chick-fil-A, and a Children's Place where everyone was promised a new pair of sunglasses. Those were our three stops, strategically ordered as to have appropriate bribes, er, rewards and consequences for good and bad behavior.

Here's the thing: I'm used to being gawked at as we walk through a public place. That happened when it was just the girls and I. Since adding a fourth to the mix, we've reached a new level of gawking. People no longer just stare. Now they look, look again, nudge the person next to them, both look, look at each other in disbelief, and dramatically comment: "Oh my [insert your own inapproprate word here]!" Most (thankfully) don't speak to me. When it was just the girls and I, they did, as a general rule. They'd mostly say, "Wow! You have your hands full!" In an "I feel really sorry for you" kind of tone. My answer was usually, "Yes, we're blessed!" In an cheerful kind of tone. That usually stopped the conversation...I think people would rather listen to complaints.

Is it easy keeping 4 kids happy, fed, diapered, pottied, moving in the same direction, paying attention, etc., etc., and yet one more etc. in a public place?

Nope! I'm not going to pretend that it is.

But, we've never been ones to let life stop because another joined our family. Our view when the girls were born was: "Welcome to the family. You joined us; here's how we work." Not, "Welcome to the family. Our world now revolves around you, so whatever you think is good..." The same goes in the situation we currently find ourselves in.

Overall our kids are well behaved in restaurants, the mall, and other places we may find ourselves in. We feel comfortable placing them and ourselves in these real life kind of situations! Stop gawking, people. Yes, we have four kids! Yes, they are ages 1, 2, 3, and 4--soon to be 1, 3, 3, and 5!! Yes, they are all ours! Yes, they are all super cuties! and Yes, we are blessed, blessed beyond belief!


Mel said...

your girls are so cute! reminds me of my 2 girls. i love dressing them in matching outfits too! :)

sarah said...

thanks for the update ;) can i just give a big AMEN for your 'welcome to our family ... this is how we work' ... i can think of more than a few kids that never got that memo ;) (thankfully not in this house ... ha ha) he's blessed to have you, mb.