One of the most irritating things about having lots of children is that I start to hear the same comments over and over. Many of them are incredibly stupid and inane. Mostly they’re just things that people say because they don’t want you to know what they’re really thinking. Here is a handy translation guide in case you’re clueless enough to take people’s comments at face value.
“You sure have your hands full”. Translation (if you have 1-2 children): “Your kid’s a total spaz. I’ve heard good things about Stratera.” (If you have more than two children) “Would you mind shutting your kids up? I’m trying to shop/checkout books/sit on the beach in peace and quiet. The world is all about me, me, me and not your noisy brats.”
Of all the phrases I hear, this one irks me the most. What am I supposed to say? Some parents chose the passive-aggressive “better full than empty”. Nice parents opt for a sweet smile, hoping to preserve enough self-control not to rip the person’s head off. I like a simple “no friggin’ duh. So why don’t you help me unload my grocery cart?”
“She’s a keeper”. This phrase is strictly limited to newborns. Translation: (if said by a woman): “What an ugly baby.” (If said by a man): “All babies look the same to me”. If you really do have a cute baby your friends and relatives will use words like “gorgeous”, “adorable”, “perfect” or “cutest baby I’ve ever seen”. The only thing worse than “she’s a keeper” is a simple “awww.” (translation: “ewww”).
“They grow up so fast”. Translation, “I know that every day seems like a hundred hours. But eventually you’ll wish they were little again. Not until you’ve developed Alzheimers, though. In the mean time, try not to kill them.”
“Are all those kids yours?” Translation: “That is a hell of a lot of kids, you crazy woman!” The proper response is: “no, I just love taking kids to the grocery store/airport/science center so much that I brought all the neighbor kids too.”
Honorable mention: “You just had a baby!” Said in response to a postpartum woman’s lamentations about being fat. Translation, “I can’t believe you’re not on Weight Watchers already! I was way thinner than you by this point.” Even if the woman had a baby three years ago, this is always the given response.
Readers, if I ever hear you say any of these phrases you will be instantly denounced as my friend. Consider yourself warned.