Friday, August 21, 2009

Are they ALL yours?

I was feeling a little housebound yesterday plus I wanted to buy some lamps for my livingroom so I decided to pack up the whole gang and go shopping. By myself. To HomeSense (I know, I couldn't have picked a store with more breakable stuff in easy reach of curious hands! But, it is a really fun, dangerous, fun store!). Okay, we stopped at WalMart first just to check their lamp selection (found a beautiful Rand McNally classic style world map on parchment-type paper - just beautiful!). I have never received so many comments pertaining to the amount of children I have. "Are they all YOURS??" was the comment I heard over and over as complete strangers stopped to talk, count the kids, ask the ages, and confirm there were no twins as they stood in awe. (Jay said I should have said that 4 were mine and one was from the "other" woman. Funny, dear. Really funny!) After all, I was by myself, shopping, with 5 kids. Okay, so we don't get out often but really, is it worth all that attention? One woman said I could have my own television show! I might need a few more kids for that plus all I'd really want would be a nice big new house. The show I could do without! Some comments were encouraging. "Good for you!" "Wow, that's great!" Some even asked if I was homeschooling! Do most people that have an above-average sized family homeschool? However, the one comment that bothered me the most was this, "I bet you can't wait for school to start!" Here we go again, ship the kids off so I can do my own thing. My response? "Well, actually, I am homeschooling, and yes, I am excited for school to start but for a completely different reason!" That just got me a semi-disgusted, I-have-no-idea-why-you-would-want-to-do-that look. I just smiled! So, besides being stopped by complete strangers every 7 minutes on average, the event went quite well. The kids were well-behaved, no one broke anything and I found some lamps that bring a bit of sophistication to my we-have-lots-of-kids-living-here-so-nothing-ever-looks-pretty livingroom.

2 lessons learned:

1. The longer we are in a store, the more comfortable the kids become. This translates into a digression of their behaviour. Keep the trip short and sweet so the kids still maintain that deer-in-the-headlights look and fear wandering outside of arm reach. Any longer and trouble looms!

2. Don't give anyone anything to drink for a couple of hours before hand. Have M&Ms on hand. The first prevents trips to the bathroom (a little more complicated with 5!!) and the second ensures good behaviour!

PS: For those wondering how I went shopping with a 6 year-old, 4 year-old, 3 year-old, 2 year-old and 6-month old: baby in a wrap on me, 2 year-old in the front of the cart, 3 year-old in the cart, 4 and 6 year-old walking while complaining their legs were tired and they needed a ride, too! Next time I will steal a Superstore cart!!


  1. I've often felt like there's nothing quite like parenting to pull out the opinions of people!!! Yeah for venturing out and conquering HOME SENSE with the crew in tow! Applause applause and more enthusiastic applause!!!

  2. Thanks Leah! Actually, the nicest lady that commented is a friend of yours, Esther! She was really nice, told me about her crew and inquired about the homeschooling! Talked a little more and discovered she knew you! Oh, what a small world!


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