In our house, Mondays are dedicated to playdates. Each week, Giancarlo and his best buddy get together for a few hours. During the weeks that I play hostess, I usually try to get the kids outside to a local park, the zoo, the toy store...anywhere they will be sure to burn energy and take their almighty afternoon nap later in the day.
I always feel so accomplished when I travel around town with my posse of three kids. We hold hands, sing songs, run, yell. There is nothing that I can’t achieve as a Mom during these times. I AM June Cleaver…the woman who can cure most any boy problem with her cookie jar.
Given that, like June, I am able to realize Mom perfection during our Monday playdates, I am always surprised when people ask me, “Are they all yours?” or “Exactly how far apart are your boys?” What? Are you serious? Aside from the fact that the children you see before you are not all crying, didn't you notice the apron I’m wearing? Even if the kids are not all mine, I am a dedicated family woman. I have ladylike pastimes, such as needlepoint, cake decorating, and arranging tea roses. What’s more, after any playdate, I can usually be found in the kitchen chopping salad vegetables, basting a roast, or icing a cake.
After a conversation with a complete stranger at the park last week about how I could possibly manage three kids, I thought back to a comment exchange with Helene at I’m Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor. In an "interview" with Ellen DeGeneres, Helene described how she is questioned repeatedly by strangers about her two sets of twins.
After reading Helene’s post, I responded with the following comment:
I love people. Especially ones I don't know that ask incredibly dumb questions. Here is my suggested response for your next encounter with stupidity:
Stranger: Are they all yours?
Helene: No, no they are not. I just let them live in my home and devote all my money and every waking moment to them as part of my public service to humanity.
However, in light of my own recent experiences, I feel that I should do more for Helene and Moms to multiple children everywhere. Depending on your mood, the next time a stranger stops to ask you if your kids “are all yours,” here are a few suggestions.
If you are feeling positive, try these on for size...
1) I am proud to say, yes. I really think that Nadya Suleman is a reproductive miracle. I am attempting to follow in her great footsteps.
2) They are, but I am willing to deal. If you’ve got cash, I could rent them to you for a day or two.
3) They are. I am a recovering sex addict and had a lot of trouble with steps 1-11 of my 12 step program.
On your not-so-positive, extra sarcastic days, give these a whirl:
1) No, they are not all mine. I was thinking that you and I could flip a coin for them.
2) No. I thought they were yours. What kind of parent are you, leaving these beautiful children unattended? You should be reported.
3) Biologically, yes, but most days I am just really their unpaid household servant.
4) No, definitely not mine. They came with the package when I became a trophy wife.
5) I’m not sure. Let’s ask them.
6) Let’s play a game. I’ll answer your inappropriate questions only if you answer mine. Ready? I’ll go first. How many times do you have sex a month?
After thinking about it further, maybe I am more June Cleaver circa 2009, rather than 1957.