in which Charis is a peeping tom (and I got my first blog stalker!)

I guess at some point during the day I officially lost my mind and went hog wild. As if our previous trekking around wasn’t enough, and since the day was ruined anyway, I decided to haul everyone back out the door.

That’s right. Hog Wild I said. 

Once I laid out the monkey grass I realized that I didn’t have enough. This wasn’t acceptable. It just wouldn’t do. This problem has been ongoing and I am ready to be done with it. Who knows when the opportunity for free monkey grass is going to come along again?!? 

The kids exploded out of their room and I put them right back in the van and drove the 30 minutes back to the house with all the grass. Brent was wanting to make up for his grumpiness earlier in the day and offered to meet me there to help with the digging. What a guy. (No, seriously, he’s great!)

The whole family was there this time so the wifey and I chatted it up while Brent shoveled and dug. She just kept talking about how sweet the kids were as they ran around her yard and played. Yep. I totally pretended like they were like that all the time.  As we were preparing to leave she started asking me about Cheeky Maiden. (People usually notice the unusual domain name in my email address.) So I told her all about it and she asked lots of questions and I gave her my card and promised to return with soap if she wanted. (See? I should have gone with my instinct and brought some to trade for the grass!) 

Arwen is a talking machine. She Never. Stops. Talking. And she tells people everything, which is why I don’t let her see me naked anymore. Ahem. Anyway. She just hasn’t developed the ability to know when not to inform people of certain facts. She sees everything in black and white, wrong and right, and has no clue that people do things differently than we do. She is likely to blurt out to a complete stranger that the Double Cheeseburger they are about to eat is going to make them fat and sick, or that they really shouldn’t put their kids in school, because schools have a lot of germs in them, or that Obama is a wicked man who needs Jesus, etc. Needless to say, I get nervous when she has opportunity to chat with complete strangers.

We decided to continue to infiltrate domesticated society with our craziness and go out to eat. Olive Garden was P A C K E D so we headed to Chic-fil-a. 

Don’t worry, I’m getting to the Peeping Tom part.

We got our food and headed outside to eat. We were all filthy, so Brent headed back inside to wash everyone’s hands in the bathroom while I stayed to watch the food. On his way by a small family (with 2 kids) the father asked if they were all his. (If I had a dollar…) Brent cheerfully replied that Yes, they were. To which this strange man quipped, “Aaaahhh, I see. You kept trying for that boy!” (We get this a lot, since we had two girls close together and then the 3rd one was a boy.) Brent said, “Well…uhh, no. We’re still trying! Got another one on the way!” Strange man realized that he’d totally stuck his foot in his mouth (no worries, I do it all the time) and responded with a “Congratulations!” Brent headed on in to wash the kid’s hands.

Now, it was with extreme fascination that I eaves dropped helplessly overheard the conversation of these two parents when Brent walked away. You see, we get these comments a lot. A. Lot. I can only imagine how much worse it will be when I’m pregnant with my six. Or seventh. Or tenth. Or seventeenth. I usually respond cheerfully, with the understanding that I have the opportunity to challenge this person’s thinking about children and the role they play in the family and in society. Children are considered consumers, leeches, free riders, obnoxiously loud interruptions to our perfectly organized adult lives. So when people ask these questions you can’t help but wonder what they are really thinking. The man turned to his wife and sincerely stated, “Oh gosh. I hope that wasn’t rude! I just thought maybe they had a friend’s kid with them or something.” (Totally understandable since Charis is the odd ball in the family with her blue eyes and blonde hair. She’s biological, I swear.) He went on to sweetly state, “I think it’s great they’ve got all those kids!” and they had a really nice exchange that was so sincere I was sure that they either didn’t know I was with him or had no clue that I could hear them clearly. 

Alright. I know you are dying to know about the Peeping Tom experience. I know that I can make this blog as long as I want, because it contains the words, Peeping Tom, and you will keep reading. But I’ll get right to it.

While these strangers were extolling the virtues of my sweet kids, Brent was busily scrubbing Ezra’s hands at the sink while the two girls stood behind him.

A man walked in and tried to push on the stall door. It didn’t open because it was locked. Locked, like someone was in there. 

Remember what I told you about Chatty Cathy Arwen? She informed this strange man that no one was in the stall and he could go right in. 

Strange Man #2: “No, I think someone’s in there.”

Arwen: “I’m pretty certain there is no one in there. You can go in.”

Charis: “Yep. There isn’t anyone in there. Go in!”

Strange Man #2: “It’s okay. I think there really is someone in there.”

Charis peers up from her squat on the ground while she looks under the stall door and says, “YEP! There’s someone in there!” 

Strange Man #3, the one in the stall, gave quite a big chuckle from what I hear. Thankfully, both men were good sports and Brent ushered all the kids out of the bathroom. Brent tells me that surely all she saw was his feet. I hope so. 

On his way back to the table with the kids, Strange Man #1 apologized if he came off rude before. (He really hadn’t sounded rude at all compared to some of the comments I’ve gotten!) He then grilled Brent. Not in a bad way- you know those people who ask lots and lots of questions and you wonder if they are undercover for the IRS or something. Everyone but Brent had gotten to eat and at this point my kids were running circles around their table chatting it up. Again, these people were so impressed with our bright happy children, and again, I pretended that they were always like that. Turns out they were Christians and were really intrigued about…well, I guess about us? We ended up exchanging business cards and the mom wants to get together to play at the park or something. 

We headed inside to the play place, because…Why the heck not totally exhaust our napless children beyond oblivion?!? Ezra shocked me by being the youngest so far to go to the top of the play place. The girls were both 2 years old before they ever attempted this. A mom sitting near me heard me call out to Charis and we got into a conversation about her name. She liked it. Then she asked what my other kid’s names were. When I told her she exclaimed, “Well, you must love the Lord!” I was happy to tell her that I do. =) 

We chatted a bit (Brent was in the restaurant eating his dinner that he missed out on earlier while making friends), and another mom began to notice that I looked really familiar to her. She asked me if I blogged. I was pretty sure she probably did not read my little bitty blog here. I’ve got tens of readers, but come on, what are the chances of running into one of them at the Chic? Turns out, we have a mutual friend, and she clicked over to my humble little place here from her blog before. I gave both of them my card too. 

What a day. Free plants, new friends, and my first ever blog stalker.