I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that when I meet people for the first time I should say, “Hi, my name is Missi, and I’m here to freak you out.” Chatty strangers tend to draw out any number of details about my lifestyle that evidently totally fascinates them.
Tonight I went to purchase an area rug I found on Craigslist. This particular couple was very friendly. While we waited for the dude to go make change for me, the wife chatted me up. Eventually it came out that I was pregnant…with my fourth. And my oldest is four. (I only took the extremely volatile three year old with me because it was a really big rug to try to fit in the van.) These were upper middle class Americans, clearly only planning to have one child. She asked if I was done. (I’ll rant later on how completely inappropriate that question is.) I told her no. So she asked if maybe I was going to stop at 5.
“MMMmmmm. Probably not.”
“So, like, how many kids are you going to have?”
“I don’t know. However many I end up with I guess.”
“So, what number though, like seven…or ten?”
“Yeah. Ten sounds good to me.”
“So did either of you come from big families?”
“Nope. Small families.”
“So you just like children a lot or something?”
(Here’s where I could have totally reversed the questioning and asked what was so wrong with her child that she didn’t want more, but I was feeling merciful.)
“Yeah. I love my kids. They’re great!”
Mercifully, Charis needed to go potty and that line of questioning was interrupted. I had totally blown her mind at this point, and we hadn’t even delved into birth, politics, or education. Why on earth would anyone choose to just have children as they came when you have so many options for preventing them?!? Aside from those “options” just being totally and completely unnatural and irreversibly devastating to the female body, it really shocks people to meet someone who genuinely likes their kids!
When her husband got back from making change, she had me explain to him my future fertility plans. “Nice to meet you, my name is Missi, I am extremely fertile and I like it.” Seriously. I should have launched into an explanation of the birds and the bees in case they weren’t totally sure how all that works out. I digress.
I thought about really freaking them out and telling them that I home birth, but my stomach was starting to growl. We all know how that conversation goes.
“Wow. So you have them at home. Do they have pain medication for you there?”
“Yes, I keep my demerol on the top shelf next to my birth control pills in the bathroom.” Oh no… wait. That’s just what I imagine saying.
Thankfully, Arwen wasn’t with me or they may have discovered any number of things about us that make completely incapable of fitting inside of anyone’s box:
Home birthing, non-family planning fertility embracing, home schooling, organic gardening, soap making, herb loving, tree people huggers, who neither fit into the right or the left in politics, embrace a model of Christianity that has totally been lost in the modern day church, organic eating yet also junk food junkies, attachment parents that spank lovingly discipline their children…
We’re just a walking freak show rubix cube. (Does anyone know how to spell that? Spell check was no help.)