Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No, would you mind taking them?

It's what I feel like saying when people ask "are those your kids?" Of course I've stolen some children and decided to take them to the mall for shoes, huh? I know we've been taught not to assume things, but let's make the following exceptions...

1. A woman is pushing a kid around in a cart. Regardless of the possible racial or age difference between the two, let's assume the woman is in some way responsible for that child. I get annoyed at the question, but I can't imagine how my kids will feel when they get a little older. I would think that they would question the fact that everyone seems to question whether or not they belong to me.

2. There is a couple having dinner with eight to ten children. This could go either way. It could be a birthday party, or an extended family, or a foster family. If it is the first two, you'll look silly, if it is the latter you could do some serious damage. We at one point had eight kids, the older foster kids had some serious attachment issues from being in a dozen different homes. Do you really think they need to be reminded that they don't belong anywhere? I think not.

3. There is a couple with a couple of children, they personify the red and yellow, black and white. Let's assume they are a family. Even if they turn out not to be, it's better to be safe than sorry.

I've spoken to people about this, not anyone who has said anything, but friends, trying to figure out if I was just being crabby or what. It's been suggested to me that non-traditional families are noticeable, and that people are tyring to be nice by noticing. Here are some things you could say instead.

"Oh, what beautiful children." Works every time.

"you have a lovely family." Yes, I do thank you.

So, unless there is an active Amber Alert in place, don't ask if their mine. They are. Regardless of my age, or race, or the fact that I have three kids born the same year, we are family. And now that they are two I might be tempted to turn them over to you for awhile.

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