I find it very amusing funny strange rude the response some mothers give me when they see me. I see mothers all the time, everywhere I go. At my childrens’ schools, parks, grocery stores, malls, sidewalk, bathrooms, you get my point. Would it ever be appropriate for me to walk up to one of them and ask them their age? I didn’t think so.
Why is it all of a sudden okay to come up to me, a stranger whom you have never met and the second question you ask me, (the first being “are these 3 kids yours?” because I do like to pick up random children and bring them with me everywhere I go in my spare time) “how old are you?” Not, “sorry, this may sound rude, and none of my business, but can I ask you your age?” Nope. Just straight up “how old are you?!” With a look of disdain attached to that question. People, that’s rude. I am not 16 and on welfare, unmarried, and living with my grandparents.
Right after I had Gunnar, I really didn’t mind because I kind of did look 16. And I was 21. I wanted to tell these moms to go ask their mothers how old THEY were when they had THEM.
Today at the boys swimming classes I dared to bring Greta since she wasn’t going to go IN the pool, but rather watch her brothers enjoying themselves in the cool water while she observed from the hot sidelines. I couldn’t even get my bag down on the bench before one of the moms looked at me with utter shock and amazement that I had indeed ANOTHER child she wasn’t aware of. Oops. My bad. I should’ve informed all the moms of kids that I don’t even know their first names how many children I have given birth to, their ages, social security numbers, and of course the year I was born. How stupid am I? So sorry I didn’t read that disclaimer when I signed them up for swimming lessons.
Usually my answer is just a simple, “old enough!” You would think it would be so great and flattering to be mistaken for my kid’s babysitter or nanny. But it gets old. These are my kids. I am proud of them and I’m not that young people. I had my daughter at 26. And as of 2 Saturdays ago I am 28. In the realm of childbirth, I don’t even think it’s my prime anymore.
When I was pregnant with Greta and the boys were little I think I got the worst backlash. I was so sick and not feeling good, makeup was never given a second thought. I looked like I was 12 some days. I was pregnant and had 2 kids on my arm and I would get these looks of utter contempt. I would be frowned upon. Literally. I never got the “oohs” and “aahhs” most pregnant moms gets. I got the “looks like there’s one more baby my taxes are going to support” looks. And that’s when I got irritated. I was in my mid twenties, responsible, home owning, married for 6 years, and happy to be having a 3rd child. Deal with it people.
So I was kind of surprised today to get that reaction. I figured I was over it. I look a little more my age now, and it’s not like I have teenagers or anything. I have 3 little kids. It caught me off guard to say the least. I just looked at the mom and said, 28. The woman just answered with a “whoa” and I went about doing my normal motherly business of getting my kids to the right instructors at the right times.
That is right before I texted my friends from biology class and gave shout outs to my bffs.