Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.
Guess what? I’m having a baby. Yes, another baby. Why? Because once you find something you’re good at, you stick with it.
Congratulations are welcome! Comments of “Die now, mindless breeder” will be dealt with appropriately. My baby, God willing, is not going anywhere, whether you approve of this pregnancy or not; so if you say something nasty, you’re just making me all the more determined to improve the world with even more pretty babies. So there.
Nothing, one would think, could be more personal than the choice to conceive and bear a child. And yet, as grand multiparas well know, simply leaving the house with more than two or three children is perceived as a challenge, a circus, a rebuke, a plea for help, a flag of insanity. Really all you want to do is mail a letter, buy some milk or a couple of pregnancy tests, or pay the librarian for this week’s crop of ruined books— but the world at large is sure that what you need right now, in the middle of the produce aisle, is to get into a conversation with a gawking stranger about these kids, these kids, allll these kids!
Faced with such social awkwardness, you may be at a loss for words. Some of us are able to use our conspicuous presence in public as a chance to witness to the joy of this lifestyle. Still others see it as an opportunity to ditch one or two of the slower kids in the gathering crowd.
No matter which description fits you, there will come a day when you are urging an unruly string of children down the narrow hall of the hospital, where you are late for an appointment to have the blood of several of them painfully tested for something you know perfectly well they don’t have. Some of them will be licking the walls, one will be wailing about losing her vending machine puppy in the parking lot, and two will merely be going silently boneless.
It is at moments like these when some sweaty bozo in an AC/DC T-shirt will appear, plaster himself comically to the wall to let you pass, and remark, “Haw haw haw, looks like someone don’t have a TEE-vee!”
Has this happened to you? Well, even in the midst of the trials of the first trimester, I’m basically a giver. I am here to help. If one of your wiener kids hasn’t shoved a fig newton into the printer, feel free to make a copy, laminate it, and keep it in that industrial strength duffel bag you’ve been trying to pass of as a purse. And next time, you’ll be ready with ...
Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions About Your Big Family
Q: Boy, you’ve got your hands full, don’t you?
A: Congratulations! As the ten billionth person to make this clever remark, you are a winner! As your prize, please accept this delicious baby.
Q: Don’t you know what causes that?
A: Yes, it’s brought on by being in the presence of morons. Every time I leave the house, I feel the urge to rush home to my husband and, for the sake of future generations, try to outnumber people like you. Whoopee!
Q: Are those ALL your kids?
A: Quiet, you fool, my husband’s listening!
Q: How many kids do you have, anyway?
A: I dunno. [I don’t know if it qualifies as snappy, but it’s often true, and it shuts people up.]
Q: But you’re stopping now, right?
A: Of course! Lots of people have nine kids. Nine kids is nothing. Of course, our van is longer than most people’s driveways. We own two milch cows just to supplement breakfast. And with the money from our Additional Child Tax Credit, we bought a small island in Capri. That’s life with nine kids.
But to consider having ten kids? You’re right, that would be cuh-razy.
Q: Don’t you have a TV?
A: If you think TV is better than sex, then you are doing it wrong.