The other morning, I took The Boy for his final follow-up after breaking his elbow. I brought with me my three youngest as that was the way our schedule worked out that morning. As you might imagine, The Boy and I and our three small attendants attracted some unwarranted attention in the doctor's office.
When the doctor came in to greet us, he commented on how many of *us* there were:
"I see you brought the whole crew this morning," he chuckled.
"Not quite," I replied cautiously, "I have two more who are in school."
"Oh my," his raised eyebrows expressed, "I only have two hands and could barely handle three children."
Thinking back to Dr. Ray's talk, I remembered "the response" his wife used when questioned about the size of their family, but not wanting to offend the doctor gave a watered down version of it, "Well, our kids are generally well-behaved, so it's not that bad."
As the visit finished, he turned to me and said, "You know something, they actually are well-behaved." And walked out into the hallway, leaving the door open thus inviting in a nearby nurse, who also felt compelled to comment on our family:
"You must be a brave mommy to take all your kids to the doctor's office,"she mused.
Taking a deep breath, I said (again), "Not really. These aren't all my kids."
Relieved she said, "Oh, they're not all yours."
Thinking that we were almost out the door, thus ending this conversation, I calmly said, "No, they're all mind, but I have two more in school." The look on her face said it all, but if it hadn't the very obvious "point and count-out-loud" method she began using to calculate the number of children in our family was about all I could take before 9:00am.
"Just how many kids do you have?" she screeched, "Is it six?" I nodded. "SIX!?!" she uttered in disbelief, as though I just affirmed the existence of Martian life. She turned to The Boy and said sarcastically, "Is she on medication?"
Thoughts began running through my head. Did she just ask me if I was on medication? No, did she just ask my 12 year old SON if his MOTHER was on medication? Yes, I believe she did. Dr. Ray's wife's response wasn't as offensive as I thought. What was it again? Oh yes. Now I remember...
"Six well-disciplined children are much easier to handle than one un-disciplined one," I spat out and we left. I was furious. I certainly didn't walk through the office condemning the reproductive choices of anyone with less children than me; why, then, was it socially acceptable to question my choice and even engage my pre-teen son in mocking the decisions of his "medicated", and therefore obviously crazy, mother?
Anyone have any answers? If I can remember to take all my sanity pills, I'll be back later to read your thoughts...