Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The 3 best words on the planet


Okay, I know it's really 4 words, and you probably thought it was going to be "I Love You". But when they are uttered by your little ones after a few days of being ill, you know you can probably skip that trip to the pediatrician. Saving yourself a considerable amount of money and a chunk of time. Not to mention the exposure to God Knows What that you won't be exposing 2 compromised kids and yourself to, not to mention the stress of getting Everyone out the door.

Oldest was the most sick; he seems to get the worst of the respiratory trials and tribulations. Youngest hadn't exhibited too many symptoms, except for quite literally falling over on his face in a dead sleep in the middle of watching tv. The 3 of us were in the master bedroom, enjoying a rip-roaring fire, snuggling under the cosy blankets and watching AFV or some other (and rare) child-appropriate network tv. Oldest yelped "Mom, he just fell over!" and I looked over, and there youngest was; bent in half and face down on the duvet. I eased his legs out from the covers and let him snooze away.

I used to call our sons Biggest and Littlest. Not so anymore. Biggest is now the liittlest, which is a major hide-chapper. Youngest also has a very large head, which creates an older look. I have had people argue with me about which child is older -- in front of them! It used to make oldest sob in despair, which is heartbreaking. Then my father solved a bit of the problem; he told oldest "You will always be older, no matter the size of either of you. You will ALWAYS be older." which made oldest beam in pride. He reminds us of that very fact all the time. Which chaps his brother's hide...

Our sons, who are almost 11 months apart, were adopted as infants. We are a bi-racial family. I forget we are 'different'; these are my children, and I don't see them as different in any way. Before I became more immune to the endless silly remarks some people seem to need to make, I would bristle and retort back as the mood struck me (fatigue, hormones etc playing a part). Two funny incidents come to mind: Oldest is elegantly shaped, compact and lithe. Youngest is built like a Samoan, and weighed 22 pounds at 7 months! They are both beautiful boys, in very different ways. Right after we had adopted youngest, I had both boys in Costco, changing diapers in the ladies room. Changing 2 kids is always an adventure, and you can't waste any time with niceties. You just get through it. An elderly, stocky woman was washing her hands as we began to make use of the diapering center. I got oldest taken care of and hooked back into the double stroller, and had popped youngest on the table and gotten his bottom half exposed to take care of him. The woman made a few comments about how beautiful the boys were (Thank you!) and how cute it was that they were dressed alike (again, Thank You!) Then she clapped a hand over her heart, and spouted out this gem: "You did such a great thing saving these children from Certain Starvation!!" I burst out laughing and exclaimed, while pinching youngest's enormous thighs "Yep, he sure looks like he's at death's door, doesn't he!" and I could not quit laughing!

Then a couple of months later, there we were at the $300 club again (Costco). The four of us were in the checkout, but husband was wandering around, looking at cameras and stuff as the lines were huge. The boys were parked in the double cart, behaving pretty well for 19 and 9 month old babies. A woman kept asking nosy questions: "Are they twins?" (No. They are almost 11 months apart) Are they YOUR kids? (Yes) Then, the corker: "Where did you get them?" With that, I snarled "Look, I had an affair with an Asian Man! I would appreciate it if you would QUIT REMINDING MY HUSBAND!" She gasped and fled. I was mentally high-fiving myself until I looked around at the folks in the line. They were looking at me with eyes the size of dinner plates. Almost on cue, my husband came back to stand by us. There was a group sympathy look for him, with glares for me. I had to contort my face to keep from roaring with laughter.

Now that the boys hear everything that goes on (and more), I always keep the answers casting a positive slant on adoption. The days of snappy retorts are long gone, tempting as it is. Please remember this, in your journeys through this life; families who are obviously different deserve respect and privacy. It's painful for the children to have constant questioning about their private lives. If you are seriously considering adoption, it's okay to ask a few general questions or to provide your email or phone numbers. But just being nosey? Nah.


Lazy cow said...

I love your comeback to the nosey lady. I only think of smart replies hours later.

Carolyn said...

This story made me laugh my butt off. My MIL has a quick wit. I, sadly, don't.

jess said...

I think I would've burst out laughing if I'd been in line with you.