Friday, February 11, 2011

The Amazing Mind-Boggling Parents of Several.

I'm always stunned when someone tells me they have more than two kids. By the expression on my face, they may as well have told me they grew an extra arm and used it to build a rocket and fly to the moon. My jaw drops, and I take on a look of incredulity, while I scope them out and try to see whether they possess any super-human characteristics.

I think, in my head, there's a scale of jaw-dropping-sock-knocking-off-ness.

1 or 2 kids = a sympathetic nod and a sigh of understood weariness.

3 kids = might as well have scaled Mount Killmanjaro with a giant orangutan on their back.

4 kids = might as well have crossed an African desert barefoot for six months with just one bottle of water, rescued an endangered species and built a hospital with whatever was lying around.

5 kids = must have supernatural powers because really what other explanation is there.


So imagine my reaction when, yesterday, a mum I see every day at preschool pick-up let slip she had five kids.

Five.

No, wait. Think about it.

FIVE. Children.

I think my jaw dropped to my chest, as I stared with a new feeling of awe and admiration at this woman who always looks so put together and calm.

Turns out she has some help, but still, with five kids, nothing is easy.

Funny how bewildering it is to me - having that many kids in this age. A hundred years ago it wouldn't have been at all uncommon for someone to have five or more children. But people still do it today (evidently), and more importantly, survive.

As for me, most of the time I feel like I'm just about keeping my head above the water with two very busy and demanding young buys, with a far-off fantasy - probably to never be realized - of a third child. And even that seems impossible.

Perhaps some people just manage chaos better than others.
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16 comments:

Blondie said...

This is too funny!!!! I don't have kids yet and always say I'd like to have 6...we'll see after the first one I guess! Kori xoxo

Mwa said...

Woman across the road from me has six... and her eldest (who is 14 or 15) is having one of her own just now. There's a family I'm glad I don't have to share a morning bathroom with. (Because of the queues - they're perfectly clean. Just one bathroom.)

We have three and we're probably done now. Probably. But three is fun. Somehow I now feel like we're a "full" family. But then I'm one of four.

Captain Dumbass said...

Five? That's madness. Madness.

Nikosmommy said...

I am SOOO with you on this one! More than 2 children boggles my mind. My friends and family have bugged me for a while now to have a 3rd and there is nooooo way I'd risk popping out a third boy. 2 busy boys is already insanity, the thought of more than 2 kids is just so much work?!?!?!?!? Kudos to the mothers who can 'handle' all those kids.....

Lady Mama said...

Nikosmommy - three boys scares the hell out of me too.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

We can always do more than we think we can. When I had Oliver as a newborn I said to Chris, "I have no idea how people do multiples - I really don't - I could NEVER handle twins." Eighteen months later a surprise pregnancy gave us George and Eleanor. There is always something harder and everything is hard. Or that's what I think. That said - five kids would send me straight to the funny farm. Look for my triplets announcement next year.

ModernMom said...

I have 2 girls. We debated number 3 for the longest time. As much as I love the idea of a big family, the thought of going from a man to man defence to a zone defence ...SCARY!
I applaud those Mams with more then 2!

anymommy said...

I still have burns on the bottoms of my feet from that damn desert. This gave me the giggles. Thanks.

Lady Mama said...

Kate - Touch wood! Touch wood quick!

Momma Sunshine said...

Honestly, having two kids makes it difficult to give them the time and attention that they need...I can't imagine doing it with any more than that.

Madness I tell you!!

Loukia said...

Oh, I absolutely don't understand how anyone can have more than two children! Four and five kids... eek! HOW HOW HOW??????? It's so hard with TWO!

Slightly/Aubergine said...

I laughed out loud -- so funny. Thanks for that.

Kris said...

I think what happens is you get caught up in the chaos and forget the birth control!

LisaDay said...

I always wanted four but one miracle baby is good for me. I think they are super organized.

LisaDay

fourdayshome said...

Funny I was just saying this to DH last night after a day of the kids fighting. We always thought we'd have 3 but after the 2nd came we decided to stop our family at that point. I can't imagine being outnumbered!
I actually met a woman who had her 8th child - I consider her brave and must be very patient!

James (SeattleDad) said...

One about does us in. 5? They are either aliens or robots. Investigation is required.