I've Had Enough!

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As I am walking through the store yesterday, I think I know what the surreptitious glances from a harried looking man meant... Here is a young woman in a brown floor length skirt and a plain button up shirt. She has a baby on her hip, two toddlers in her buggy among her purchases, and three preschool and kindergarten aged children walking quietly beside her... 'She's one of those people.'

You know the people I mean: they're crazy, off the wall, those types that think all children are blessing even if she's having to flip through a coupon book to make sure she has the cash to cover all her purchases. The people who gladly say "I wish I had six more!" while they are groping at the hands of three and holding two cranky babies in their arms while blocking juice packages being chunked with full force at the cashier.... The weirdos....

I wasn't looking for snide remarks. I wasn't in the mood for questions about how many children I have (I know it takes a couple counts sometimes- but do you really have to ask?), how many are twins (*sigh*), how full my hands are (isn't it obvious?), or if I know what causes that (Ummm, I think so... it's the water, right?). We'd been out and about for several hours at this point and only the promise of a visit to Nana's was keeping my children from bouncing off the the shelves, and I wanted to hurry through this last stop.

As we made our turn onto the last aisle we would have to traverse before we could finally leave, my eldest son accidentally knocked several toys off the end-cap. I was almost in the mood to pretend that it didn't happen, but my son's conscience wouldn't let him pass it by. So we stopped to try and repair the damage. His sisters ran to his aid and the three of them attempted to rehang a dowel and put the toys back where they belonged.

I tried to move the buggy out of the walking room but still, when the man needed to get by, he had to squeeze between the buggy and shelves. I was bent down beside it, auspiciously to assist the children who had everything under control and thankful that he didn't utter a word as he passed.

We (ok, THEY) finally, after a bit of figuring, returned the fallen toys to their rightful place. As we finished up, the man walked by the end of the aisle again, and I literally sighed. I just knew what he was thinking, the inner reaction and the curiosity that drove him for one last glance of my insanity.

As my miniature helpers placed their items on the checkout counter (thankfully, they were gentle), I shot a glance around; a subconscious count of my children and an appraisal of the strangers close to them. Next in line behind us was That Man.

I had to look twice because on his face was a huge smile! He saw me looking at him and somehow managed to smile even bigger! I half smiled back, thinking to myself, "Oh NO! Here it comes!" I braced myself for the repressed ridicule and looking-down-of-the-noses that usually assails me when people are brave enough to look at us squarely.

"Surely, these are not all your children?!?" The Man asked. When I nodded that they were indeed all mine, his eyes twinkled. I stifled an inner groan.

"I bet bear hugs are the best in your house! You call for a hug and have all these wonderful babies pile up on you!"

All I could do was plaster a huge grin on my face and agree.

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