People say these words to us all the time. Family members. Friends. The Swedelock’s co-workers. Strangers. Even at the pediatrician’s office there’s some sort of silent that’s-a-shame pause when I inform them our son is an only child.
People who know and love me can certainly inquire about our family set-up. Because I can dialogue with you. But people who do not know me? You need to shut up. Really need. You know how all humans need things like water, shelter, food, compassion, understanding? You need shut-up-i-tude.
It is potentially very hurtful to tell someone what their child count should be. You never know (unless you do) a person or family’s reason for having none, or three, or only one child.
Only one? Just one?
Interestingly, it is my husband, without me around, who gets the more pushy advances from people. My favorite response he’s created is: “Take it up with my wife’s vagina.”
I love this sentence because it sounds like something I would say, not him. It’s also a highly effective full stop to that conversation. Unless we’re talking to his mother. She’s a nurse, and would just take the anatomical shockery to a higher level. Plus, she’s on the not-stranger list.
For the record, none of my reproductive bits—or rest of my body—minded the growing and birthing of a child. In fact, I was awesome at it. But why is everyone so interested in what I do with my vagina?
I know that these inquiring parties are interested in my lady bits because: the only strangers who push the issue assume our child is our biological child who came into our lives in the traditional fashion. If you ask me, that’s some strange-ass stuff to be talking about with a stranger. So let’s be good Midwesterners and just stop talking about it.