Tuesday, September 27, 2011


All right.  As an adult, I always hope that my interactions with other adults will be with a touch of thinking things through before they are said out loud.  But as I have probably mentioned on here before, this does not seem to be my luck.  For whatever reason I invite the questions, comments, and such that most of society knows are best left unsaid, even while thinking them.  Jason, he and Abigail can spend a whole night out together, and all he has to report are stories about being told how cute she is.  Not so much when it's a day with her Mama.
This comment though gets double ridiculous because now I have get to see this woman every week at Abigail's ballet class.  So here's the scenario,
We are parked next to each other, both putting children in our cars.  The girls she brings happen to be her great nieces that she nannies for.  As I'm putting Abigail in the car she kindly inquires, 'Are you her nanny.'  Not a big deal.  Abigail looks nothing like me.  I could be her nanny.  I nannied up until after she was born actually.  Not an offensive question.  I kindly and calmly tell her that I am her mother.  To which she responds with, 'Really?  You don't look old enough to have any kids' (please fully picture the hands on her hips tsk tsk voice and body language that was used).  Have I ever mentioned that I have a mean streak in situations like this?  I do.  So I responded by letting her know that I was old enough to be married, and to know that my husband and I can't get pregnant.  She sort of back peddled a bit and told me how great it was that we adopted.  I smiled cordially and said that Abigail is quite the blessing.
Maybe some of you don't see the issue with this so I'll try to explain from the point of view of having the 'you don't look old enough to have a kid' comment stated numerous times.  First of all, I am aware that I look ten to fifteen years younger than what I am.  Some call it an advantage.  I generally just think it's a pain.  I get talked down to, and of course don't know how to parent adequately.  My husband and I have had people make rude comments about the inappropriate age gap (of 2-1/2 years in reality).  Apparently being young means that everyone has a right to say what they want to you.
But lets pretend for one second that I was ten years younger.  That would put me at sixteen when Abigail was born, and nineteen now.  I would be interested in hearing how telling a person who had a child as a teenager (which is something that I wish didn't happen, but it does) that they are too young to have a child going to help?  It's not.  That's the answer.  It might make them feel like crap, remind them that you think they are some sort of whore, and lots of other things, but it doesn't help them.  So my first issue with this scenario is, so what if I happened to be nineteen with a three year old.  Don't comment on it unless you have something nice to say (the saying is still true about not saying anything at all).  
Secondly, before making a statement cue in to context clues; things like the fact that Abigail calls me 'Mama' and that I wear a wedding ring, that is very obviously a wedding ring, are good indicators that I must be old enough to be a parent (because I am one) and to be married (because I am). 
My third and final thought on it, if for some crazy medical reason when a thought pops in your head is must come out of your mouth, think of a more appropriate time.  Perhaps when the girls are all dancing and Abigail won't overhear the conversation about me being too young to be her Mama?  Maybe you could wait until she's buckled in, and the car doors are shut so she can't hear?  Be a stalker and follow me home so you can get my address and mail me a letter letting me know.  Whatever you need to do is fine, but for the love of my daughter, PLEASE stop saying these things in front of her.  PLEASE!!!!  We already have enough 'abnormal' things to try to explain to her about adoption and medical disorders.
So I guess this ranting really just leaves me again with the idea that maybe, just maybe, we could try to say kind and respectful things to those around us.  We could attempt to be encouraging, even if we see a sixteen year old with a baby.  Find things she's doing well and point them out to her.  My daughter is being taught to use her kind words, but it's going to be hard to continue to teach her this if everyone around her believes they have the right to say whatever they want whenever they want. 

Bracing myself for the adoption questions sure to be asked next Monday at ballet,


  1. Love it!! Dont you just love it when you get to interact with thoughtless adults....lol We went through 4+ years of infertility, losing a twin 8 weeks gestation and now NF. But man I dont I think of snappy comebacks like you! ha ha I usually think of them later...much later. And what is great is that most of our comments come from family/friends. ha ha Love you blog. And you DO have an adorable girl!!! Love your pic!!!!


  2. Oh, I can see it now...

    "she's SOOOO lucky to have you"
    "was her birthmother a (insert drug addict, teen mother, prostitute), etc."
    "now that you've adopted you'll get pregnant"

    oh the list is endless!

    A friend of mine who adopted from Guatemala was once asked by a perfect stranger (in front of her daughter) "was her mother a prostitute?" Without so much as batting an eye she responded "no, why, was yours?"

  3. Maybe you should really freak them out an adopt a ten year old too :)) Maybe they'll swallow their tongues!

    Jackasses are over running the planet! Sorry you have to deal with them.