Friday, October 5, 2007


Since we are in California, we decided to take the kids into my mother's work. Apparently her grandchildren are all she talks about so when they are in town they have to visit her at work. The kids enjoyed the attention and my mother's coworkers enjoyed the diversion. Everyone was very nice.

However, one thing about the trip bothered me. It seems that every time we are out, someone makes this comment. If I had to guess, I would say I have heard this said hundreds of times over the last year. Apparently all anyone can say when you have three small children is "It looks like you have your hands full." Again, there is nothing incredibly rude about saying this. Besides the obvious lack of originality and attempted wit, the statement has some relevance to our little family.

The funny thing about the comment is that it is never made when our children literally occupy all our attention. Rather, people make it when the three are all being good, strapped in a grocery cart or in a stroller. These are the times when we least have our hands full. In fact, not once has someone commented to me that I have my hands full when I am, in fact, overwhelmed. Also, people sometimes say it in a tone that denotes our family is too large. While this is rare, I don't know why people feel the need to comment at all when they feel this way. Fortunately, I don't live in China and I am entitled to more than one child. So, if you feel the need to say this to someone, consider these alternatives.

5. Nothing (literally, keep your "hands full" comments to yourself)
4. You have adorable children
3. What a cute little family
2. I want/wanted twins (I am only joking with this one, it is the second-most common thing we hear and I think it is ridiculous on so many levels)
1. Is there anything I can do to help/let me get that door for you


NG said...

I chanced upon your blog from and could not avoid reading looking at your cute children. Anyway, I have a son and if I meet someone who has more I just say "you are bold".


Anonymous said...

When people tell me I have my hands full (all the time when the little ones were small) I just reply "Yup, and so is my heart."

Tammy said...

I am a mom of 15 month old twin boys and a 4 year old boy. I happened to come across your blog today. I can relate so well to the comments about having your hands full. I hear it all of the time also, and just as you, never when I feel overwhelmed. I just have to tell myself that they do not know what else to say, but hearing it so often makes you want to comment back. You children are adorable.

Katie said...

People are so rude! But, my husband (a twin) really wants twins. I think he is crazy too!