I think probably the most important topic to cover today is stupidity. This topic can never get enough press to cancel out all the stupidity in the world and yet it's worth bringing up because as a parent of multiple children of the same age, you run into stupidity on a regular basis. Take last week at the toddler gym class I attended with my three children, MIL and a nanny. First, one encounters the people who apparently didn't even look at the kids who ask if I have all boys. My daughter, for those of you who don't know me, is invariably dressed in pink. A pink shirt, pink polka dot pants, a pink dress or even, occasionally, a blue dress with a pink design on it. She also sits up front in the quad stroller. The most prominent child they are looking at. Does this help? No, apparently not. She is unceremoniously lumped in with her two brothers as if she looks just like them. I don't know about you, but not many American moms dress their sons in pink. Not if they don't have some serious issues that don't get talked about much in public they don't. So, I ask you, if you're so gosh darned interested in my triplets, why not take a look at them first? Is it impossible to notice the dress? The shirt that says 'pink is the new black' or 'cutie pie?'
Next the inevitable "are the boys identical?" Again, for crying out loud, are you even looking? Because one of my sons has blindingly blond hair and the other has dark brown hair. Fine, he has blond highlights but you have to squint to see them so if you can't see that my daughter is, well a daughter, then you couldn't possibly have mistaken his hair for peroxide blond. Now, stupider still are the people who seem to be looking at my triplets and then ask "are they all identical?" Um, no. That's a girl, and they are boys. That's not the definition of identical my friends. Not at all.
But we worked past all that and it's all old hat by now to endure the barrage of stupid questions and the slightly better but still annoying refrains of 'how cute' coming from people who, again, have not actually looked at the children, they just think anything that comes in threes is by far cuter than anything in fewer numbers. So we're here just auditing this gym class to see if we want to sign up for an actual session of several weeks and so grandma and I and the nanny are racing around trying to comply with the orders of the gym instructor to run our child in circles, and roll them over in a somersault and drag them back to the parachute for some 'fun,' and we're breathless and sweaty and overwhelmed and a lady turns to me and asks "do you have help with those things?" Uhm, what? Things? Ok, first off, who do you think is chasing after and holding my daughter and who is rolling my son over and over to his delight while I hang onto this other boy of mine while he tries to run away from the parachute? Strangers? People I found on the street and asked to help? Er, no. Again, is it impossible for stupid people to look around and assess a situation before they ask a question? Or is that just stupidity in its essence? The lack of wisdom to open one's eyes before one begins a query? Perhaps that should be the definition. Webster? Oxford? Opinions?
Now I haven't even addressed the fact that this lady called my children "things." And, no, she didn't retract it and say "oops, I meant babies" or act appalled that she called them things at all. No, her stupidity remained on solid footing. This question may rank highest in my list of all the stupid things people have asked me in my 15 months of motherhood. I'll have to think on that one because there's no one who has ever before referred to my children as inanimate objects. She may have the crown. And it was not a one time experience for her because on our way out of the gym she picked up a child who was not her own and held her while she screamed for her momma because, as she explained, 'the child was in the way.' Needless to say, the mom was highly displeased that A. her baby had been picked up by a stranger against her will and B. that stranger was so stupid that she didn't put the child back down when she started screaming or think that she had done anything wrong. So I feel quite comfortable in stating that this woman may be the stupidest woman I've ever run into to date. Thankfully, since I hated the gym situation, we will not be back but you never know where we might run into her again. She does live across the bridge!