Saturday, October 24, 2009

Things people say *Edited*

Before we brought the twins home (two months ago yesterday!) I did a lot of worrying about what people would say when they saw our mixed race family. I come from the South and so was a bit worried about random comments from random would I respond? would I explain these comments to our kids? would I put these stupid strangers in their place while not loosing face in front of our kids?

For some reason I never anticipated the comments would be positive! Or for that matter, just plain weird. Below is little sample of things people have said to me while I was out and about with the twins....

Homeless man pushing his grocery cart full of recycling past us as we take our morning stroll, "You are just like OctoMom" (ok, I used to be compared to Angelina Jolie...what happened?!?!)

Cute little blond girl-maybe 4 or 5 yrs old- in Beverly Hills, "Look mommy, Brown Babies!" Her mortified mother, "Oh no honey, those aren't brown babies, they are African Babies."

Not 5 minutes later from a cashier at a restaurant...

"They are how old? Wow, you really lost your pregnancy weight quickly!" So in a span of just 5 minutes someone said I had African babies and someone else thought I gave birth.

"Hey, look at these cute dolls Trader Joe's is selling...OMG they are real!" I'm not making this up. A lady actually thought the twins were a display of some sort.

"Been there." From an older lady dressed in all white (white blouse, crisply pressed white trousers, white silk man's vest, white straw panama hat and a huge white cameo ring). She then proceeded to tell me how she had only been expecting one baby "the other one hid" and therefore got the surprise of her life when they "pulled another one out." Her boys are now in their late 40's but apparently used to throw their poo at each other. All this was related while we were in line for coffee.

"They look JUST like you! Your husband must be bummed there's no trace of him in them huh?"

"Adoption?" This from a biker dude we walked past on Larchmont. When we said yes, he stood up and gave us a one man standing ovation.

"Two boys?" This from pretty much everyone we meet even though Baby Girl is, well, a GIRL and I tend to dress her in uber frilly dresses. Not to mention she is petite and has the features of a little pixie while her brother is 4 pounds bigger and already has a comb over! Which brings us to...

"He's bigger than her huh?" Did I mention he's almost 5 pounds heavier then her? And it shows in every way so I find this question kind of odd...obviously yes, he IS bigger. I always want to reply "not really, he's just retaining water weight" or "not normally but he's gaining weight for a role." But of course, I just nod and say yes, he is bigger.

"A boy and a girl...well I guess you're done. Shop closed!"

"Are you the babysitter?" This from two African American women I passed on the street.

"Are you breastfeeding?" Yes, I actually had a complete stranger, on the sidewalk, ask me if I was breastfeeding. Crazy.

But mostly I get comments like "These are the cutest babies I have ever seen" and "You are SO lucky!"

And you know what... they are right :-)

ps...speaking of cute twins... head over here to wish this family double congratulations!

EDIT -- not 2 hours after posting this I was walking into Target with the twins and as I passed a lady with a baby and a toddler she looked at me with pity and said, "Twins. I'll pray for you."


  1. Great post...all the comments crack me up!

  2. Kat, Thanks for the giggle this morning.

  3. I was just thinking that you lost your baby weight fast....this explains it...LOL.

  4. As my 6 year old nephew would say, "Wow,Auntie Kristin.Just wow."
    Some people should justsay nothing.ever:)

  5. It's funny. Living in Africa, people always assume Dessi is my birth baby. When Eric, my husband, is around, they ask us, "Whose baby is it?" "Uh, it's both of ours." "But the baby is black. Who is the father, then?" Etc. You would THINK they might think, okay, two white people with a black baby, maybe I should stop asking questions, maybe it's a sensitive issue. But no. They don't think that at ALL. I have grown to laugh at it. And to love it in its way ... because when I go home to WHITEFISH, Montana, people just walk right up and ask, "Where did you get your baby from?" Never occurs to them that A) That's a downright dumbassed thing to ask, or, B) That I might have a black husband! Of the two options, I prefer the first. The idea of not being noticed, I have realized, is completely not a possibility. But that is all okay -- if none of these things get under our skin, we will never convey to our babies that there is some problem or some thing that shouldn't be mentioned or talked about. OBVIOUSLY, white parents, black baby. OK. OK. We get it.

    YOU sound like your'e handling it all wonderfully, although I daresay, at least for me, the standing ovations, etc., get reeeaaallly old. Especially when our children are old enough to udnerstand that their blackness and their parents' whiteness are the focus of it all.

    On the flip side, a friend from South Carolina has a very dark-skinned husband, and her kids came out very dark-skinned as well, and so people all the time ask her where she adopted her kids.

    The thing it's made me realize is how much skin color is often times the first thing anyone sees. Before they see Dessi's beautiful eyes or her friggin ridiculous personality, they see a little black girl. At least in Montana. Here in Dakar, I suppose they first see a white mother!!

    Long post. Glad you don't have a word limit!


  6. Ha... thanks for sharing what people "really" say as I am in the phase you explained previously of just trying to imagine all the ridiculous comments I am some day going to have to deal with ;) I still need to see your babes sweet face. I told Harmony I am a little jealous of her.

  7. You are so funny, you really crack me up! You know, since I have become aware of adoption language and that I will one day be the adoptive parent, my language has changed. Now, when I see a baby with anyone, I always just comment on the sweetness or the cuteness and I never ask specific questions. I have to tell you that I love that the woman said she would pray for you about having the twins. That is hilarious! I will never forget the word that Katy coined: groceryidiots. Truer words were never spoken.

  8. OK Kat I just saw this and have spent the last 5 minutes laughing out loud!!!

  9. Thanks for sharing those....

    The one we continue to get over and over and over is "wow- his hair is so straight! He must have some white in him!" Are you kidding me? Did you really just say that?!

  10. That cracked me up!! I've always wondered what the comments will be when we bring Sam home. I can imagine it's more crazy with twins.

    My favorite so far was from my husband's grandparents, "He looks like Barack Obama." Yes, the only black person they could think of.

  11. This might just be the funniest post I have read all year!

  12. You are so right. I have a biracial son and I have received SO many comments over the years. He's 12 now and we live in the Carolinas. I've heard, "Are you the babysitter?", "Wow, what adoption agency did you use?", "You don't look like the type (what type I would always say?)", "He has such a great tan!" and on and on and on. Hang in there with the stupid comments. I've always tought my son that ignorance is bliss and people usually think before they speak, often. Take care!