While reading this post it's possible you will see my snarky side come out. Just say'in....
When my boys were little we stood out a little. Four boys within 4 years, two of them looking like twins might make you stand out. Sometimes.
What amazed me the most is the questions people....total strangers...felt they had the right to ask me when we were out in public places. That, and the fact they acted as if I owed them an answer. Some days I was cordial and friendly, but sometimes people just got under my skin. I came up with some scripts for when I really just wanted to put people in their place a bit, or at least mess with their heads some.
Question from total stranger: "Are they all yours?"
"Umm....do you mean did I borrow some?"
Or turning around looking shocked, "What? I thought some of them were YOURS!"
Comment by total stranger: "Wow, you sure were busy!"
My response: "What do you mean?" (in other words, you just made a comment about my sex life, but I'm going to make you explain your comment...in front of my kids!"
Comment from total strangers: "Took you awhile to figure out what caused that, huh?"
My response: "Took your mother awhile too, apparently!"
When Angela came along, the comments were of a different variety. First of all, she was beautiful (of course!) but she also looked MUCH younger than she was. At a year she looked like a 5 month old baby. At 2 she looked like a 12 month old, and at 3 she looked to be about 18 months. Even now, at 15, she looks like a 10 year old.
Not only did people ask how old she was, but when she was old enough to understand the conversation it really annoyed me that people would ask me questions with her standing right there, or talk as if she wasn't standing there!
Question from total stranger, who happened to be 60'ish, while standing in a check out line. Angela was about 8: "She's adorable. How old is she?"
Me, to Angela: "Angela, this lady asked how old you are." Angela to lady, "I'm 8. How old are you?"
stranger response: "Oh, I don't tell my age."
Me: "Not fair. You asked her age, she just asked you back. If you don't want to share, you shouldn't expect her to."
Don't get me wrong. Most of the time I will answer people's questions nicely, or even respond politely with, "I'm sorry, but I don't talk about my kids in front of them." It's only those who ask in a particularly rude way that get my snarky responses.
So fast forward a few years, and we now have Axel. Two kids with DS. I get the "Are they both yours?" question a lot. . There are times when it's appropriate to share Axel's story, and the possibility of adoption with others, and there are times when it's completely inappropriate. In that case I just answer with "Yes" and turn away to end the discussion right there.
But now Axel is in a halo. It's not every day you see a kid in a halo, in a restaurant looking and walking a bit like frankenstein. People are bound to want to look.
I don't mind kids staring. It is natural, and they're just curious. The don't know what the thing is on that kid's head and they have questions. It's the adult who tick me off. Twice in the last week grown adults have literally turned around in their seat to stare at Axel. I'll admit, I am not very nice about this. I have stared directly back at them until they finally peel their eyes off Axel and realize I'm staring back, at which time they quickly turn around embarrassed. I have also turned to them and said, "Staring is rude."
I have also had people come over to get a close up look at the halo. They want to get right over the top of him to see how the screws go into his head! No really...people DO THIS! I had people comment about the incision scar on the back of his neck (that is still kind of crusty looking.) saying things like, "I couldn't look at that every day." This one irritates me. You know, Axel has no idea what the back of his neck looks like, thank you, so SHUT UP!
The two biggest questions we get are, "Does it hurt?" and "How does he sleep?"
So here's your chance. Here's your opportunity to ask whatever halo related questions you can think of, and I will answer them as best I can so the next time you see some kid in a halo, you won't feel the need to stare. In fact, you can ask non-halo related questions too! And hey, if you can think of any good comebacks to these questions, please post them!