Today we took the kids to a free event at my college. There were free hot dogs and cake, free cookies, free drinks and free horseback rides. The wind was blowing but hey, we are not up north because we are pansies. I had on three layers of long underwear and sweats as did the kids.
The event was OK-- it was a good reason to get out. We could afford it. It's a funny thing because something as simple as a $3 hot dog that turns into $15 for a family of five becomes $33 for us. If there is a tip jar, it's even more. $5 horse rides become $35 for the youngest 7 kids. Before you know it, in a family with 11 people, you have spent lots and lots. It's seldom worth it. If the event is something like the fair, we bring our own food and spread out how we will do things.
Anyway, my husband was great but we are seldom on the same page. If I don't hear him, I say, "Hey-- I didn't catch that. Where do you want to meet?" He nods his head and says fine and I repeat myself and say, "Did you get that?" I say it again. He waves me off, "Go!" So I go and he calls me on the cell phones. "Where did you go? I turned around and you were gone!" Brahhhh.
I did something that I never wanted to do. When I was in my teens, I saw a young looking woman with a large family and she was referring to her kids, "I need the Humperdink kids, Humperdink kids, come over here." Her voice wasn't grating, but at the time I wanted to have two kids (after I got married as a virgin at the age of 32-- I'd have those kids at 36 and 38) and I was smugly thinking, "I will never address my children by our last name and -kids! She is so old when she talks like that!" Today, with my 11 year old having to help me herd my 4 and 2 year olds while I chased my 10 year old with special needs who was attempting to hit every automatic door and elevator button that he could find, I was saying, "Crumpet children under the age of 11, come over here by the book signing table" or whatever. Argh. I am turning into one of those people. I realize that it was easier for my kids to make themselves be seen by me when I said that so it was good-- had I not, they could have been lost or off making trouble. I still don't like what I am turning in to. My parents had money and we never had to share and I saw a mother with two kids one day making them share a pretzel at the mall and I was really a bitch in my mind, "Lady! Don't go out if you can't afford it." Now I spread everything out. I am not sure if I am pathetic or if having a big family and reality smacking me saved my soul. I think it saved my soul.
At least as grating as I may have been to other people. no one could say that my children caused any problems. I saw several of my professors who came up to me, "Tea! Are these all the Crumpets?" (In real life I call my children Crumpets. I am always drinking tea. It just seems to all go together. I always have tea and I always have Crumpets.) I introduced them all. The Russian professor said that I can test her on Monday and that she will get their names right because of the Russian names that they have but the others couldn't pronounce them.