Monday, August 16, 2010

Curious Strangers

We definitely stand out whenever we go out. Whether it's just me and the girls or me with all four kids or all six of us together, we always get a comment or two or three. The typical opener for curious strangers is "Are they twins?" or "Wow, you have your hands full!" or "They are sooooo cute." For the most part, the conversation or questions that follow those openers are fairly benign and forgettable. However, in the past two weeks I've had the following weird (and in the case of adults, sometimes downright rude) followups:

From kids:
  • "They don't look like you. You are really pink."
  • "When are they going to lose their tan?"
  • "Are those Indian babies?"
  • "Are you babysitting because you are white and the babies are black?"
From adults:
  • "Are they black or African?"
  • "They are adopted? There was something wrong with them, huh?"
  • "Which country are they from? I thought so."
For the record, I'm pretty much okay with anything a kid says. I will happily answer any question or explain anything they are confused about in an age appropriate manner. The problem with the adults is that their questions don't always seem to be appropriate given their age...really, they should know better!

10 comments:

  1. That's just plain awful. I can't even imagine how you responded to these idiots. Did you just give them a crazy look?

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  2. Justin says there are a lot of dumb people in this world! And he says that you should tell them their shoe is untied and walk away.

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  3. Yep, the things the kids say sound cute and the things the adults say sound awful.

    I hope you get many, many more nice comments than rude ones. The girls are precious!

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  4. Oh my gosh..just plain ignorance!

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  5. I don't remember where I was but there was a grown man telling his child 'look, there's Dora' when he saw a little Mexican girl walking. I honestly couldn't believe it. My jaw dropped.

    BTW, I haven't commented in forever but I've been reading & I am SO happy for you & your family! Perfect little family!

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  6. I'd go with Justin's comment. Might even use that one myself one day!

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  7. Oh ignorance and poor manners reign supreme now-a-days.
    It was always fun for my husband to take our oldest boy out when he was just a wee babe. The looks he would get would stop a charging bull. At times it greatly bothered him, but he had been so acclimated to getting odd looks so he mostly ignored them. You see my husband is black, light skinned or high yellow, and I am white. And our first son was very white looking, blue eyes and light blonde hair. Even these days usually the only people that can tell my children are part black are black people. Strange, huh?
    Eventually the pride will override the ignorance. Your family is beautiful. And really that's all that matters. Hang in there. ((((hugs))))

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  8. Totally with you. Kids are merely trying to reconcile what they see with what they know (but the tan question makes me wonder if that child knows any black people!). Adults, however, have no excuse for ignorant questions.

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  9. My view is that every question a kid asks is an opportunity to educate...when it is an adult, it is much more challenging. But I loved that one of our parent training classes included an activity to practice your "go to" responses to rude/unwelcome questions. I walked away with the message "When you respond, remember the only opinion that matters is your child(ren)'s"

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  10. It's amazing how clueless some so called adults are!

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Yeah! I love comments! Feel free to leave me one (or two or three).
But remember what your mama said..."If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
Thanks!