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What is a polite comeback?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I know this has been discussed before but I can't find a thread and thought I'd start a new one. I need some ideas for how to respond to a comment I get on a daily basis (yes, freaking daily) about my family.

 

I have three sons (7, 5 and 3) and a 5 month old baby girl. When we are walking to school, going to the grocery store, pretty much anywhere I get the "Oh, you finally got your girl!" comment (or, "4th times a charm!" or "you must have been so RELIEVED when you found out it was a girl!")

 

When she was a newborn and I heard that I kind of politely laughed and moved on. But the older she gets, the more attention she garners (being a chubby, smiley baby now), the more often I hear it. And my older sons are standing there every time and can hear this comment. I just think it's too much. Besides the fact that I obviously love my boys just as much, my 4th pregnancy was unplanned so we were definitely not "going for" a girl. I find that ridiculous anyway since you can't exactly "try harder" to get the gender you want. It's just so dismissive of the older boys, like they are throw-aways in my hunt for a daughter.

 

So, anyway, normally this sort of thing rolls off my back, but the fact that it happens SO often now is really bugging me. I know people are not trying to be rude and really don't get that it's annoying to hear.

 

Ugh. So how do I respond? I am not good at snarky responses. I'm the typical, smile, be polite type (who says the snarky comment in my own head) so I need a response that is polite but lets my boys know, and the person, that I love them all the same and I'm not going to entertain that line of conversation.

 

I've talked to them about it after the fact (told them those people are just trying to be funny and of course I didn't keep having kids because I wanted a girl) but I'd like to show them that I'm not going to politely laugh when someone says it.

 

 

post #2 of 25

"Oh?"

 

Examples:

 

"Oh, you finally got your girl!"

"Oh?"

 

"4th times a charm!"

"Oh?"

 

"you must have been so RELIEVED when you found out it was a girl!"

"Oh?"

 

Alternatives:

"Really?"

"Is that right?"

post #3 of 25

I would just say something like, "I love all my kids the same, it didn't matter to me if I had a boy or a girl," that's not snarky, but it is clear at the same time, and will be clear to your kids a well.

post #4 of 25

I would be temped to say something like this:

 

Them: "Oh, you finally got your girl"

You: Actually, we were so desperate for a girl that when we got our 4th boy we decided to just dress him like a girl, give him a girl name and start saving for gender reassignment surgery.

Them: Really!?!?

You: Of course not.  We were thrilled with ALL of our children.

 

post #5 of 25

Them: "You must be so relieved you got your girl!"

You: Why?

 

Them: "You finally got your girl!"

You: "What do you mean?"

 

Them: "You finally got your girl"

You: "What's wrong with boys?"

 

Really if you stop and make them think, they usually realize how rude that sounds.

post #6 of 25

My dh got the reverse comment:  "So now you have your boy."  It didn't help that the girls were 13, 17, and 20 when their brother was born.  Our response is "God allowed us to plan the girls; He planned the boy."  And now I add "That proves that God has a sense of humor."

 

I also find that a blank or puzzled look works wonders as if I don't understand or can't decode what they just said.

 

Chris

post #7 of 25

I think it would be funny to act like you hadn't noticed: "Wait- this one's a girl? Oh no!"

 

I also would try to let it go. Yeah, it's annoying to think that everyone has an opinion on your family, but still, they put maybe 5 seconds into thinking of what to say, and you should put even less into considering their opinion. You know your life, they don't- the end.

post #8 of 25

http://www.infoocean.info/avatar3.jpgWhen she was a newborn and I heard that I kind of politely laughed and moved on.

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RStelle View Post

I would just say something like, "I love all my kids the same, it didn't matter to me if I had a boy or a girl," that's not snarky, but it is clear at the same time, and will be clear to your kids a well.



I like this.  Cumulatively these comments are really insensitive and could be hurtful to your boys, but each individual probably means well.  I like the idea of straightening them out nicely rather than embarrassing them.  Especially in front of your kids, I think you'll be teaching them a lesson in patience and tolerance, as well, and they'll surely remember it and respect you all the more for it later :)

post #10 of 25

we have 4 girls. when #4 was born and we got the comments, i make out like we were trying for a red-head. (dh is a red-head but none of the kids are!) so i turn the comments into "red-head" instead of "boy". and i've given up trying so yes we're done.

post #11 of 25

The joker side of me likes the idea of saying, "Oh, I have 4 more girls at home.  I was actually hoping for a boy to even up our numbers".  The serious, parent side of me likes RStelle's and Jennyanydots advice.

post #12 of 25

"actually we were trying for another girl" was what I use to say but now DS is getting older and I don't want him to feel like there is something "wrong" with being a boy.. Now I stick with "Gender doesn't matter, I love them all" or "Im blessed to have beautiful children, their gender doesn't matter"..

 

It does drive me nuts since my girls are older and pick up on it. My oldest has asked me whats wrong with being a girl before.. What I really want to tell people is to mind their own business and being a little girl is darn special. I hate it when people make a big deal out of DH FINALLY having a son. Its like having the two girls before didn't mean anything since they didn't have penises.

post #13 of 25

I really don't understand this mentality at all. Even better, I get (from "friends," no less), "Well, you don't get it b/c you're not going through pregnancy and delivery" (we adopted DS and are "working on" #2). What on earth does that mean? With the adoption agency, we didn't get to choose gender, b/c well, why should we when women who get pregnant don't get to choose? Through foster care, you CAN choose, but I just can't imagine doing that.

post #14 of 25

"We were kind of hoping for a puppy!"

post #15 of 25

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

I really don't understand this mentality at all.

 

I find it pretty simple to understand. Plenty of people do want both a boy (or boys) and a girl (or girls)...for all sorts of reasons. Of course it's a projection to assume a mother with three boys will want a girl, but I reckon that would be the case at least half the time if not more often. Heck, I only have one boy and if I had another I would kinda be hoping for a girl....it doesn't at all mean I'd love them any less if it were a boy, but for the balance and experience of both genders if I could choose I'd choose to have both.

post #16 of 25

Okay, so maybe the "friend" is right. Or maybe it's just me. I have no problem with that, I just don't get it.
 

post #17 of 25

People are just trying to make conversation, they are not making actual judgement calls about the relative merits of either gender.  It's just something to say.  It probably does get tedious hearing the same thing over and over but I doubt your children are taking it half as seriously as you are, especially if you blow off the comments and don't make a big point of having some well-rehearsed comeback.  Just smile and keep moving. 
 

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the great ideas! 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

People are just trying to make conversation, they are not making actual judgement calls about the relative merits of either gender.  It's just something to say.  It probably does get tedious hearing the same thing over and over but I doubt your children are taking it half as seriously as you are, especially if you blow off the comments and don't make a big point of having some well-rehearsed comeback.  Just smile and keep moving. 
 

 

Of course I know they are just making conversation and not making crass judgements of some sort. It's not the people I have an issue with, it's what my sons are hearing from a variety of people, over and over again. I know that my three sons, hearing this on a nearly daily basis, might internalize some of it, especially if I laugh and move on every time as if I agree. Little things, said every day, definitely can affect people, especially children. 

post #19 of 25

I would respond conversationally, "Ya know, people always think that, but once you're a mom you know that gender doesn't matter at all.  Each of these four is a unique treasure."  The "once you're a mom" bit could seem snarky if the person of a certain age and gender, so you could replace it with "I find."  "Ya know, people always think that, but I find that gender doesn't really matter at all.  Each of these four is a unique treasure."
 

post #20 of 25

I have two boys and this one will be a girl...

 

"Oh! You're finally getting your girl!"

"I wanted a boy, but I'm excited just the same."

 

or

 

"You're finally getting your girl!"
"I would have been happy either way, I just love babies in general!" 

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