What is a polite comeback? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-13-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
berry987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.

 

 


berry987 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-13-2012, 10:24 AM
 
laohaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

"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?"


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

laohaire is offline  
Old 04-13-2012, 10:33 AM
 
RStelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.

RStelle is offline  
Old 04-13-2012, 10:50 AM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,029
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.

 


 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
Old 04-13-2012, 07:04 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

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.


Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:12 AM
 
sewchris2642's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego county, CA
Posts: 1,378
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

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


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
sewchris2642 is offline  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:18 AM
 
Erin77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kailua, HI
Posts: 275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.

Erin77 is offline  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:50 AM
 
Isabel412's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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

Isabel412 is offline  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:01 AM
 
Jennyanydots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,374
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


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 :)


chicken3.gif mama to two teens and two tots partners.gif madly in love with DP guitar.gif

Jennyanydots is offline  
Old 04-14-2012, 08:43 AM
 
purplerose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 899
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.


drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.

purplerose is offline  
Old 04-15-2012, 10:01 PM
 
nstewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,720
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

nstewart is offline  
Old 04-16-2012, 10:48 AM
 
OkiMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

"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.


~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
OkiMom is offline  
Old 04-17-2012, 08:48 PM
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

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.

swd12422 is offline  
Old 04-18-2012, 06:02 AM
 
EarthRootsStarSoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)

"We were kind of hoping for a puppy!"


bellyhair.giftreehugger.gif     coolshine.gif      greenthumb.gif     read.gif
EarthRootsStarSoul is online now  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:47 AM
 
P.J.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

 

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.


Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
P.J. is offline  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:38 AM
 
swd12422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

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.
 

swd12422 is offline  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:53 AM
 
NiteNicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

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. 
 

NiteNicole is online now  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
berry987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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. 


berry987 is offline  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:50 PM
 
chenchen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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."
 

chenchen is offline  
Old 04-20-2012, 10:40 PM
 
CherryBombMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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!" 


             Coffee, Vintage and Kids.  My Life.
              reading.gif  jammin.gifdust.gif   1sttri.gif

                        cat.gifcat.gifcat.gif

                                      

CherryBombMama is offline  
Old 04-21-2012, 05:11 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Reportedly when their second daughter was born, my grandfather blew off those "You must be so disappointed not to have a boy" comments with "I like girls... my wife's a girl". You could take that comment or a similar one and turn it around.

erigeron is offline  
Old 04-21-2012, 06:21 AM
 
chel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: lost in a cornfield
Posts: 4,207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

 

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.



I agree. I've known plenty of families that wanted one gender or another. My dh was visibly upset when he found out his forth child was another girl and 2yrs later is still talking about what if he has a son. Even though he and most parents, I would thinkn, do eventually enjoy whatever they get. Many do ponder life with a child of a gender they never have.

Personally I love my girls have no desire for a boy

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
chel is offline  
Old 04-21-2012, 01:00 PM
 
AllisonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think the real issue here is that this is very negative towards your boys. Maybe not intentional by the people that open their mouths without thinking, but it is a problem. Also later for your DD, who might get the impression her identity as a girl is paramount to just being herself. So I think you have to address it, more for the sake of your boys and daughter than the other person. A comment like "I love all my children the same" or "We finally got another child to love" or similar would be useful. I mean, if this comment was once a month I would drop it, but if you get it all the time, it will make an impression on your kids. And not a healthy one I think.

 

Though when your sons are not around and your dd is still small, I'd opt for the snark comments instead. Love the one about "We were hoping for a dog/cat..."

AllisonR is offline  
Old 04-25-2012, 12:18 PM
 
AVIGG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have 3 boys and get the same comments except I haven't got a girl & won't :) Most people say wow, 3..... you must be busy or don't you want a girl or when are you going to try for a girl.

 

The only thing I say to that is "I love all my boys & wouldn't trade them for the world" little do they know, I was such a tomboy I wouldn't know what to do with a girl lol

 

A good comeback for what you are going through is " oh no, she is just as much as a gift as my boys were" however I do like the smart ass suggestion about saving for reassignment surgery, that would really make people think before they speak. 


Stressed mom of 3 crazy boys xoxo

AVIGG is offline  
Old 04-28-2012, 07:51 AM
 
Subhuti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Jeta Grove
Posts: 1,467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think I would just say "I love them all."


Kids. I got two of 'em.
Subhuti is offline  
 

Tags
Parenting
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off