The other day I took my three children (ages 5,3 and 1) and a friend's two children (ages 5 & 3) to local Children's Museum downtown while my friend waited in line for tickets to Disney on Ice. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and after several hours of fun at the museum, the kids (5 in all!) and I all hopped aboard the train to go claim our tickets. The children, though energetic, were well-behaved, warmly dressed, and obedient of all traffic laws (walking down the platform, waiting at crosswalks, etc.) I thought things were going rather well until a stranger stared at me, then the children, then back at me in obvious disgust. I ignored his rude behavior and, instead, cheerfully smiled and said "Hello!" as we passed. He continued to follow me with his eyes, too (something, I'm not sure what, but not too polite by any means!) to actually speak to me, but certainly wanting me to know how much he disapproved and even abhorred me for having 5 children. As we walked away, I wondered why his disapproval bothered me so much. I mean, first of all, why would I possibly care what he, a complete stranger, thought of me? Secondly, they (obviously!) weren't all my children anyway. So why was I even giving his behavior a second thought? (This reminds me of a time a few years ago when, walking into church with my baby and 2 year old, a man leaving the church said "Wow! Talk about over-population!" I thought "Seriously? Because of 2 children?")
I still wonder, and I'm trying to let it go, but since then, I've been replaying the situation over and over in my head, trying to think of an appropriate response to him. I mean, it hasn't been the first time someone has commented on how "many" children I have, and it's not likely to be the last (especially once we leave Utah!)
Once I got past the childish "Ya got a problem, dude?" and "What? Didn't your momma love you?" comments, I decided that I should have simply said "What, 5? I'm just getting started!" But, I would love to hear any ideas on how to appropriately respond so that I can politely let my own opinion (about how wonderful children are) be heard, since so many people are so free to share their dislike of large families. Or, is silence golden, in this case?