Snappy Answers for Stupid Questions About Your Big Family


SIMCHA FISHER Friday, May 13, 2011

Guess what? I’m having a baby. Yes, another baby. Why? Because once you find something you’re good at, you stick with it.

Congratulations are welcome! Comments of “Die now, mindless breeder” will be dealt with appropriately. My baby, God willing, is not going anywhere, whether you approve of this pregnancy or not; so if you say something nasty, you’re just making me all the more determined to improve the world with even more pretty babies. So there.

Nothing, one would think, could be more personal than the choice to conceive and bear a child. And yet, as grand multiparas well know, simply leaving the house with more than two or three children is perceived as a challenge, a circus, a rebuke, a plea for help, a flag of insanity. Really all you want to do is mail a letter, buy some milk or a couple of pregnancy tests, or pay the librarian for this week’s crop of ruined books— but the world at large is sure that what you need right now, in the middle of the produce aisle, is to get into a conversation with a gawking stranger about these kids, these kids, allll these kids!

Faced with such social awkwardness, you may be at a loss for words. Some of us are able to use our conspicuous presence in public as a chance to witness to the joy of this lifestyle. Still others see it as an opportunity to ditch one or two of the slower kids in the gathering crowd.

No matter which description fits you, there will come a day when you are urging an unruly string of children down the narrow hall of the hospital, where you are late for an appointment to have the blood of several of them painfully tested for something you know perfectly well they don’t have. Some of them will be licking the walls, one will be wailing about losing her vending machine puppy in the parking lot, and two will merely be going silently boneless.

It is at moments like these when some sweaty bozo in an AC/DC T-shirt will appear, plaster himself comically to the wall to let you pass, and remark, “Haw haw haw, looks like someone don’t have a TEE-vee!”

Has this happened to you? Well, even in the midst of the trials of the first trimester, I’m basically a giver. I am here to help. If one of your wiener kids hasn’t shoved a fig newton into the printer, feel free to make a copy, laminate it, and keep it in that industrial strength duffel bag you’ve been trying to pass of as a purse. And next time, you’ll be ready with ...

Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions About Your Big Family

Q: Boy, you’ve got your hands full, don’t you?
A: Congratulations! As the ten billionth person to make this clever remark, you are a winner! As your prize, please accept this delicious baby.

Q: Don’t you know what causes that?
A: Yes, it’s brought on by being in the presence of morons. Every time I leave the house, I feel the urge to rush home to my husband and, for the sake of future generations, try to outnumber people like you. Whoopee!

Q: Are those ALL your kids?
A: Quiet, you fool, my husband’s listening!

Q: How many kids do you have, anyway?
A: I dunno. [I don’t know if it qualifies as snappy, but it’s often true, and it shuts people up.]

Q: But you’re stopping now, right?
A: Of course! Lots of people have nine kids. Nine kids is nothing. Of course, our van is longer than most people’s driveways. We own two milch cows just to supplement breakfast. And with the money from our Additional Child Tax Credit, we bought a small island in Capri. That’s life with nine kids.
But to consider having ten kids? You’re right, that would be cuh-razy.

Q: Don’t you have a TV?
A: If you think TV is better than sex, then you are doing it wrong.

Others commented and aumented:

Funny! Have you read “Cheaper by the Dozen”?  There are some good zingers in there.  I particularly like the story when the family of 14 is traveling somewhere and someone asks the father if those are all his children. He says, “Oh, no, this is only half of them. The other half are back at home.”
I used this once when I had my six kids with me at the grocery store. The stunned look and the silence was hilarious.

My husband’s best line, “It’s no sacrifice to be surrounded by people that love us.”  But I get my snark in from time to time.

“Don’t you know how this works?....Well yeah! Isn’t it obvious?”

“Are you going to stop?” 
Stop what? 

or “That’s too many.”
“Which should I send back?”

More positive:  Nine months out of the year, We get Cake!


My favorite is when I leave the older two at home and someone asks me if these are all my kids and I tell them, “Oh know, these are just the younger 5.”


“Are those all your kids?”  (I turn around and look at said children):  “No.  Where did you kids come from?”

“Don’t you know what causes that?”  “No.  Can you explain it to me, slowly and in great detail?  I’ll take notes.”

“Boy, you’ve got your hands full!”  “Yes.  And my heart is full too.  Aren’t I blessed?”


.“Just doing my part to save the Social Security system. My children will be funding your social security. What are you doing?”


Interviewer: “Nine children!”  Mrs. Scalia, without missing a beat:  “I’ve always been an overachiever.”


“Don’t you know what causes that?”—his dad would lean in real close and, with a wink, reply, “Well I do, but she don’t, so don’t tell her!”


How do you handle all those kids? By the grace of God and one day at a time. Children are a blessing and a gift from God. God bless your family.


“You know what causes that, right?”    “Why yes…and it would appear you need some pointers.”


 “Hey, I thought you people said ‘make love, not war!’” but I don’t know how well that one would hit its target.


Officious, unknown dolt in mall: “HOW can you have so many kids?”
Moi: “Because I believe in Darwinism.”
OUDIM: “Wha…what?”
Moi: “Yes.  Survival of the fittest means actually reproducing, so your offspring dominate the future. I don’t understand why so many people who believe in Darwinism really, really $uck at following it.”
OUDIM: <various spluttering noises>

Worked much better than play the Catholic card, because that’s easily dismissed by “Brights.”


“We’ll stop when we get an ugly one” and “Yes, we use the TV to keep the kids occupied so we can have some ‘alone time’”, although I have to say that while amusing to hear people’s retorts, IRL situations a lot of the time it helps to get people on board better if you reply with grace rather than a snarky comment.


My response to “You know how to stop this, don’t you?” is “What?  Rudeness?  NO!  PLEASE tell me!”


My wife gave birth to our fifth child one week ago today. After telling one of my clients about the birth, the client asked, “What’s wrong with you?” I answered, “Apparently nothing.”


I’ve been married for 2 year, and due with our 2nd next week- both girls.  When asked if he wants to try for a boy, my husband often says we’ll keep going till we get one we don’t like, or till we get an ugly one.


Snarky stranger: Wow, you must really like kids  -  Supermom: Maybe I just really like having sex.


 “Do you know what causes that?” (I’m pregnant with #4) I usually say, “Yes, and we’re REALLY good at it.”


 Question:  How can you not have any children yet? My Answer:  I am infertile and my body is incapable of carrying children.  Is there anything else you would like to know.  Love and enjoy that crazy caravan of children!!


 I can’t tell you how many people want to know if we’re done.  Since when is it their business.  I just tell them that it is up to God.  We’ll have as many as the Lord wants us to have.  My father tells me that it’s not good for my body to keep having children.  I have to remind him that this is what God created a woman’s body to do.  And since when is 4 children a large family.  I hope to be blessed with many more.


“Boy, you’ve got your hands full, don’t you?”  My reply is always “Better full than empty.”


Q. Don’t you know what causes that? My husband’s answer: Yeah…and I keep knocking her off but she keeps climbing right back on. My answer: Yup. A hot husband and a happy wife.


“I don’t know how I could divide my love that much.”  Mom said, “Oh, you don’t divide it, you multiply it.”


“I’m addicted to babies. As you can see, it’s a serious problem.”


When people ask my best friend if she knows “what causes that”, she answers, “We used to think it was sex, but if that was it we’d have hundreds by now!”



What? When are you going to stop???!”
Me: Look. I can’t get supper done on time, I rarely get all the dishes done, I’m terrible at keeping the laundry done, I have a hard time getting somewhere on time, and my bed is never made, etc, etc. You mean I have found the one thing I am good at- and you’re telling me to stop it?!”


“Stop interfering with my reproductive choices!”


  Everyone who asks us one of those same old questions is an eternal soul that needs Jesus.  Large families can be magnets for conversation beginners with people who may have never considered speaking to a stranger.  I do sometimes like to say when asked, “are they all yours?”.  “Yes, and my first wife’s.”  Of course my first wife and I have been married for nearly 20 years now.  Since I work with a lot of young women I might add something like, “just think how many I could have if I left her and married another young 22 year old.”  or “had a second wife”  Something like that.  This often opens the door to conversation about marriage, love, cohabitation, sex, contraception, ect., even into how one determines what is right and wrong, relativism, dogma, truth, and many other fun conversations.  You just have to get someone a little bit interested and usually a large family does that.


I was asked once if I had wanted to have 5 children. “No, I actually wanted 6 or 7, but the Lord only blessed us with 5.”


"You are Catholic & only have two kids?


The cashier was going on and ON about our (then) five kids, how her own two were enough for her, they were driving her crazy, she couldn’t handle FIVE, how on earth did I MANAGE?  And my four year old daughter piped up,  “Well, our Mommy LOVES her children, don’t you, Mommy?”


A very dear friend had adopted a beautiful child from China.  She’s a lovely Catholic woman, and happens to be Caucasian.  She got so sick of offensive questions that one day the following happened:

Q: Oh, what a beautiful child… is her father asian?
A: I don’t know.  He might have been… it was dark.


“Are those all yours?’, to the mom of 8; and the mom responded, “Yes, it’s a good start!” 




























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