Monday, October 10, 2011

Saying Stupid Things.

Sometimes I say such stupid things.

Shock and anger and self pity, and something else as well, that I can't quite identify... something about needing the world to know we are different now; it forces stupid things to come out of my mouth before I realise what I'm saying.

Opening trap before putting brain into gear; I believe that's what my Dad would call it.

A very good friend of mine does the me the huge favor of coming to swimming lessons with me and my children every few weeks. Four hands make life easier than too, and he often gets in the pool with my daughter, allowing me to stay dry and warm on the side.

The Chop's swimming teacher, new and not versed in our situation, makes the innocuous remark to my son that "You can go to Daddy in a minute, when you're done."

My son looks at me, wide blue eyes uncertain and unsure, an almost-four-year-old who copes with the permanence of death as best he can.

It's a primal thing, I think. The mama bear instinct. The same one that made me run, rather than stay. Protect your children. No question.

It's that mother in me, the primal one, who jumps forward and directs the new swim teacher with a stare that could have frozen the entire pool.

"His father has passed away."

She murmurs an apology, blushes... my sin's lesson is over in a moment anyway. As I warm his skin under a hot shower in the change room, I begin to feel stupid and embarrassed- that's not an unrealistic assumption to make, that the male friend with us was my children's father. I feel the sting of my own rudeness, and wish I'd explained the situation better.

Sometimes, is say stupid things.

Let's just blame the shock of it, still, almost eight months later.

Sometimes, to my own bemusement, I manage to keep it in.

My new mechanic has kind eyes. He's obviously a father himself, I can tell by the way he's looking at my daughter.

"I'll bet your daddy loves you," he says to the Bump. "Think he'll have to get a stick to beat the boys off!"

The Australian vernacular and proud tone in his voice stings at my edges like acid. I smile wanly, and say,

"Something like that."

I don't have to scare everyone, all the time.

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Sarah said...

I'm guessing it's easier when someone comments to Bump because she doesn't understand, but with Chop he knows what's going on so the mama bear instinct kicks in stronger? Maybe?

Meh I'm always talking out my butt so tell me to shuddup ok? LOL

Anonymous said...

Nothing you say or think or feel is stupid Lori. It's all valid, and all allowed! Kath x

Mrs Woog said...

Oh his little heart... xx

Toots said...

Oh Chop. Oh Mama Bear. You did fine Lori. Trust me, I bet she's more embarrassed at what she said - it's pretty standard to check who the people with kids are before automatically assuming they're parents. xxx

Anonymous said...

So NOT stupid Lori. Really. It's about finding the way for yourself and teaching your beautiful kiddos the comfortable thing to say. This may/will change over time. To not say anything to the teacher though would deny Chop's situation, which wouldnt work. All I can think (and that's as an outsider after 2 hours of thinking about it) is "this is our friend _____. Chop's dad died earlier this year. It's an easy mistake to make".
My situation isn't the same at all but I do spend time practicing answers to situations so that I've got something to say at hand.

Dorothy said...

That's not stupid, that's real. I'd say the same thing. Who cares what others think.

Molly said...

That was not a stupid thing to say. As someone who routinely puts her foot in her mouth, believe me.. You're good :) Never ever second guess yourself in Mama-Bear mode.

Maxabella said...

People aren't to know. These stings will always be there. It's good for your little fella to learn how to respond as soon as he can. He will be responding his whole life. x

Miss Pink said...

I say stupid things all the time, and something tells me that I have things a bit easier than you.
It's hard. We're mothers. We protect, and we're aggressive about it. And it's ok.

tinsenpup said...

Poor Chop! Poor you! Poor swimming teacher! It's just an awful situation, but I'll bet a quick apology before class next week would make at least you and the teacher feel a little better.

MaidInAustralia said...

Oh Lori, honey, give yourself a break. It's been eight months! These things are going to happen and they are going to sting. You handled it well, with honestly. I actually like Anonymous's idea - fancy that, liking an anon. comment - and perhaps it's one you can have in your bag of tricks for those awkward moments. It won't feel normal, and it's not, but it may come in handy. And maybe have a little talk to Chop, explaining that people don't always know the situation and don't mean any harm. Usually. xo

Bambi Kay said...

:( Hugs!!!

Hanna said...

I love you woman! In the warmest kindest way and not the stalker crazy way. You are perfect even if you sometimes scare people...because you are more human than anyone I know.
You´ll learn what to say and do....this is a new side of life for you....yes its still new...don´t ever forget that.

Melissa said...

SO not stupid. I have to blame the swim instructor a little - with all the varieties of families and living situations, she really shouldn't be making assumptions. You probably taught her a valuable life lesson.
That being said - I know how you feel, the mama bear in me sometimes makes me a bit less than eloquent as well.
No harm, no foul.

Oldie said...


Forgive yourself for when you think you overstepped the mark with others.

Facts are, your situation is tough.. and if you struggle in moments.. that's okay too.

As a single Dad/Mum I've bitten off a few heads over the years.. regretted some of them, but others did deserve to be told for their own stupidity being displayed.

One important fact that took me years to learn is..

"Don't shrink yourself to save the comfort zones of others"

Madam Bipolar said...

You are not the one who should be questioning yourself. People just make far too many assumptions in this world for my liking.
Fark 'em.
Thou Militant One, SawHole. xx

Mum to a Miracle said...

Oh Lori... that was not a stupid thing to say. You may think came out harsher than you expected but if you friend is coming regularly, it was a very necessary comment to make. This post just highlights the fact that there is a place for correcting / informing people and sometimes not so much. I think you got it right.
I got so angry inside myself the other day when a lady told me how cute my som was and asked his age. he has severe CP and although he is two, he doesn't reach for things, hold up his head, roll, crawl etc etc and as he is sitting in his wheelchair, watching the world she says "Oh, isn't 2 just such a great age" and I wanted to smack her in the head. It's not a great age for me (or him) and being reminded how fun and great a regular 2 year olds life is was not what I needed. I vented at friends about it, how stupid this woman was for saying such a thing, but they pulled me in line and reminded me that it was not said to offend.. just a part of conversation but one that I am sensitive to. I think the same for you, you are sensitive to having to tell people... whether for yourself, for Chop or so as not to upset the listener... but that doesn't make it wrong or stupid xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Such an easy thing to do...speak and think later. And next time you will have a different way to answer that will make you feel better after or not...sometimes making people blush and stutter is a good thing!

Sometimes when I was mad with my mum and the world I would reply to comments with "no she isn't my daughter she is my sister and I look after her since my mum killed herself" ...way to kill a conversation and make people stutter.... But just sometimes it was the right way to deal with people and maybe they think a little bit in future too.

MummaK said...

When people assume they often make an ass out of you and me, as the saying goes. Yes it was akward, but there is no need to dwell on it xx

Zoey @ Good Googs said...

Not stupid. Some things, there are just no way that is socially acceptable to say. But it still is what it is. And your little man still finds the truth in you.

Easy Peasy Kids said...

Lori I believe you said the right thing, I get really tired of people assumimg things. I know the teacher wasn't to know but she knows now.
When I go out with my two Miss 15 and Mr 6, people have said and this is infront of the kids.
"Are they from the same dad?"
" That's a big gap are they adopted?"
" Are you sure she's yours? She's much bigger than you"
So I've sat down with both of them and explained that some people justDon't know ourlife and sometimes they say the wrong thing. Nx

In Real Life said...

Heartbreaking moments. *HUGS* I think you're handling them well.

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