Monday, January 18, 2010

People Are People

This is what people see when they approach the back of our vehicle. My brother-in-law sells these stickers and put them on there for us. I'll admit that I used to be a part of the group who thought they were... I don't know, braggy? Ultra-mormon? But now I LOVE them. Mostly because they make for some interesting parking lot conversations and encounters on the road.

Almost every person who sees these stickers proclaiming that 2 parents have 9 children wants to see the person who is driving. They'll speed up, look at me (or Allen) and then slow back down or zip on by. I've become accustomed to this and will often wave or even offer a friendly salute - only because I know it makes them feel a bit awkward that I'm on to them... and I'm all about getting people out of their comfort zones. In the summer I even like to have the kids roll down their windows and we bust some amazing synchronized dance moves or head bangin' as other vehicles pass, gawking.

A few times, I have been surprised. Once a man matched my speed on the freeway (pet peeve) until I looked over at his vehicle so that he could hold up 9 fingers followed by a finger pointing at me and a questioning look. I offered a thumbs-up with a quick head-nod before he sped off, smiling and shaking his head.

On our recent trip home from California an equally large vehicle, also filled to capacity with a whole passel of kids, pulled alongside us. The driver gave Allen a generous smile and a double-thumbs-up and then sped off.

Just about every time I walk out of a StuffMart or grocery store there is someone standing behind my vehicle, counting stickers. When they realize it is my car, the counters will either ask where I got the stickers or if I really have 9 kids. Not because they honestly care to know, but because they feel as if they have to say something.

Once I even caught a girl taking a picture of the back window with her phone. I pretended to walk past, then stopped and said, "That's a LOT of people on that window!"

"Yeah," she said, "I'm totally going to post this on my blog. Can you believe it?! How do they fit all those kids in there?"

"Well," I told her, "we have a custom seat for 3 in the cargo area and we don't often travel all together so it actually works out really well."

Her eyes widened just slightly before she said, "I was just kidding about putting the picture on my blog."

"It's okay," I told her. "I was planning to do the same thing myself."

And look... I did.


Rachel said...

Funny! I always see those and count the numbers wondering if there is anyone out there who is as crazy as us and has a higher number than us. I think I just found that one family! :D

Cee Tindall said...

I love it! Especially opening the windows and dancing together!

I only had three kids, so we didn't get to have as much fun as you do. Always wanted a larger family but wasn't blessed.

Rebecca said...

Sometimes I can't determine if that depicts 9 kids or 11 (or whatever number the case may be). So I would be even more impressed than most people.

H.L. said...

You are so awesome!

That TLC family has you beat by a few kids. :)

Teachinfourth said...

That's the way I can tell it's your car...if you ever took off those stickers, I'd be lost!

Anaise said...

I don't have those stickers, and I don't have as many kids, but our car seat laws go up to 8 years or 80 lbs (or the seat belt fits right), and since my kids all came in a bunch and I only have one kid over 8 (and she's waaaaay under 80 lbs and the seat belt doesn't fit right) everyone is still in a car seat, so I catch people counting car seats. They always flinch and laugh nervously at getting caught. I just laugh. And once we had the same experience as you with a large family in a large van like ours who cheered us on, and we cheered them on. It's nice to be understood.

Kimm said...


Threeundertwo said...

How funny to meet another die-hard blogger! If I saw a car like that I totally would take a picture and blog it too.

Richard & Natalie said...

I love that you put that fellow blogger in her place.
Like TF, I use them to identify your car, but I guess if you were to ever remove them I could just look for the dancing family inside.
Funny post, Gerb!

Corine said...

Cool! :)

Gerb said...

Rachel- I love to count them on others' cars, too. Sometimes my kids will see a cat or dog and say, "That TOTALLY doesn't count! You can BUY those!" And as far as being crazy as you guys... I think you're right. We like crazy over here!

Cee- It's a blast, to be sure. I grew up in a family with 4 kids & heard my whole life how my parents wished they could have had more. But I bet you know how to have fun with the 3 you were blessed with!

Bec- Maybe next I'll have twins (since there are already matching babies on there and I have so much control over how many babies I have at a time) and we won't add any. Then it will be 11 kids.

HL- Good to see you! Thanks, and you are SO right. I don't think I could do 20.

T5th- You could always look for the dented front fender. But I suppose it's not as obvious.

Anaise- Isn't it great to have others cheer you on? I'd love to see you carseat configuration, actually. It sounds very cozy!

Kimm- Right back atcha!

3U2- I actually DID take a picture of a car that had their whole back window covered... turns out there were 33 in all. That included parents, in-laws and grandkids.

Natalie- You see my car around and you don't wave? Feel free to dance along next time we do a drive-by. ;)

Corine- Thanks! It's definitely fun.

Lori said...

I am laughing out loud. You know. LOL. This is so funny! I love the thumbs up. You GO ALLEN! WHUP WHUP! And I love the blogger. That was cute.

And, of course, the "pet peeve." ;)

Mom not Mum said...

I have a similar picture I posted on my facebook that I took while driving over the hoover dam. It was on a jeep cherokee though so I was a bit confused how they fit that many kids in that car ;)