When walking in the grocery store, when driving my minivan through the Wendy's drive-through, when picking Ayla up from school, when answering the door to the chinese food delivery guy, when I'm trying to put my own shoes on....
This is the sentence I hear most, "You've got your hands full."
It seems to be the way other people know how to relate to a Mom carrying and caring for three small children at once. I get smiles and looks of understanding from people; also looks of horror. But for some reason, these are the words that almost 99% of the people I pass by seem to choose.
"You've got your hands full."
What does that mean? First of all, is that even polite? Polite or not: It is true. My hands (and my brain, my to-do lists, my priorities, my worries) ARE full. The only thing that isn't full in my life is free time and the bank account. It might be the only thing to say to a woman who has two kids in the atrocious car cart at the grocery store and a baby strapped into the Baby Bjorn on her chest. But why those particular words?
What about, "God Bless You" or "Holy Hell, what are you doing?". Or, "Can I offer my babysitting services?" :) I wonder if people might be thinking something else before they revert to a non-judgemental, non-commital phrase like that. It's like trying to make conversation at a funeral. These are words that just come out of our mouths when we can't really articulate what we are really feeling about a given situation.
I was talking to a woman in the pediatrician's office the other day, which of course, is my new hang out. She said the same thing: people mostly say, "You've got your hands full." when they see her anywhere with her kids. And they say it to us whether we have one, two or three kids with us at the same. I laugh at people that say it when I only have one. One baby! HA! That's nothing.
So, what does it mean? Why are just my hands full? Do they really want to tell me that I look incredibly brave or incredibly irresponsible? Are they remembering their own time as parents with young children (which one older man did say to me, which was very sweet)? Or are they suddenly appreciating the ease at which they will encounter the check-out line at the grocery store?
Whatever the message is - I'll keep my hands full with my rowdy, knock knock joke telling and drooling crew. Because I have to AND because I love them.