Monday, August 24, 2015

the number three

When we first arrived back in town, I began to notice the way three children are perceived in a culture where one or two is the definite cultural norm at this stage in history.  My neighbors, in particular, seem very amused that my third was another boy.  They find it all very curious, to say the least.  Most are opinionated in one way or another, and they never hesitate to let me know. By the general populous though, we are not really lauded nor are we seemingly despised.  We are, however, most certainly watched.

Not long after our arrival, I took the kids to the grocery just down the street from our apartment.  Normally, I have our groceries delivered or I go to the little shop inside our complex, for obvious reasons.  But, on occasion, I require something that isn't available in the on-line ordering venue.  So, I strapped Asher into the Bjorn and put the other two boys in a cart.  We were, thereafter, followed at very close range through the store by four or more curious employees. They pointed, chattered and giggled their way beside us. I think it was the Bjorn that pushed it over the edge. After checking out and safely making our way to the car, I proceeded to strap every child into his designated seat.  By the time we were all settled, we were looking at around 10 minutes of "situating."  It was at this point that I glanced up to see that almost every store employee had stopped working.  They were plastered to the front window, where they had been avidly watching our entire exit-and-seat-belt process.  We waved…and drove away.

A local friend we hadn't seen in over a year dropped by the house today.  He asked to see our youngest and so I brought out little Asher from his crib.  He looked confused for a minute and then it dawned on him that we now have three boys. A wave of disapproving concern swept over his face and he looked me up an down, telling me how run down I've become - all skinny and dull. I used to be nice, he said, back when there were only two boys.

Ah, I've come a long way culturally.

I almost had to leave the room. But not to cry.  To laugh hysterically.  There's something to be said for the frankness.  I started to pipe up that I thought asian food might have more to do with my weight than a third child.  I considered grabbing a chunk of baby belly fat to ensure him that there's still plenty of meat on my bones.  But, it just didn't seem the moment for it.

He left, shortly after, begging David once again not to allow me anymore children.  Three is far too many for good health.

After school, we went to a print shop. It involved parking on the wild main road and trekking into the narrow lane where the shop is located. To keep everyone alive amid the whirl of motorcycles, trucks, bicycles and street dogs, we all have an on-mom station.  Jude is supposed to cling to my shirt tail remaining on my heels at all times, Silas gets a hand, and Asher is in the other arm.  As a treat afterward, we went into the bakery for a samosa.  I might as well be a super-star.  I'm really not exaggerating to a great extent when I write that every customer turned to look when we entered.

Before, we might have stopped a few shows as we passed.  Now, WE are the full-fledged show. I'm learning to embrace it.

Ah, three.

It's more fun than I thought!


Anna said...

What a wonderful testimony before your watching world that children are a blessing from The Lord.

Kelly Brasher said...

I will never regret having three babies, not in this culture or in any other! We love the chaos that is our life! And you love yours as well... Let them look and even make, what we in the Western world would call, rude comments (although his may have been out of genuine concern). Just flash that sweet smile, Momma Dawkins! We have lots of secrets to share with them, including how awesome it is to have a big, loud, rowdy family like ours! Kiss all of those boys for me! Love you!

Chelsea said...

Way to go having a positive outlook. I loved this post and felt like I was walking the supermarket aisle with you. Thanks for letting us venture through this crazy world of motherhood with you!