Why We Have So Many Kids

It finally happened. My kids asked why we have so many of them. 

“Why did you and Dad have so many kids, Mom?” they asked, because five kids is a lot of kids, and it only took them, like, eight years to notice.

Now let me just say, I’ve promised my kids for years they can ask me anything, and I’ll tell them the truth, no matter how embarrassing or detailed or distasteful it is, which works MAGIC with sex ed, of course, because after just one reeeeeally thorough sex answer including words like Mom and Dad and secrete and thrust and “as often as possible” and “yes, usually while you’re home, otherwise we’d never get to,” and “no, we’re not always going to ‘at least wait for you to be away for a sleepover’ but thank you for the suggestion,” they stop asking me about sex and start asking their friends on the playground again which is the way God intended us to get our information. 

So when my kids asked, “Why did you and Dad have so many kids, Mom?” I said, “We didn’t mean to,” and “It wasn’t our fault,” and “We intended to have 2 or maybe 3 kids like reasonable people,” but then I felt bad for basically telling them they’re here because their parents are poor planners so I made it better by saying, “Just kidding. We’re raising you kids as a food source in case of the zombie apocalypse, and, because we’re good planners who think ahead and prepare for emergencies, we have FIVE of you so Dad and I don’t go hungry. You know that box of emergency supplies we keep in Aden’s closet? The one the size of a tool box with a wind-up radio, a box of matches, two flashlights, some dead batteries, and six packages of ramen? Yeah,” I scoffed, “like that’s gonna work. I mean, you had to know we have a better plan, right? Right??” 

And because these children are my children (and because I’ve already ruined their minds by telling them with the truth about sex — the Biggest Horror Story of All), they immediately sold each other out by pitching me Key Reasons Dad and I Should Eat the Other Children First — just a HUGE, cascading list of back-stabbing and betrayal — which is why I’m currently in possession of a list I’m fairly certain can get me arrested, including information like which of my children has the highest food value, which has the most optimal meat-to-body-weight ratio, and the beginnings of a geometric grid for plotting each child on an X-Axis which shows Liability on one end vs. Usefulness on the other and a Y-Axis which is a sliding scale from Very Appetizing to Not Very Appetizing at all. 

In conclusion, five kids is a lot of kids which, it turns out, is going to be incredibly useful during the zombie apocalypse. Also, my geometry teacher was right; I really was going to need that whole plotting-a-graph information some day! Who knew??

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
20 comments
  1. Omg you are hysterical

  2. This reminds me of the line from Where the Wild Things Are. “We’ll eat you up, we love you so!”

  3. Our three children are grown and out of the house, but we’ve talked about which ones we would want to come back home to join us to survive the Zombie Apocolypse. We’ve always agreed that the eldest likes to eat too much (and is therefore largely overweight) and has no physical skills that would help us (he’s the one who sits at the computer all day, every day and night, which makes him a decent living, but would be no good whatsoever for hunting and gathering and building shelter and fighting zombies.) But now I’m seeing him in a new light. Perhaps we should bring him back home after all…

  4. Love it! We have six so will be able to last longer than you 😉 although my eldest is bigger than me and a black belt in karate, so……

  5. I’m feeling hungry now and totally screwed with just two kids. May be time to get back into the bedroom for more “thrusting” and “secretions.”

  6. I want to be the kind of mom you are when I grow up. I mean. Have kids. For some reason people keep assuming I am a grown adult since I like, bought a house and have a job and stuff. What is that about?

  7. Holy shit, you people are living the same life as me. Just with one extra kid lying around.

  8. omg This needs a beverage warning. You have clever kids, using strategy and logic! They’ll survive the apocalypse for sure. Unless of course, they’re too tasty… LOL

    I tell my kids that they have to wear their seatbelts in the car because “that’s my favorite windshield and I don’t want it getting broken by a kid flying through it.”

    When my son was about 3, he got REALLY upset. Told me I didn’t love him as much as the windshield. LOL

    Yep, we don’t have a college fund. We’re saving for therapy…

  9. The morning after one of my younger siblings had “the talk.”

    Sibling: “Can I ask a question?”
    Mom: “Sure.”
    Sibling: “So there are six of us.”
    Mom: “Yes.”
    Sibling: “So you and dad had to do that sex thing six times?”
    Mom: “At least.”

    Sibling: “I’m not having many kids.”

    1. I’ve said the best thing about being an only child is being able to rest in the knowledge that my parents only did IT once! (eeew!) And then I remind my kids that there are 6 of them and leave them to think on it. It’s fun to see their skin crawl 🙂

  10. A twist of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” I like it.

  11. I always liked the Bill Cosby answer to the question “Why did you have 5 kids?” He replied. “Because we didn’t want 6!”

  12. I am not sure if you are living my life or I am living your life….Sex talk – nailed that one so many times just like you (lol). And, the answer to why we have so many – would have totally responded the same way. Great start to a dreary, rainy, icing, sleeting, snowy day in NY….Thanks!

  13. At today’s doctor appointment the pediatrician asked the kids if we had a fire escape plan. Jaedon said, “no, but we have a zombie apocalypse escape plan”! I couldn’t be prouder! I just never thought of using the kids as a food source before! You’re a clever girl!

  14. I want my kid to hear your version of the sex talk.

  15. Best answer ever 🙂

  16. Climate change reduces our chances of getting set adrift on an ice berg, and knowing you’re planning to eat the more succulent children first, I’m gaining some confidence that I may yet live to see three score and ten!

    1. My 17 and 13 year old son’s are lean mean athletic machines. I would,never be able,to overpower them

      1. But you can still outsmart them.

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