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Dear Dave,

The Rocky Mountain News prints David Letterman’s Top Ten List in every morning’s paper. It is usually a few days behind the broadcast of the list. I am a big fan of David Letterman.

The list in yesterday’s paper was particularly interesting (a few of the lines made me laugh out loud). I imagine it was inspired by the birth of the Duggar’s 16th child. I have nothing to say about the Duggars, other than congratulations. A new baby is someone to celebrate and welcome, never to be mocked. Mocking the mother mocks the baby.

Anyway, here’s the list with my mother-of-five-styled responses in red:

The Top Ten Signs You Have Too Many Kids

10. Kids sleep in bunk beds, sit on bunk sofas.
Actually, they sit on the floor. And kids love bunk beds and anything double-deckered, so a bunk sofa would be perfect. Are you listening, La Z Boy?
9. Any movie you take kids to instantly becomes No. 1 film in the country.
We took the kids to see Wallace and Gromit’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit on opening weekend. It was Number One at the box office. You’re welcome, Aardman animation and Dreamworks studios.
8. You’re spending $7.3 million a year in allowance.
No, we spend $7.3 million on Tide with Bleach and Pepperidge Farm products.
7. Family wiffle ball game has larger attendance than Devil Rays games.
Total Tampa Bay Devil Rays attendance for 2005 was a little over 1 million (I looked it up). That’s pretty bad, but what do you expect when you have the lowest payroll in MLB? I’m just sayin’. Injuries took their toll, too, with Townsend’s torn elbow ligament. If former Rockie Joe Girardi moves to Tampa Bay from his position as Yankee’s bench coach, things could look sunnier for 2006. Oh, yeah, something about Wiffle Ball. We don’t play.
6. A Gap for Kids just opened in your living room.
Ugh. I am so tired of their employees using our phone to arrange after-work dog park meetups/parking their VW convertible Beetles in our driveway/ignoring me.
5. In speech on Global Warming, Al Gore holds up your gas bill.
I thought that destitute guy rifling through our garbage looked familiar.
4. A kid says, “I love you,” and you say, “And you are…”
“…my precious child.”
3. Locals refer to you as “that couple that’s always doin’ it.”
Yes, we are always doin’ laundry, doin’ the dishes, doin’ our kids’ homework, doin’ the yardwork…
2. FEMA is airlifting Cheerios and Barney videos to your home.
They say they will come, but we are still waiting.
1. Neighbors take up a collection to buy you a vasectomy.
The people who live diagonally in back of our house have seven kids. I think they put in a new pool with their money. We don’t have room for a pool, so when the neighbors present us with a nice check to get fixed, we will tell them thanks, but we are not broken. Maybe I will use the money collected to buy a shirt for one of the kids from the Gap in our living room.

15 comments to Dear Dave,

  • Nice response! I am confused about the gap employees using your phone???????

  • Yay Gretchen! Love your responses. I dream of a Gap in my living room, sale racks only though. Hooray for thier adjustable waist pants for my scrawny little kiddos.

  • mopsy

    Vashti—every time I’m in a Gap, two things happen: they are all talking in their little headsets or on the phone, and they ignore me. When I was picturing my living room Gap, I figured at least one of them would be using my phone.

  • Thanks for clarifying. I’m slow. I also meant to tell you that I love it when people give me a new way of looking at things and you usually do that. I really liked what you said about mocking a mother mocks the baby and that is unacceptable. It has been way too easy for people to mock the Duggars. I have been guilt of rolling my eyes at the news. You gave me a great new perspective. Thanks. Must go do penance now.

  • LOL at #5! I love your wit.

  • Great job, from one fan o’Dave to another. Remember Larry Bud?

  • Russ Eldredge

    Gretchen, I love your sense of humor! Thanks for a bright post on a blah day!

  • Holly

    As a quiverful mom about to have baby #7, I hate it when people talk horribly about what we are doing. The Duggars should be commended, not condemned, as is every family who sees a baby as a blessing from God and not something to be limited. Thanks for the post. I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY!!

  • Great comments to the top 10. I was also confused about the Gap employees using your phone. Thanks for clarifying.

  • My mom is from a family of seven, I’m from a family of five. People without siblings, the more the merrier, really miss out in a lot of ways. There is nothing more exciting, hopeful, life-affirming, and meaningful than a new human. And there are few things so sad as those who give birth and then don’t care properly for their precious charges. I think the eye-rolling goes back to the impression people have of large families as welfare/slacker/uneducated/unable to control themselves. Ridiculous. The two families I know with ten kids each: dads are a surgeon and an architect. Mom already has a FULL time job. All children college graduates. All children love each other. All children upright citizens. Who has the right to say they’ve been irresponsible in bringing so much good into the world?

    Can you tell I feel strongly about this one?

  • goslyn

    I love your post! (Well, actually, I love most of your posts. I’ve been an admiring lurker for some time now.)

    My father-in-law is one of 17, so I really appreciate the love and incredible togetherness having a big family can create. I remember going to my first Duck family Thanksgiving, when my husband and I were first dating. There must have been 60 people there. It was awesome. We ate in shifts, at a collection of picnic tables that had been placed end-to-end in the living room.

    Everyone took time to get to know me … but between the turkey and the people, my head was spinning. The next year my husband’s parents took mercy on me and made me a family photo album so I could study up before the big event. We’ve been married 3 years now, and together for 7, and I confess, I still break out the photo album to study up before big family gatherings.

    Anyhow, thanks for the reminder that big families can be really wonderful things, no matter what Letterman or anyone else says.

    And yes, they know what causes it.

  • I totally support responsible parents having lots of kids (ie: having kids that they can support, rather than put in foster homes). Some of the best behaved children I know come from big families. I don’t have the temperment for a big family (I hardly have the temperment to be a parent at all), but I’m thankful some people do.

    Clever post 🙂

  • Once again, you made me LOL! I think as long as the home is a loving one and the parents can provide emotionally and financially for the children, then the more the merrier! How can one possibly have too many blessings?

  • bro-de-mopsy

    Who knew my sister was so into the Devil Rays? But there she is — faithfully following every regular season game on her satellite TV.

    But for real – I hear comments from people all the time that your kids are so well behaved. People get this impression that big families are out of control, but your kids are always so good in public, and at home.

    Just having twins, you can’t imagine the things complete strangers say to you when you’re out shopping – like “pity you and your two kids” or “poor you” and “glad I never had twins”, or “I could barely manage my one kid”.

    All babies are a blessing.

  • Your response to #3 is too funny!

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