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the problem with email

the problem with email

June 13, 2007

Sometimes it is hard to tell if they are well intentioned and poorly written, or asking exactly what they seem to be.

Today this email graced my inbox. I reprint it here in it’s entirety.

Did you always want a large family, or did they just start coming out faster than you knew what you were getting yourself into?

Just Wondering.

I could have emailed back privately, but I thought that other people might want to know the same thing. So here is my response.

Dear Just wondering,

Yes that is exactly what happen. Babies started shooting out of my crotch like ice cubes from a jammed ice cube dispenser, while I screamed, “Make it stop! Make it stop! My uterus runneth over!”

Posted by Chris @ 9:50 pm  

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  1. Alison says:

    When I grow up I want to be like you. That is probably the best reply ever.

  2. jen says:

    Some people just don’t think before they speak. I apologize for this person and their lack of tact! I know I had nothing to do with their comment, but I just feel the need. We have 3 families in my parish who have 6 children each. They are all wonderful kids and each one was a blessing to these great couples. From someone who has experienced 4 pregnancies and 3 children (1 miscarriage) I would never insult someone so harshly. God bless you for you openness to God’s calling. You are a great mom and deserve all the graces God can bestow on you.

  3. Karen says:

    You kill me, Chris. Geez.

  4. Amy says:

    Annnnd I just spit water all over my computer screen. Bwahahahaha! I’m the oldest of seven–my mom had a LOT of these conversations. Also the Japanese tourists in Disneyland really liked to try to take out picture, but that’s another story.

  5. The Pumkin Patch says:

    I think that was the PERFECT reply!!!

  6. whoorl says:

    Unbelievable! Great response, though.

  7. Tara says:

    Another screen wiper over here…

  8. Crisanne says:

    Some people are just crazy! Them, not you. You are hillarious.

  9. M says:

    OMG! Your response is perfect…I will never think of the ice chute on my fridge the same again!

  10. HeatherB says:

    bwahahaha….delurking to say: That was PERFECT! I am still laughing writing this. When I started laughing all i could do was point when asked “What? What?”

  11. Lisa says:

    My husband is the oldest of 7, and my Dad the second youngest of 7. Big families are awesome! You are very funny!

  12. Tal says:

    I’m not even sure if their email was meant to be offensive or just naive. Funny answer though, that’s for damn sure.

  13. Shannon @ Rocks in my Dryer says:

    No freakin’ way! I’ve gotten some weird e-mails before, but that one takes the cake.

  14. Lynette says:

    Delurking to say—Hilarious!

  15. Elinor says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Too funny!!! That kicks so much ass.

  16. Karly says:

    OH, I love you. You are my hero.

  17. diatribal says:

    Wow. What a vivid image. One that I don’t want to be in my head!!

  18. chickadee says:

    oh my goodness i’m laughing. loved your reply!

  19. Sleeping Mommy says:

    Yeah, that person probably meant it to be inoffensive and didn’t realize how truly OFFENSIVE it was.

    Thank you for sharing. This was a great laugh, but it also reminds readers to re-read their own emails and comments carefully before clicking “submit”.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Oh, that is so, so funny.

  21. Kate says:

    Laughing so hard I’m peeing in my pants! Probably because of that baby that shot out of my crotch…!!

  22. sarcastic journalist says:

    I’ve always envisioned it more like the log ride over at the amusement park.

  23. Mir says:

    You big liar. You didn’t scream; you were too busy scratching off lottery tickets.

  24. MamaGeph says:


  25. Mel says:

    Hahahaha!!! Let me just pick myself up off the floor, I fell off my chair when I read your response!! Very good, I like it!! As the mother of 5 I am always getting comments like this too!! I know most people don’t mean it the ways it sounds, but geeeez perhaps you could think before you speak!!!

  26. ChristieNY says:

    You are hilarious Chris, what a perfect response!!! :) :) :)

  27. Grim Reality Girl says:

    Best. Response. EVER!!!!!!!!!

  28. brit says:

    Dammit. Now I have to go change my pants.

  29. Stacey says:

    That is the greatest response!

  30. Suzanne says:

    Well, I always DID want a large family until the mental picture I just got of myself lying on a table, screaming like a banshee, looking like a crazed ice-maker gone all wrong.

    Maybe two is good enough…


  31. Sara says:

    Aaaaannd, now I will never see my ice dispenser in the same way again.

  32. texmex says:

    Sounds like a man’s question! Perfect answer.

    By the way when somebody tells me I’m a good mum, it makes me feel the same way. In Europe, it is something you wouldn’t dare saying to somebody, but in the USA, it is one of those sentences heard but not really meant! Just to say something if you’re taking care of your kids instead of working…

  33. Melanie says:

    Oh, no, you should have seen a doctor!! I hope you got your uterus fixed and have stopped shooting out babies. But if not, I’ll take one. I’d like a girl, but I’m done having kids. Maybe you’d thought of renting out the extras?

  34. KathyB says:

    SOOO funny!

    Although I had flashbacks of the panda at the Washington Zoo (shooting panda babies into the wall)…but it seems yours have faired better!

    LOVE IT!!!!

  35. tammie says:

    Chris: The level of stupidity of the emails that you receive never ceases to amaze me. I sometimes wonder if these idiots are smart enough to even turn on a computer.

    Bravo to your answer! As my mom always said, “if you ask a stupid question, be prepared for an answer you may not like”. Perhaps you should call this blog “Notes From the Ovaries”.


  36. queendivakate says:

    As a mom who is deep in the trenches myself and often hears - “Do they all belong to you”

    Your response was priceless!!!!

    Keep on rockin in the free world!

  37. Tina says:


    Oh my goodness, that is THE most funniest reply I have every heard! You totally made my day! Thank you for the much needed laugh.

  38. Summer says:

    It took me 5 minutes to stop laughing enough to type this. Oh thats hilarious!

  39. Cara says:

    Hi, long-time listener, first-time commentor…(that was a joke)
    Actually, I just came across your site a couple days ago and I am obsessed with you. Every post is so wonderful. I feel you big time! Great response, and keep’m coming.

  40. Liz in Australia says:

    Ow, ow ow ow! I have a cough and a sore throat today, and that made me laugh so much that everything else hurts now too…

  41. Jennifer says:

    LOL. Great response. Although the emails you get are insane.

    Seriously. Do people just not grasp the concept of large families?

  42. Novaks8 says:


    I have never heard that question and you know I have heard sooo many over the years.

    My all-time vote getter being “Haven’t you figured out what makes that happen?”

    I like to answer “No, what is that? PLEASE tell me!”

  43. April says:

    Thanks for that. I just snorted coffee out my nose, but it was totally worth it.

  44. Meg says:

    Oh my god, that’s NOT how your family happened? Huh. Wow, I was REALLY wrong…

  45. Her Bad Mother says:

    I hate leaving banal comments like LMFAO, but if the acronym fits, I wear it.

  46. ReeW says:

    Chris, I am delurking to say you are a very wise woman. I love ready your blog & I think you are an amazing mother.

  47. Gina says:

    Yeah, I wondered about that too. That wasn’t quite the answer I expected though. Thankfully my ice maker isn’t connected! ;)

  48. holly says:

    Laughing so hard right now. Tears from laughing too hard.

  49. Christine says:

    Our youngest child is black. The rest of us are crazy, albino white. People come up all the time, after my daughter has been yelling, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” and ask, “Is she adopted?”

    I like to look at them flatly - my husband and I look at one another awkwardly … as a flash of shame comes across my face … eyes to the ground as we both mutter … “No.”

    It’s fun!

  50. Brigitte says:

    Tears in my eyes from laughing so hard, and now the occasional giggle will escape from me as I shop today, causing others to back slowly away.

    I don’t think that person MEANT to be offensive, but your reply was worth it either way!

  51. Suzanne (JoyfulChaos) says:

    oh, the image is too funny!

  52. Wyliekat says:

    Please tell me you’ve seen Monty Python’s meaning of life. Please tell me you have. . .

    I have one thing to say to you.

    “Oh, get that for me, will you Deirdre?”

    This isn’t the part I’m quoting, but it’s part of the same sketch.

  53. Sheen of diaper Harlem says:

    You’re my hero!!!!
    I’ve always wished I could come up with something cool in return for all of the dumb questions I get asked about our six kids! Thanks for that feeling of justice finally done! woooohoooo! People need to settle down about numbers of kids people have. Why they feel the need to freak out and say stupid things I’ll never understand. It’s like we have some kind of giant growth coming out of the side of our bodies or something….oh whoops! That’s my toddler!

  54. Daisy says:

    My son’s blindness is genetic. I was amazed and appalled at the number of people who wanted to know if we planned to have any more children, knowing that this blindness ran in our genes. I love your response — and your blog!

  55. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    What’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without a question like this?

  56. Angela says:

    Oh.My.Gosh. Too dang funny.
    I am the 8th of 9 and while I loved growing up in a big family, don’t personally have the stamina to have that many. However, I just gave birth to my third and I cannot BELIEVE what a big deal some people have made of me having “ANOTHER one!?”
    If only someone would sit me down and tell me how they REALLY get here…

  57. robin says:

    Tact is apparently something no longer taught at home, or school or anywhere.

  58. Becki says:

    You are hilarious!

    Saw your page in Good Housekeeping - you go girl!!!!

  59. Gloria says:


  60. Karen says:

    The email to you might actually trump the one I got from my MIL. She said “I experience you as rude and disrespectful.”
    NOW she says she didn’t mean it THAT way. Is there any other way to mean that?

    Your response was great!!! LOVED IT!

  61. JESSICA says:

    I believe that person was genuinely in a non-offensive way asking how you came to be a mom of 7. Granted its worded way wrong…lol..great answer and im sure when they received it ..it sat them back straight against their chair ! lol !!!!

  62. JESSICA says:

    Good Housekeeping is how I found your page. The excerpt in that magazine was so funny i’m a reader of yours for life !

  63. judi casey says:

    oh, i thought you just were so tired after the first few that you couldn’t find the energy to reach for the contraception.

    i actually had a person shout across a crowded pool, upon finding out that i was pregnant (only the fourth and fifth babies), DON”T YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CONTRACEPTION?!? nice….

  64. poppy fields says:

    LOL! My second daughter’s birth kind of reminds me of your ice cube description, though. She did just pop out like a jammed icecube in 30 minutes flat.

  65. Jennifer says:

    Oh how I wish I had your wit…great response!

  66. jm says:

    Four things:

    1) Whaaaaaa?
    2) LIke many here, I will never, ever think of giving birth without visualizing my ice maker.
    3) The line “did they just start coming out faster than you knew…” made me wonder, “wow. how about wondering how they got in there? Or is Chris’ husband THAT stealth?”
    4) I think that you should teach the kids (or at, the very least, Miles) the words to the Python song that Wyliecat linked to. Just so, when you get interesting questions like the one above in a public place, they can all burst into song. Which would be incredibly impressive.

  67. Qalballah says:

    PMSFFLOL!! Get a cork! Sew it up! Anything! But make it STOP!!

  68. sally says:

    Ohhhhh! Is THAT where all the babies have been coming from?

  69. Amy says:

    Yes, yes, I’m the “moron, idiot, whatever you want to call me”

    So, I suppose this is just my hard lesson in life, don’t mess around with people who are more sarcastic than you. I was expecting some sort of joking but sincere comment back, obviously that did happen, to my embarrassment!

    I take full responsibility for not re-reading my email before it was sent, as my infant started to demand my attention.. I should have stopped and written it later when all of me was there! If I would have read it over, I would have had a hard time understanding what my intentions were too!

    Just to clarify I crave a large family and am just always curious how others get to that point. My real question, which was clearly not asked; did you always want a large family, or was it something that evolved as the years went on.

    I’ve heard from many friends that sometimes that is the case, you have one and before you know it you’re having another one.

    That response was hilarious, I do admit! That’s why I’m hooked!

    (No need to critize me more, people. A girl can only take so much in a day. I’ve already emailed Chris and apologized for the lack of tact).

  70. Janet says:

    You rock!

    ps I don’t think she intended to be rude.

  71. GraceD says:

    Chris, the image of ice cubes shooting out of your va-jay-nay is both compelling and repulsive. I don’t know if I should thank you or throttle you when I see you next.

    I am, however, grateful that this bizarre mental picture has knocked Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” out of my addled mind. Clearly, I’m still recovering from the Sopranos finale.

  72. Carola says:

    I was going to say that I didn’t think this person meant to offend you, but I just read she already apologyzed…funny answer you gave though…

  73. Kelly says:

    ROFLMBO Too funny. And well played. :o)

  74. kristy says:

    can’t. stop. laughing. (which seems to happen often when I visit your site)

  75. Susan says:

    I KNEW IT!

  76. MamaLady says:

    In Amy’s defense I wasn’t going to add another comment. But I just returned from the refrigerator. I will NEVER be able to just get ice ever again. I will always see Chris when the ice starts shooting out. Thanks for the laugh.
    And Amy, you’re not the only one that has ever sent a message before proofing it. Don’t beat yourself up.

  77. Tammy H. says:

    YIKES! The first time I read your post, I thought you said “barbies” were shooting out of your crotch. So glad that I re-read it and found out it was “babies”!

  78. Allanna says:

    That. Was. Hilarious.

    I think I scared my children when I burst into laughter reading your reply.

    “Uterus runneth over.” *snickers* Nice.

  79. Chris says:

    And for the record, when Amy emailed me this morning with an apology I emailed her back and said none was necessary. When I read the email I had this vivid ice cube dispenser gone wild image pop into my head and knew I had to blog about it.

    I wasn’t offended. I suspected it was poorly worded, hence the first sentence of this post.

  80. JanB says:

    When my children (all six of them) ask if I am having more kids, I always tell them that if I had one more I would be wearing my uterus as an ankle bracelet!

  81. Coleen says:

    Can’t stop laughing.

    My damn ice cube maker always backs up and now every time it does I will see tiny little babies flying out of it onto my floor (it will not be very pretty when the dog comes to eat them though, as he always does!)

  82. Coleen says:

    The ice cubes of course, not babies. He’s never eaten one of those (yet) - we’ll see in about 7 months.

  83. Barb Cooper says:

    I can sympathize with Amy. I’m a writer, but a terrible typist. I keep a blog and every so often I write about my knitting–because Lord knows there’s no one interested at my HOUSE. At one point, I got very into knitting SOCKS. I wrote a blog entry about my SOCK in progress…

    Only I had a little typo happen and what I wrote had nothing to do with knitting. Nor Socks, although there is a point in the knitting of every Sock, right after you finish the heel when it does look, umj, a bit phallic. At any rate, I posted my entry and read it through once it was up, admiring my SOCK in progress… and I almost swallowed my tongue when I got to that point. Seriously– I was beet red and my heart was racing! I corrected it and republished it as fast as I possibly could but I didn’t know that the subscriber feed takes the first version you post.

    I received some very interesting reader feedback. Very.

    So, don’t feel bad, Amy!

    Hilarious answer, Chris. I wish I could think up things that fast instead of later, when I’m lying awake obsessing over how I could only say, “Oh, YEAH?”

    Barb, who is very carefully checking her spelling right now.

  84. Barb Cooper says:

    See? “umj?” Where did THAT come from? And I even proofread, although I admit was concentrating on not making a different mistake.

  85. fidget says:

    I about hyperventilated with laughter.

    While reading this my 3 yr old jammed her elephant cup into the ice dispenser and my 5 year old was screaming help help It wont stop mama!!

    It made cleaning up all that ice completely worth it.

  86. Phoenix says:

    I adore your reply. I doubt I’m saying anything new, since I’m comment 86 or something…but I can’t read them all…but people don’t seem to think when they comment or email. It’s the like the thing that would make you stop yourself from asking a stranger a rude ass question (tact maybe?) goes out the window on the internet.

    Still the funniest response though. ;)

  87. jenn says:

    Thinking I’m gonna skip the ice in my diet Pepsi today.

  88. Amy says:

    Chris puts it so well…”If there is anything I have learned being the mother of many children, is that you better laugh at yourself, because everyone else already is.”

    Boy, I can attest to that, and I’m only a mother of one!

  89. Mary says:

    Well spoken!

  90. Miz Booshay says:

    Laughing out loud, rolling on the floor,
    babies shooting out my vajayjay!!!!!

  91. Keith says:

    People are idiots.

  92. Kerry says:


    I knew exactly what you were asking, because I always wonder the same thing. I want a huge family (by today’s standards) and I wonder if other people plan on having so many kids or just keep having kids because there isn’t a good reason NOT to. I especially want to hear from people who aren’t waiting for God to stop sending babies.

    Kerry (whose ice dispenser is on full throttle!)

  93. Holly Smith says:

    Before reading Amy’s response, I was going to say that perhaps her punctuation or her words got side-tracked. That happens to me sometimes….you have a very fun family and I DO envy you Chris! I enjoy my four…and unless the Lord sends children to my doorstep, I won’t be able to have any more…that makes me sad. There’s no womb in my inn :) Sorry…I couldn’t resist!
    Have a great weekend! I saw bicyclists all over the mountains in Estes Park last weekend and thought of you guys. wow! That looks quite challenging.

  94. Y says:

    If you could make your crotch shoot out ice cubes at blogher, that would rule.

  95. Heather says:

    priceless ;)

  96. Holli Smith says:

    That was HYYYYYYYSTERICAL! What a great and witty reply! And the visuals that came with it… tooooo funny!
    I totally laughed out loud and will share this post w/ everyone I know!

  97. Jess says:

    Can.not.get.mental.picture.out.of.my.head. LMAO

  98. mbbored says:

    Amy, I’m sorry for your embarassment, but thanks for giving Chris another great opportunity to entertain us!

    I literally snorted and almost fell out of my chair at work. When I managed to regain my breath, I read the post out loud to my coworker, who had the same reaction. I’m Catholic, she’s Mormon and we’ve bonded over the dumb questions people ask about our large families.

  99. peepnroosmom says:

    i love your reply. It was perfect.

  100. Mrs. Schmitty says:


  101. qtpies7 says:

    LOL I’m so glad I haven’t gotten any emails that are that bad! I don’t mind people asking why we have a large family, but the phrasing of the question makes all the difference.
    We’ve come up with our own snarky answers to rude questions.
    “Don’t you know what causes that?”
    “Yes, and we are REALLY good at it!” shuts people up really fast!

    Love the ice chute! I’ll get a giggle every time I get a drink now! I may feel bad using the crushed ice feature though, hehe.

  102. Amy says:

    Hey, no problem for the joke material :)

    Chris can take pretty much anything and make it funny though! She’s got a gift few of us can match!

  103. Heather says:

    OMG you make me laugh!

  104. Heather says:

    Hmm, didn’t mean to press post yet. I just included you in a list of blogs that make me think, if you want to read it.

    I could also easily put you in a list of blogs that make me laugh until I cry.

  105. Jen says:

    Hilarious. See, that’s why you are the coolest mom ever. People sure do have trouble with the concept of “TACT”.

  106. nabbalicious says:

    So, don’t jam ice cubes up there…is that what you’re saying? ;)

  107. kathy says:

    Well, THAT explains it. Ya know, I was wondering myself.

  108. Bastet says:

    Your reply was classic! Thanks for the laugh.

  109. Kini says:

    Love it!

  110. Susan says:

    OMG, I am DYING!!!!!!!!!!!

  111. Elfie says:

    I had mine very close together, and people asked all KINDS of things (that I’m sure you also get) like “did you MEAN to get pregnant again?” “Are the twins natural, or did you do fertility?” “How did you get pregnant with twins?”

    These sorts of things are usually asked in the check out line at the grocery, in the coffee line at church, places like that.

    With that last one, I’m pretty proud of my answer. I looked the woman straight in the face and said “We had sex.” She stopped asking stupid questions.

    I think people don’t think about how insulting — or personal — their questions are. They just ask any old dumb thing about which they are curious. Love your response!

  112. Everyday Mommy says:

    Dang! Just spewed coffee all over my MacBook.

  113. mandy says:

    this post is the greatest birth control i’ve come across lately!

  114. Emily says:

    Oh my word, that is SO FUNNY! I think I’m glad I don’t have an ice dispenser…after this mental image I’d probably have to stop using it. :)

  115. Faerylandmom says:

    ROFL!!! I just came over from Rocks in My Dryer…and I was well-rewarded. Excellent reply.