I managed to leave the house to run errands the other day with only one child in tow.
Having brought the quietest, least apt to cause trouble and least likely to become bored to tears with my shopping, I was very productive which resulted in a few minutes too long at the register with a chatty cashier.
Here is how it all went downhill...
"Oh he is so sweet, how old?"
Thanks, he's eighteen months.
"Awww, is he your first?"
No, actually he is my fifth.
"Your fifth, wow, how old are your other children?" (I'm screwed at this point)
Fifteen and three
(Looking at me like I have two heads) "So do you have two sets of twins?"
No I have a teenager and triplets (technically not lying yet)
"Wow, triplets??? That is amazing what do you have boys? Girls? Who are they with while you shop?"
A boy and two girls, they're with my husband. (sort of not lying)
"What a brave guy managing all those little ones, I'm sure he is having fun."
Yep. (the truth)
"Oh I bet your girls are adorable together, do they gang up on their brother, making him play dolls and dress up?"
Yep. (aaaaaand off we go, I'm lying)
"How sweet. (turns to the other cashier) She has three year-old triplets, can you believe it? Her husband is home with all of them. My husband would never survive!"
Yep, he's great.
(shoppers in each line are now talking about my amazing triplets as I envision crawling out of my skin)
"Oh you are just so lucky, what a great family. You will have so much fun this year with all those little ones. I can't imagine! Merry Christmas"
(Zero eye contact, plastered fake smile) Merry Christmas
And I picked up my purchases, my baby and my big fat lie and left.
I'm sure somewhere in there I should have stopped the train wreck and explained that I only have two triplets.
That one of them did not make it to age three. Or to two. Or even to one.
I thought it might feel good to live the lie for a few minutes or at least be easier than telling our whole story.
I guess it only feels good if it's the truth and it is only easier if your story includes five children who are alive.