The Truth, the Whole Truth, You Didn't want the Truth...
"You didn't get out with the kids today? It's a beautiful day!" Disapproval drips from every syllable.
Well, yes it is, Mr. Outdoorsman, Mr. I-Bike-for-Fun-in-the-Gatineaus, Mr. Winter Camping Guy. It's nice if you're on your own, if you can stride out at a pace sufficient to generate any heat. But you see, I don't get to stride. I have to toddle. And stop every ten toddled paces, take off my mittens, and wipe a nose or three. I will freeze my not-as-pert-as-it-once-was butt off if I go out there. In another month, ten below will be a nice mild day, but today, it's COLD!! I have not yet acclimatized to the dropping temps.
I don't say that, I just agree and try to deflect. "It was a lovely day, wasn't it? All that sun! Here's the craft your son made - isn't it great?"
"And you didn't get out with them? Was someone sick?"
"A couple of sniffly noses, nothing serious. See how he's mixed these colours to make a third? He did that on purpose, you know."
"I think it's important that the children get out every day."
"Yes, I know." (Sigh. He's not about to be deflected, is he? It doesn't work all that well on his son, either...)
"It just doesn't seem like there was a reason they didn't get out."
"I wasn't feeling well today: headachy, maybe a lowgrade fever. I didn't have the energy."
He subsides, somewhat mollified. I could have said that right up front, now, couldn't I? Why the coyness? Well, mostly because it was a lie.
I could've said it's because I didn't feel like it - I'm entitled to a day like that once in a while, which would have been partly true. I could've said it's because it felt too cold to me. I couldve said that others of the parents prefer I keep their child in when the temperature drops (which is true - I get parental flak coming and going over this one.) I could've told him that it's my business, and remind him that I take good care of his child.
But how satisfying it would have been to have given him The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth. I imagine the scenario with relish.
"Well, you see. My period came early this month..."
He flinches. I knew he would. Mr. Outdoorsman is such a guy. He can't bear the topic, even though he's been married for years and years to a real, live, menstruating woman.
"And the first day for me is really heavy..."
He winces, opens his mouth, but I would continue, inexorable.
"So I need SuperPlus tampons..."
I said the T-word! He blanches at the very thought.
"but since I wasn't expecting it so soon, so all I have in the house are regulars..."
A strangled noise escapes his throat.
"So I can't get more than twenty or thirty minutes from a bathroom, you see."
He grabs his child, turns to flee, and I call gleefully after his departing figure:
"Which is why we didn't get out today."
He is gone. Bet he won't be asking any more pushy questions. I didn't, but one day, one day I just might. Even if it's a lie.