The children and I have been to the bank, and to reward them (and me!) for the boredom endured, we are now having a treat - blueberry scones for the kids and a raspberry smoothie for me - on a lovely shaded patio at the corner of a couple of busy streets. Lots to see, lots to point out, lots of smiling people passing by.
I am asked, "Are they all yours?" at least six times. This is because I have them in two sets of matching hats. Were the people to consider the likely ages of the bearers of the hats, they'd realise the lunacy of the question. Six children under the age of four, max, are not likely to be from the same womb. Though my kids and I have entertained ourselves on more than one occasion imagining how it might be.
"George and Darcy could be 4-year-old twins, mom." Emma will venture. "You forgot Harry," her brother corrects. "Yeah, with Harry, that makes triplets. So, three-year-old triplets." "Zach and Mia can be two-and-a-half year old twins." Adam suggests. "Nigel is 18 months, and baby Timmy is 8 month. There! It's possible!" Possible, perhaps, but I can't see myself smiling nearly so much as I do. I'd be going around in a zomboid haze, I'm quite sure.
One woman, who had seen us in the bank, happens along. "Aren't you so cute, and so well-behaved!" I preen a little internally. Their cute factor has nothing to do with me, but their behaviour? Ha! That gives me preening rights.
"Are they all yours?" she continues.
"Not a one!" I grin.
"Oh, so you're just the caregiver?"
Yeah. Well. What do you say to that? "So you're just a doctor?" "Just a teacher?" "Just an insensitive clod?"
Smile and nod, smile and nod, and happily, having completed her mission of...what? what did she think she had just accomplished?...she leaves. Oh, well. Some people are like that. It's a gorgeous day, I'm sitting on a patio with a batch of perfect children, the sun is shining. I can let it go.
I take a deep breath, and, in the words of Opus, "PHBHBHBHBT!"
I can let it go. I didn't say I had to be ladylike about it.