I went shopping today. Actually, Corinne and I went shopping today. This action always elicits a the same old repertoire.
stranger: "Your baby is beautiful!"
me: "Thanks! She's a sweetie."
stranger: "Is she your first?"
me: "No. She's our third."
Stranger's eyes get wide and a grimace comes across their face. I suddenly feel like they are seeing something uncommon, even scary. You know, that feeling like you have three heads and no one wants to tell you, but you can see it all over their face. Stranger quickly tries to rope their shock back in. The next response is something like "You've got your hands full" or "You don't look old enough to have three kids" or, one that I've heard a number of times and it still disgusts me, "I'm sorry." I'm not sure what it is about having more than two children, but it is shocking to people. Okay, I was a little shocked too when I found out I was going to be one of those people. I was already feeling out-numbered with the two I had. How was my armor going to hold up to three of these balls of energy? But, you know how this story ends. Number three arrived and I am still alive. Tired, but alive.
I can't tell you how many times I've had this same exact conversation with complete strangers. Sometimes I catch a break and talk to a stranger who doesn't skip a beat when I tell them I have three children. In fact, they light up and smile and say "Me too!"