As an introvert and avid indoorsman living with nine active and socially-functional family members, I’m often excluded from activities that the rest of my family participates in. This is perfectly fine with me. My husband likes to go all the places and do all the things so he handles most of the parent-y stuff around here.
The more kids I have, the more of a hermit I become. That’s not because I’d rather stay home or because I’m anti-social or because leaving the house requires that I put on a bra, although all of this is true. It’s also because going anywhere with eight children requires a MASSIVE amount of preparation, coordination, organization and patience. None of which I have in any great (or even moderate) amounts. In his book Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan writes: “if one body exerts force on five other bodies, no body goes anywhere.” This is an accurate description of exactly what happens every time my family tries to leave the house.
Jon, of course, is much better about this than I am. He doesn’t let little things like cleanliness get in his way at all. He has no problems taking the kids out looking like a group of Fagin’s orphans exiting the slum to pick pockets. (I found out the other day that he recently took one of our children to the grocery store barefoot. Not the baby, [I do that, too] but one of the older children.) Usually, he’ll ask if I’d like to participate in whatever “fun” activities he’s thinking up and usually, I’ll decline. This is an actual transcript of our weekly conversations:
“Do you want to go-”
“Do you want to play-”
“Do you want to have-”
“Well what do you want to do?”
“I’ll take the pictures.”