I found a simple test that can tell the difference between people with many children and those with few to none.
All you do is say something to the effect of, “John and I took all the kids to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for Clara’s birthday.”
Those with few to no kids say. “Oh! Nice! Was it a good time?”
Those with many children say: “Oh, Nice. Was it a good time?”
It seems to me that those with less offspring hear my statement and think. “Wow, a day trip to a big city to go to a giant aquarium to celebrate a kids birthday as a family, must have been fun.”
And those with more think. “Wow, a day trip to a big city to go to a giant aquarium to celebrate a kids birthday as a family, must have been … fun.“
Hmmm… perhaps I am not explaining this well.
I think what it boils down to is that those who drag many children at a time along on fun adventures know the mix of pain and fun that is a family outing. Yes, heading to a big city is an adventure for a family from a small town but not all children will think that’s a fun adventure.
Yes, seeing all the animals in the aquarium will be super cool but no kids will want to see the same animals at the same time. Yes, at some point in the day every member of your five person family will become hangry no matter how many snacks you packed. Dinner at a new place will be delicious and enjoyable as soon as everyone is convinced to try it and wait an agonizing 45 minutes to be seated. But you will take pictures of smiles and try to hold on to the fact that everyone was happy during the dolphin show for at least five minutes straight before one became despondent over the complete lack of axolotls in the place.
Then, when you return home, and report to others what fun you chose to have over the weekend. You can smile when talking to those with few kids and return the nervous grimace of those with many when they both ask you how much fun you had.
No matter who you are talking to you will remember the good parts and remind yourself it was worth it…