People Say the Meanest Things

The triplets meet Grand Finale. Oldest child not pictured.

Well, they don’t necessarily come right out and say it, but Caroline and I weren’t born yesterday — we know subtext when we hear it.

Ever since our fifth child arrived, we’ve received countless “well meaning” comments from our friends. Only one problem — most of them are our age — early 40s — and they’ve waged all the infant / toddler wars they ever care to. So their true comment isn’t the one which they’ve uttered, but rather one that’s left unspoken. Here are few examples:

I bet your house is a lot of fun.  Compliment, right? Only one problem. What’s so fun about four kids aged four and under when you’re in your 40s? What they’re really saying is, Your household has been reduced to little more than remarkably effective birth control and the only way we’d ever come over would be if my wife started talking that crazy-ass shit about wanting another child again. 

If anyone can handle it, it’s y’all. Why don’t you just come out and say what you really mean? Thank God we’re not you. Because it would totally suck. 

Speaking of God, another comment we get is:

God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. This is a thinly veiled way of saying: God hates you and it’s overwhelmingly likely that you’ll burn in the eternal fires of Hell. 

Those who opt for a less biblical way of expressing themselves often say:

I bet they keep y’all busy. If a man says this, it means: I play golf whenever I feel like it. Because not only are my children self sufficient, I also don’t have five of them. Rookie. Women are really saying: We’d call you to go out, but we know that you won’t be free until 2015. Cute baby, though. 

I don’t know how she does it. This one means: You’re a man, so you obviously don’t do shit with the kids. If only I had the nuts to reply, My wife’s one tough broad, as I playfully slap the ass of the 1950s throwback who uttered the comment to begin with.

They know what causes that, you know. On the one hand, this is a lighthearted way of saying: Time to get snipped, Boss. But, what they don’t realize is that many of them are also saying this: So y’all seriously still have sex? That train left our station during the Bush administration. 

The bottom line was this — we didn’t think we could ever get pregnant again. Not without help. Thank God we did, though. Because we love Grand Finale to bits.

All of which loosely translates to: If we have another kid, they should put us in jail. 

About John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months thanks to marrying a single mom then quickly conceiving triplets. John and his wife, Caroline, recently welcomed their fifth child into the world, a little boy they named Grand Finale Osborne. He'd tell you more about it, but he's on the phone right now scheduling his vasectomy. You can keep up with John on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as on his personal blog which he calls (get this) John Cave Osborne.


  1. Naomi says:

    Right after we got preggers for the first time, my husband’s gay best friend looked at him aghast and said: “HOW did this happen?” Subtext: EWWWW! You don’t really sleep with HER, do you?

    Poor guy. I think he was still holding out hope that my hubs would come around some day.

    Hilarious post. As always:)

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  2. Peryl says:

    I laughed so hard I spit out my coffee into my keyboard at the “god hates you” bit. Thanks a lot John!!

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  3. All of this? TRUE.

    I especially like “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

    Oh how I would like to say: “you saying that makes me think your both assholes.”

    But alas! I’m never brave enough.

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  4. MamaKaren says:

    I get a lot of “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” with regards to all three of my kids having mood disorders/Aspergers. I’ve been tempted to respond with either “Well, God has more faith in me than I have in Him,” or “I guess that’s true; God gave me bourbon, after all.”

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  5. MrsFatass says:

    That is fantastic. And my husband wants me to come visit you because I DID just utter the damn words “maybe just one more”.

    Love the post.

    • John Cave Osborne says:

      Dear MrsFatass, you’re more than welcome at our house anytime. and feel free to bring Mr. FatAss as well. especially if he likes sports.

      thanks for the comment my friend.

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  6. Emily says:

    My personal favorite is, “So…are you done?”

    I long to reply, “Maybe, maybe not. Are YOU done asking overly personal questions, jackass?”

    • John Cave Osborne says:

      it’s funny how people won’t even hesitate to ask things that are, indeed, personal. i think the chatter on this post has inspired me to do a post on the dumbest questions we got when expecting the triplets. (there were some real doozies!)

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  7. jared karol says:

    I think all parents of multiples get that shit – i know we have, but not nearly as much as you, I’m sure. I bet they keep y’all busy. . . I’m gonna play 18 holes. . .

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  8. Dara says:

    You forgot:
    “Oh, you have your hands full don’t you?”
    Your kids are monstrous little shits and you obviously can’t handle them.

    Around here, if you have a boy and a girl all the old ladies you meet anywhere say “oh good, you have your family!” Apparently there’s something about a gender balance in your midst that makes you complete as a family. It really pisses them off that we had a third even though we’ve got one of each already. And now when they talk about a fourth it’s all “I bet you’re hoping you have a girl?” We are obviously showing how we are cursed by God by having an unbalanced family gender-wise.

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    • John Cave Osborne says:

      the gender things is so true. i couldn’t tell from your comment if you were actually expecting a fourth or not. if so, congrats! (and if so, you should keep the child’s gender a secret! did you hear about the couple that was actually doing that w/ their child? it was in the news recently…)

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  9. Alice says:

    What others say is a projection of their own reality. Congrats on your triplets and your Grande Finale and your grace at handling comments and the subtexts. lol.

  10. Jack says:

    Brother there is a pool that says by Dad 2.0 you’ll be waiting on another set of twins.

    If you make that happen you can make some of your friends a few bucks. They might even be willing to buy you a drink or two, if you can get out for a night. ;)

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    • John Cave Osborne says:

      another set of twins? we’ve never had twins! (thank God) and i’ve only gotten my wife pregant twice — once intentionally w/ triplets and once on whoopsie-daisy.

      so i’ll take that bet, thank you very much!

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  11. I have twins and a 3rd baby coming on Friday. I hear a lot of this same stuff, too. Please pass the bourbon???

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  12. Gloria K. says:

    I’ve definitely heard these a couple of times. It never gets old (sarcasm)! To date, my personal favorite is: “Triplets?! I hope the shop’s closed now.” My response: “That’s funny…I don’t remember the shop being open to you.”

    • John Cave Osborne says:

      @ Gloria K — ha! we multiple parents gotta stick together, no? as i’d said above, the chatter in response to this post has me thinking i should write one about the dumbest questions / remarks C and i got when she was carryingo our trio. we heard them so often that i came up w/ soundbites to the questions i’d come to anticipate — soundbites which really embarrassed my wife!

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  13. You’re going to be able to see through anything I try to say right now. But still… God bless ya.

  14. John Cave Osborne says:

    i tell you what — “God bless ya” totally works for me!

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  15. Carrie says:

    Loved reading this. Makes me see not just us single people get crap like that.

    “Oh, girl when the time is right the right one will come along.” (Meaning: They’ve got nothing to give other than a blank stare. And a shrug. Like I was even looking for them for anything anyway.)

    Beautiful kids, by the way. Just darling.

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  16. Kristin says:

    Oh, yes, the “God won’t give you more…” deal. That really means, “You’re so pathetic! Stop looking tired and certainly do NOT complain. _I_ could handle all of this stuff SOOOOOO easily. You? Not so much, clearly.”

  17. Muchos Gracias for your article.Thanks Again. Cool.

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