“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Having More Children

This is for all those annoying people who find it humorous to nudge Joe and me in social situations (a little too hard, always, as they prepare to love their own joke) and say too loudly, "Why don't you have another baby?" I mean, seriously. What is wrong with people? Even worse are the people who respond to my polite, "Probably not," with, "Don't you want to try for a girl?" Ew. I really don't like that expression. Try for a girl? Like...it's just rolling the dice? Because if I don't get a girl, I still have a whole person, you know. I'm not going to fling my hands up and cheerfully say, "Whoopsie! Roll again!"

So, to all those people, I'm going to go ahead and share the reasons that my husband and I have for deciding our two boys were enough for us.

1. Joey and Noah are as perfect as two kids can get. We feel so lucky to have had such great kids, we  don't feel it's fair to monopolize the Universe by adding another perfect child to our family.

2. Money. We currently have negative dollars. I mean, we're not dressing the kids in brown grocery bags yet, but don't be surprised if that's what you see in a few months. Maybe some cardboard box shoes, too.

3. Joey is seven, Noah is almost five. We have reached that comfortable point where our children are big enough to have earned us our freedom. I don't mean I'm taking off for a global cruise and leaving Joey in charge, just that they are independent enough that I can leave them with a babysitter any old time, or have them stay overnight at my mom's without worrying. (Much.)

4. I probably would not survive an additional person needing me in the middle of the night. Perhaps if Noah had EVER slept through the night, it would be a different situation. I'd also like to add that his sleep issues are not because I'm stupid or inept. I'm pretty hardcore about sleep, as I myself need more than normal people. However, it is has been a learning experience for me as I've come to accept Noah is a person who A) is different from me, B) needs less sleep than anyone I've ever heard of, and C) doesn't conform. On that last note, I'm a big enough person to point out that one day (though not now, or any time in the next twenty years) that will serve him well and make him awesome.

5. Joe would not survive me not surviving an additional person not sleeping in the middle of the night.

6. We are thirty-three years old. If we had another baby, we would be fifty-one when s/he graduated from high school. Unacceptable. My own parents were much older than everyone else's and I felt like an outcast. I won't inflict that on my child.

7. Babies make me nervous. Nay. Scratch that. Never mind. Yes. Babies make me very, very nervous. They are small, they are helpless, and they cannot verbalize their needs. What a nightmare. Also, I never really overcame my fear of their wobbly, vulnerable heads.

8. I hate potty-training. Nothing good about it.

9. Joey and Noah would have to share a room. I had to share a room with my sister and it made her hate and resent me. My brother also hated and resented me, but it was because I was not a boy. That hardly seems fair so I'm moving on. When I was born, baby number three and a BIG surprise to my parents, who were super content with their one boy and one girl in their adequately built three-bedroom house, my mother put me in the bathroom. I will not inflict that on my child. (It's unclear, btw, how long that lasted. She gets all vague and sketchy when you ask her point blank.)

10. There is no guaranteeing I would have a girl, and I don't even know that I would want one. I'm a lot of work, and I certainly don't think I could handle another me. Also, maybe Noah would be really scarred. He's quite content to be the baby of the family, and both children are old enough at this point to be insanely cognizant of the goings on involved with pregnancy and new babies. Unlike Joey, who was unsuspecting at age two when Noah arrived, both boys would see their lives changing, and they will remember it forever. I don't want to scar them!

11. I do not enjoy being pregnant. I've also been working on a top-secret recipe/experiment for permanently removing stretch marks after the birth of a second child. If I had a third, all bets would be off and I'd have to start all over again with my ground-breaking work.

12. I've used up all my time off at work. I simply cannot have another baby.

I'll wrap this up like a middle schooler writing an essay. In conclusion, as you can see, there are many reasons Joe and I have decided--firmly--not to have another child. So to all those people with their smug smirks and light social laughter, kiss off.

And anyway, none of it even matters. Because as much as we all love to make plans and think things are in our control, God points and laughs at us and then fills our lives with special blessings we never thought we'd have. SURPRISE!!!!!

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