Friday, January 3, 2014

Boring babies and bad mommies and daddies

Tonight in our house… 
Cork: There are too many girls in this house. We need some boys. Maggie, do you want a brother? 
Maggie: What kind of brother? 
Cork: um? A baby brother. 
Maggie: NO! They are boring! 
Hannah: Yeah! Babies take too long to get big and mommies and daddies don’t pay any attention to their big kids. 
me: Huh. Tell us how you really feel.

when the girls were less articulate

I mean, they are only two and four. And as friends like to point out, the perfect age for me to have another kid. But shoot, you guys. I just don’t know. For one thing, they are also the perfect age for me to stop having kids. I’m torn.

Sometimes I read those quiverful-ish religious blogs where they are like “have a billion kids or you hate the baby Jesus”; and then sometimes I think about my Intro Bio professor who sort of implied that having more than one kid is ecologically irresponsible. And I wish I could introduce them to each other. With their young earth creationism, dinosaurs on the ark, mini-Duggar families and his family of three and his math and science. 

On the one hand, how could I not love another child? And I never imagined Maggie would be my last (and then the colic, etc happened). So I never allowed myself the dramatic, “this is my last EVERYTHING!” while pregnant and parenting a baby. Also, I came form a big family and it was (and still is!) great having so many siblings.

On the other hand, I came from a big family. And it was hard sometimes. I honestly don’t know how my mom did it (four kids in five years, my brother and I barely a year apart). I remember how getting sick was a mixed bag. Because you were sick (obvs) but mom paid attention to you! And getting attention wasn’t easy when there were four of you. And I think that is also why I get a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach when I get to that line in the Tina Fey's prayer for her daughter: "May she be beautiful, but not damaged. For it is the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty.” Because not getting enough attention can very likely cause said damage. 

God help me (and that f*&$ing soccer coach) if any of my kids end up in that kind of situation because I had too many kids to give them the attention they needed from me (and forced the older kids to raise the younger ones and such). Having two kids so close together has already pushed me in ways I wasn’t prepared for, and made me unable to parent Hannah the ways I wished I could have and probably would have if she had been an only child a little longer (but I never would have been able to parent Maggie that way, as I often remind myself, as a second child myself). And I don’t know how I feel about all that sometimes. I’m sure some moms can handle it way better than I have. And I’m sure that having a sister, and learning patiences and all that has helped her in other ways. But still.

And that only touches on how the decision to have more kids affects the girls. Not really even touching how it affects me, Cork, our careers, our marriage, and then the ways that will in turn affect the girls even more. I mean, seriously. I’d just like to go ahead and not think about it and leave it up to the God of Oops Babies. Or something.

update: and so of course Cork’s answer to all this was to get out the old baby videos. Come on. That isn’t even fair.



  1. I'm so there. I just can't decide. I never imagined only have one, but I'm kind of done and kind of not. In my heart I'm not really done, but there is a certain amount of fear involved and I'm not getting any younger. Ugh. Can't someone just give me a two year old?

    1. Exactly. I finally figured out what Maggie meant (like the next day I figured it out) when she said, “what kind of brother?” I think she was hoping we could have her (second?) cousin Matthew (who is 10) who stayed with us for Christmas. The girls had so much fun playing with him. And once I realized it I was like, oh yeah. That would be nice. If we could just have Matthew. I wonder if Cork’s cousin Marie would give him to us? She seems reasonable. I think she’ll understand :)