Friday, June 5, 2009

One, two, buckle my shoe

When we lived in the southeast, I was surrounded by huge families. In my smallish town, it seemed like everyone had three or four children, usually in a short time frame, all lined up like a parade of ducklings in matching smocked outfits with names like Mcallister Barnes Smith or Harold McDouglas Worthington III, Harry for short. You couldn't tell the girls from the boys except for the embroidered fire engine or flower on the tushie of their one piece monogrammed seersucker rompers.

I, on the other hand, had one child and for a long time remained convinced that I wasn't going to do THAT again. Though I had always planned on having at least two children, I was an only child myself, and couldn't imagine how I could manage more than one human being (two if you count myself) with only two arms, two legs, two eyes, and most importantly one brain to wrap around all of the stuff that needed to be done to grow a person. One child was completely overwhelming for me.

Looking back on it, I struggled through an almost two year bout of depression after my daughter was born. Around the time we likely would have considered having another baby, I opened my store, which I fondly referred to as my second child. Sure the business baby stressed me out, kept me up at night, and never gave back as much as I put in, but, occasionally, I could turn the lights out and walk away from it. It was, in many ways, the perfect second baby. Almost one of those mythical sleeps through the night at six weeks that you hear of, but never actually witness.

As the years went by I started wondering about the whole "third baby" thing. Girlie was turning four, my business turning two (without the tantrums), and I was starting to creep closer to thirty five which is apparently when all of your eggs get crusty and you reach the term "advanced maternal age" according to my OBGYN. It's like even the sperm can sense that you are nearing middle age and start swimming in the opposite direction, terrified by the sight of the boobs, now more sad then happy, and the twinges of crows feet popping up around the eyes. Scary stuff. Anyway, though I thought I had closed the door on the whole baby thing, I found myself wondering if I should give it another try.

A few years later Little Guy was born and I am now officially a member of the multi-kid crowd. Certainly there are days when I want to turn in my membership card and go back to the simplicity of a single child. There are also times when I wonder why I didn't just do it sooner. Little Guy is turning two this summer and I feel like I have been in the toddler phase forever. My kids are too far apart in age to be built-in playmates, but they still snuggle and chase each other around and occasionally share a snack or a game of goofy faced giggling across the dinner table. Since I never had siblings, this is all new to me.

The decision about how large a family should be is such a personal one. Of course, I am going to say that having a second child was right for us.

Now we have two.


Lisa said...

Adorable pic! I was always too scared to join the multi-kid club so now I'll have to live it through you!

latisha said...

so sweet! and it is personal. you're always so good at saying that. 'that's cool, this is what works for us.' i need some of that confidence. i loved the writing in this one -- so many great bits i was gonna mention but i'd basically recopy the post.