“So, when are you having another?”
“Are you ready for No. 2?”
“How many more do you think you’ll have?”
From the minute Declan turned one, that’s all I’ve heard. I know it’s only natural, and should probably take it as a compliment that people who have met me find it acceptable for Paul and I to reproduce again. You wouldn’t want to be the family that always hears “One really suits you!” But I was just getting the hang of Declan, why in the world would I want to screw that up with another kid???
As we made it past a year and into toddlerhood, I did not feel one urge to go through the baby phase again. I’m not a “baby person,” I guess, not that I tear their heads off or anything, but I just really like the walking, talking and hilarity that is a post-infant creature. Yea, there’s more tantrums and more messes, but there’s WAY more feedback and pay-off. I’ll take a screaming, thrashing 32 lb. beast over an immobile sack of flour any day of the week. Because after Declan thrashes and screams and pitches a fit, he may give me a hug or say “Sorry Mama” or even just throw something at me, but it’s funny. A baby can’t tell you what’s wrong, pukes on you if you move it too much (well, mine did anyway) and never sits down next to you and holds hands while watching Sesame Street.
Being an only child is part of it, too. I don’t have siblings, so I don’t “get” why you have to have them. I didn’t “miss out” on anything, which is a major concern apparently, since I’ve been told that having only one kid will cause them to “miss out” on some mystery experience that I obviously suffered through. Another argument I’ve heard in favor of multiple kids is that having more than one will help out when Paul and I die. Hmm. Well, I’m sure there is some truth to that, because hey, death can be a real PITA, but I’m not going to pop out a bunch of kids to make my funeral less stressful. My kid(s) better be damned stress… anyway, I don’t like the thought of giving Declan a sibling as “Parental Funeral Stress Assistant” or whatever. A sibling as an insurance policy just doesn’t fly with me.
So I kinda thought I’d made up my mind. We got one great kid that is perfect and healthy and happy, and I was fine with that. And while being around other babies sometimes makes my uterus hurt a little, I figure that’s just good old Biology doing its job. I’ve always been told that when you are done having kids, you just “know” somehow, and even though I wasn’t feeling the second-kid vibe, I didn’t have that iron-clad NO MORE KIDS feeling, either. So Paul and I tabled the decision til a later date.
Sometime after Christmas break, though, my mind started changing. Since I’ve been keeping kids in our home since May, Declan and I have gotten used to having company. But for a couple of weeks over the holiday, I didn’t have anybody to watch, and it was just us. I welcomed the break and the one-on-one time I got with my little man. But as soon as I got my kids back, I saw how happy Declan is when they are here. Even the newborn I keep. He talks about “Baby Sully” all day. And when Jacob, the toddler is here, they basically want me nowhere near them except when they are hungry. They play like crazy and have a blast the whole time. It suddenly hit me what it is people were talking about with siblings and what Declan would get out of having one. He’d have fun (most of the time), have a playmate (some of the time), but mainly he’d have another kid around, which seems to make him happy. And babysitting a newborn 5 days a week is pretty much the best way to figure out if you want another one or not. Being able to learn from my typical first-time-mom mistakes with Declan makes a newborn MUCH more tolerable, although I gotta say, the one I keep is damn near the easiest baby I’ve ever seen, so this whole thing may be a trick.. not sure.
So while we don’t have any plans yet, the tide is turning in my singleton brain. Adding to the mix may give our family the exact flavor it needs.