When I was a young girl growing up in a family of four, I was sure I would have five children of my own. I would sit and page through teen clothing catalogs, pretending that my favorite three models were my daughters. Then I'd choose my two sons from an issue of Seventeen or YM, and my husband from People or Vanity Fair. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, the usual. My impossibily beautiful family of seven, ahh it will be perfect.
Within a few years once reality set in (partially), I thought I would have four children. That seemed more managable. As I got even older and started understanding how much things really cost, and how much individualized attention kids need, I settled on the idea of having three babies. One more than we had in our family, just to make things interesting. Fortunately, the man I married (neither Brad nor George, in case you hadn't guessed), also agreed that three would be a good number. My husband had just one brother and admits that he always would have liked another sibling. A family of five, ahh it will be perfect.
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Conceiving our first child wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Several long months of "trying" followed by an early miscarriage certainly left me wondering if I was up to attempting this whole baby-making business two more times. But a successful pregnancy, followed by a new baby left little time for thoughts about another.
Several months into motherhood, just as things finally start to settle down, you realize that your baby is in fact, no longer a baby. All of a sudden they are crawling, getting into trouble and pulling themselves up to stand. That's the point where you turn to your partner and ask "So, are you ready for another?" The response I received from the man who was so interested in having three children once upon a time, was shocking: "I will have another baby, but I'm fine with just her."
I'm not going to lie. That hurt. What did he mean? What happened to three? Did he read What's the Big Effing Deal About Having A Second Baby? Darn that Jezebel!
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Sure our daughter has been a handful, to say the least. Unlike a good majority of babies (or at least the ones that are thrown in our faces at every resaurant, mall, and public venue) she has never been particularly fond of the following important baby things: car seats, sleep, cribs, bottles, solid food, bouncy seats, sleep, highchairs, anything but breastmilk, and oh, sleep. I can joke about this, because 13 months in, I still want to keep her around. I love her to pieces and I've adjusted to running on no sleep, singing 476 renditions of the ABCs while driving, and wearing tops with easy access to my boobs. Has it really been that tough for him? I mean, he's been sleeping through the night all the while.
Once I got over the initial shock, I thought about my family of five and admitted to myself that I wouldn't mind if that shrunk down yet again. Family of four, ahh it will be perfect...I think?