December 1, 2011
We took it to the basement this week.
It’s been a fixture in our living room for the better part of 5 years, in two different houses. It was a playmat for both of our tiny, squirmy, brand new babies.
Then it was a bouncy, jumpy, noisy containment device and jungle gym for the busy babies they grew into.
It was also a chew-toy for our cats and the girls.
But now both of those babies are too big for the exersaucer (well, they don’t necessarily think so.) And honestly: I think I’m okay with it.
I thought that putting the next-to-last Baby Thing away would make me sad (we still have the pack-and-play in the living room to keep Audrey contained if I need it while making dinner, showering, etc.) And it IS weird, I’ll admit that. But I think…
I think I might be ready to be done with babies.
This subject is a constant state of joking around lately. Dan would have another baby in an instant. He not-so-secretly wishes for a boy, I know that. And while I would have loved to experience raising a child of both genders, I love that my girls each have a sister. It’s what we were gifted with and I feel very content with that.
But of course, the question: do we have a third? Three kids, two parents. GULP. Outnumbered. We have the space in the house, and I know we’d have the space in our hearts. But do we have the space in our ENERGY LEVELS? Do I have it in me to go through another newborn phase?
Most days, I don’t think I do. I’m not even on the fence about it- I’m running through the field at full-throttle and the fence is disappearing behind me. I’m moving forward into a future with two daughters. Two beautiful, blonde, lovely, healthy girls who I hope to mold into smart, strong, loving women.
And there are hard days, when everyone is whining and clingy and demanding and I simply cannot fathom even in my most imaginative moments adding another human being to my life. CANNOT. IMAGINE. IT. Two is enough. DONE.
But then there are moments when the baby is snuggled on my chest all warm and chubby, or Maggie tells a hilariously nonsensical joke (usually about poop or underpants. FOUR YEAR OLDS, YOU GUYS.) and we are all laughing and giggling and there is love and fun and… adding a third wouldn’t be THAT bad, would it?
Those moments of imagining a third baby are rare, I’m not going to lie. But they do happen.
I’m at the point now where I think I probably won’t change my mind and purposely have another baby. If we have a Surprise… then okay. God obviously has another plan for our family and I’ll embrace that Imaginary Third Baby and it will all be okay. Nobody ever REGRETS adding a baby to their family, you know? But doing it on purpose, planned carefully as our first two were, is something I can’t picture.
I worry. Even though we crack jokes about surprise pregnancies and packing away baby things and not giving away maternity clothes just yet, I worry that Dan will resent me someday for not jumping into having another baby. And I worry that even I may regret someday not seeing what other kind of insanely awesome and crazy cute person we can make.
But I also worry that I would resent feeling pushed into the decision, in those dark moments in the early days of newborn-hood that I honestly don’t enjoy all that much and when I look back on this time last year, I cringe at some of my thoughts and behavior and feelings. Those are not my proudest moments. I don’t do Baby Hood very well sometimes.
But the baby phase is so short in the grand scheme of things. It goes quickly- a blessing and a curse. So I try to skip over the New Baby Idea and imagine having three KIDS. Three to shuffle to school and activities and family gatherings and college and… wow. THREE. It seems like so MANY PEOPLE to care for, and I worry about someone always being left out. Would having three kids mean that we wouldn’t be able to be the parents we want to be, because we’d constantly be stressed and frazzled and exhausted? (I know that sounds dumb because plenty of people have three and even more kids and they do it very well! But is three right for US?)
And then there are the selfish reasons: I’d be giving up my body again for another 2 years or so. I’d have to breastfeed again (argh. We do not get along very well.) I’d most likely have to put my work life on hold for a while because right now working and two kids is hard enough. There are so many things I want to do and having another baby would put those things on the back burner for a while.
I don’t have an answer to this question yet- at least not a final one. But as we get closer to Audrey’s second birthday next year, and each time another baby thing gets packed up and stored away, the pressure to Make A Decision gets stronger.
Will we ever hear the rattle of the spinny thing on the exersaucer again?
No clue. But I do know I have to go change someone’s diaper for the second time this morning.