My son, Leo, is sixteen months old — which means it’s reaching the point of ridiculousness that I continue to call myself a “new mom.” I think once your kid has a vocabulary of seven words, kisses a giant stuffed bear on command, and yells “no, no, no, no, no” on pretty much every occasion, you can’t really claim to be new at parenting anymore. Regardless, I’m still shocked when friends with toddlers his age announce to me that they’re preggo with NUMBER TWO. “But… you just HAD a kid!” I exclaim, then clamp a hand over my mouth so I don’t stick my foot in any further. The fact is, I’m not ready for #2 yet (though I’m jealous in so many ways that they ARE!) and the thought stresses me the freak out. Here are five reasons why:
1) I can’t even begin to imagine how I can possibly hold TWO. It’s hard enough holding one heavy, squirmy kid. It’s hard enough figuring out how to get the groceries from the trunk of the car into the house once I’ve pulled into the garage. I can unload them on the landing of the stairs. But once I take Leo up (we don’t live on the bottom floor), it’s always a physics problem how to go retrieve them. Carry Leo in one arm and trudge up and down, up and down with one piddly bag at a time? Strap him to the bed (or a toy) while I quickly rush down to get them? Calmly explain to him that he needs to sit in front of the door and not move a muscle or launch himself off the sofa while I’m away for 15 seconds? (Um, not). HOW WOULD I EVEN CONSIDER DOING THIS WITH TWO; MY HEAD IS GONNA EXPLODE.
2) We have a part-time nanny share. With another kid. Which means we can’t throw another child into the mix because our nanny DOESN’T HAVE A THIRD ARM AND THEY DON’T MAKE TRIPLE STROLLERS (do they?) Leo has to be in preschool before this second kid is going to materialize or I will never ever get another thing done ever. Period.
3) I’m holding onto the assumption (I know, I know: delusion) that I’m going to get this post-pregnancy pooch to flatten out a little more before I knock myself up again. If I had wanted to jump in the camp of, “Forget your abs — just get pregnant again fast and worry about it all later!”, I would have needed to hop on that train BEFORE investing in Pilates classes. Now I’m in a no man’s land of, “well, it sort of improved… a little.” NO, I SAY! Even if it’s flat for ONE FREAKING DAY before I see that double blue line, those sweat sessions had better have been worth it!
4) Once a second kid comes, there will be no more “let’s bathe this kid together.” It’ll be “you take one, I’ll take one.” I have a feeling Ethan is gonna find a way to take the easy one. He and Leo are gonna gang up on me and Baby 2, and it’s gonna be so not fair.
5) I’m scared. You would think adding a second kid when your world has already been rocked to the core would not seem like a big deal, but somehow, it does. We’re so tired, we’re yawning by 9pm. Are we going to be so tired with two that we’ll fall asleep at seven? That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.
On the flip side, there are a million reasons why I kinda sorta want to try for Baby #2 RIGHT NOW, like: we have all the equipment and gear and wouldn’t need to buy ANYTHING EXCEPT A PAIR OF THOSE CUTE BABY TIGHTS IF WE HAD A GIRL; all our friends are doing it; I’m not old, but I’m not young, and if we want to even have the chance for three then we need to get on two right this second!; I’ve had a miscarriage before so I know you can’t plan these things and you need to give yourself time; if they were close together in age they could play together and be besties and oh it would be the cutest. Basically, I want a second one right now, I just decided. Ethan? You busy?