Why Three Is (Probably) The Magic Number

August 18th, 2013

The Kids

When you have one child, people ask: “Are you going to have more?

When you have three children, people ask: “So, do you think you’re done?

A slight but interesting variation on the question, with the subtle suggestion being that the asker hopes the answer is yes because really, isn’t the earth crowded enough?

Our light-hearted response is that I want another one but Josh says I’ll have to find a new Daddy for that baby because he’s done baby-making.

In reality, I think we’re probably done.  Three is the magic number for our family.  Having closed the door on the adoption, we’d have to percolate another baby the old-fashioned way to grow our family and I think I’m done with that.

Don’t get me wrong.  I stand by everything I’ve ever said about the perfection of my third-born and how I’m holding her close in the desperate hope that she’ll stay tiny forever.  (That’s my stock response when someone comments on her baby carrier – I say I’m trying to bonzai her by keeping her in the pack all the time to prevent her from growing up.)

But.

This summer, I’ve been in sort of a weird place within our family and, to be honest, I felt left out.  I’m limited by having a baby attached to my chest all the time.

When we were at my parents’ house and my folks took the big kids out for adventurous bike rides, Birdie and I stayed home because there’s no safe way to transport an infant on a bicycle.

When Josh and the big kids settle in for Saturday Night Movie Night, Little Bird and I play in the other room because she’s too young for screen time.  Ditto for when Josh took Buggie and Miss Mouse to their first big-screen movie: Little Bird and I dropped them off and hung out at the park.

At the pool, Josh swims with the big kids while I introduce Birdie to the water and then sit on the side and watch them when she gets cold and/or cranky.

I love spending time with my baby but I feel like I’ve missed some fun things this summer, too, and I’m looking forward to a time when the kids are a bit more uniform in terms of their abilities.  There will always be a gap, of course, but there’s only 4.5 years from Miss Mouse down to Birdie so once Little Bird transitions from “baby” to “child” we should be able to do a lot together as a family that includes everyone.

Unless, of course, we had another baby.  Which is why – at the moment – my baby fever has ebbed.  Talked to me again in two years when Little Bird is walking and talking and decidedly un-baby-like.

For her part, I believe Little Bird has already embraced the role of perma-baby in the family.  Does this look like the face of someone interesting in yielding her title?

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One response to “Why Three Is (Probably) The Magic Number”

  1. Cindi Frye says:

    One observation, off the subject. Your first two look decidedly alike. just interesting to me. And on the subject, obviously, each family must decide what is right for them. There are always some ridiculous comments like: What, a 3rd child…now you won’t fit at a table for four. OMG. Some people just do not think before opening mouth. If others disapproved of our family size, I guess it went right over my head. Ha! Now when I see all but one of ours as adult high school/college grads I am amazed. Did I really carry them within me?

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