Why Three Is (Probably) The Magic Number
August 18th, 2013
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.)
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?