So Maren’s been KINDA sleeping through the night for a few months now, she is basically feeding herself, and I think we could get this whole potty-training shindig wrapped up in the next few months. Also, she is smarter than both of us and is constantly reminding us how stupid we are.
I think that babies strategically spend their entire second year of life being absolutely adorable so that we forget how hard the first year was, and don’t think about how hard the next few years will be, and go ahead and decide to get pregnant again. And then the second we’re pregnant, the terrible twos hit, and your precious little angel grins at you and says, “SUCKAS!”
No, I’m not pregnant. But let me tell you– I have baby fever. BAD.
It seems like everywhere I go, everyone is pregnant. I swear the ninety year old woman in front of me in the check out lane this morning was cradling her stomach. I was watching Parenthood the other day and Julia found out she couldn’t have a baby and I swear I cried for like four days. When I hold Maren, I get little whiffs of her newborn smell, which has been gone for over a year. I keep watching videos from her birth, I keep wanting to bring her into bed with me– I don’t know why, so I can steal her essence? I get teary when I see a damn robin building a nest.
I’m in trouble.
So now Mitch and I are in a very sticky (no pun intended) place, trying to decide if we want to have another baby right now. He’s mister ‘feet-firmly-on-the-ground’ so of course all he’s thinking about is money, a new apartment, the cost of child care for two– count ’em TWO– children, but also the fact that he has always wanted his kids to be right around two years apart– and we’re closing in on that deadline, so to speak– and also, the little wiggling nugget in the back of his mind that he doesn’t even want to say out loud. You know. The MAN wish. The frogs-and-snails-and-puppy-dog-tails wish.
And since my role in our marriage is to always have my head wrapped up in at least six different layers of drama all at once, I have started thinking about what a new baby would mean for our family. Namely, what a sibling would mean for Maren.
Mitch is the baby in his family, and has a pretty awesome older brother. I’ve heard very few stories about Mike being a jerk to Mitch just for the sake of being a jerk– in fact, I don’t think I’ve heard many stories about Mike being a jerk to Mitch period, even when he had a good reason. I’ve heard many stories (and seen many instances) of Mike defending Mitch, propping him up, and being there for him. So, in my opinion, because Mitch has such a perfect starry-eyed rose-colored version of what having a sibling is like, he is obviously totally unqualified to even talk about it.
I have three siblings. I’m a middle child. Those of you who are also middle children are right now nodding at the computer screen and saying, “Yup. Middle child. Uh-huh.”
To a middle child, attention is like currency. It’s like oxygen. My entire childhood was like being an accountant, keeping constant tally of every smile, every laugh, every extra second of bedtime ritual that each other sibling got, every day. It was like a full-time job, man.
Having never been an only child, and having only been the youngest for about 30 months (which I’m sure were beautiful), I don’t really know what its like to be the placeholder anywhere else in the family. All I really know is that I am hyper, super, extremely sensitive to the idea of Maren having to share the spotlight with another baby. I’m even sensitive about the idea of Mitch having to take backseat to another baby.
But– the fact remains. I want another baby. I want to be pregnant again. I want to try again at having a birth experience that doesn’t make me go crazy for the next six weeks. And all the mom stuff too– I think I would like a boy. Although, the most attractive thing about having another girl is that I won’t ever– EVER– have to make a decision about whether or not to circumsize another human being. And that is QUITE a perk.
My next Baby-Be-Gone appointment is in a few weeks. My left butt cheek is all ready clenched in preparation. So we have decisions to make here at Casa de Maren….. and quickly.
I don’t want to come off saying that having siblings is all bad. I love my siblings. I don’t know why I’m so anxious about this. Maybe because we didn’t get to make any decisions about having Maren– she was our happy little accident, and it turned out MARVELOUS and DELICIOUS. I wonder if maybe because I’m in a better place now– we have the ability to plan this one, we’re so much better prepared…. and we’ve all ready been through it once…. so maybe because all the REAL stuff isn’t around for me to worry about this time, I’m finding other stuff to worry about. Like I said– six layers of drama. That’s me.