07 Oct 2010

Only Child

10 Comments Family

I’ve recently come to the realization that I’m too old and tired to have another kid.  Of course, there’s another voice inside my head that says not having another one is a bad, bad idea.  There’s always been a stigma attached to being an “only child”, but there’s no label given to those with siblings other than “brother” or “sister’.   My husband and I started late because we weren’t ready one minute before we were ready. So I got pregnant at 35 and pretty quickly realized that I was going to be exhausted for the rest of my life. As tired as I am, I love being a mom more than anything in the world. Garrett enriches my life in ways I can’t even explain, and I hope I’m making his life incredibly fun, while instilling all the values and goodness in him that I can.

Of course, once you have one kid, the inevitable and constant question is, “When are you having another?” Well, I don’t believe we’re going to. I just don’t think I have the kind of stamina and patience one needs to have two kids. I want to be able to give Garrett everything he needs and still have enough energy left over to crawl into bed at the end of the day. It makes me sad for him sometimes, and also sad for us. But I know my limits and I also know the limits of my marriage and my wallet. I don’t want to stretch any of us too thin.

Now, I happen to be friends with several only children who are very well adjusted and quite happy. The only thing they seem to lack is the ability to defend themselves when they’re being teased. This is a skill that can only be honed as a child with a sibling who relentlessly jabs at you. So we’re planning to hire some neighborhood kids to tell Garrett he’s a weenie and sock him a few times. Maybe even pin him down and fart in his face. I hope it works.

A lot of people have brought up that it might be cruel to leave Garrett “alone in this world”. Well, we’re all alone, aren’t we? Read more

06 Oct 2010

Don’t Touch Pregnant Women and Newborns. Okay?

2 Comments Newborn, Pregnancy

The title says it all.

I hate that people think they can just walk up and touch you because you have a baby in your uterus.  It’s never made any sense to me.  I mean, I guess I understand the draw. It’s cool and interesting when a normal-sized woman is all of a sudden carrying thirty pounds of extra weight in her belly, and it’s hard and smooth and odd… And there’s a living being inside of it.  I get it.  It’s neat.  I’ve ASKED pregnant women that I know, or at least have been introduced to, if I can feel their belly.  It sort of feels like you’re getting in touch with a new life force… Or something.  But I would never touch ANYONE without asking them.  Ever!  ESPECIALLY a stranger!

When I was pregnant, I perfected a “get the f**k away from me” look that scared everyone within 10 feet of me, whether or not they were planning on touching me. If I was in an elevator and someone even looked like they were interested in the fact that I was pregnant… Forget about it, Chuck!  I shot them “the look”.  At my baby shower I had to remind myself to not give “the look” to my friends and family who were there to support me.  I think I may have scared my niece at one point.

Because of that miraculous look, no one uninvited ever touched me in the entire nine or so months I was “with child”.

Speaking of being with a child, when Garrett was born it started all over. Creepy, stinky, freaky, weird people would zombie-walk toward us moaning something unintelligible like, “Me touch baby!”  Then they would just… TOUCH HIM! It was all I could do not to scream, “Get your filthy friggin’ hands off of my baby, you sicko!” Instead I would sneer, pick him up and politely say, “He’s pretty new.  Please don’t touch him.”   “The Look” did not work as well once the baby was outside the uterus. I’m not sure why.  So I perfected a new, meaner look.  That seemed to do the trick.

Here’s the thing.  Just don’t touch.  Fight all of those instincts.  Or, here’s a novel idea… ASK!  Say, “Can I touch your tummy?”, or “Can I put my grubby hands on your infant?”  Maybe you’ll get a yes.  If not, just politely walk away. And if you’re the pregnant one, or the new mother, start practicing your look. You’ll need it.