It’s happening again. Ashley sent me this meme:
And I knew the clock had already started ticking. We’ve all seen this at least once. And, it always comes at a time when you KNOW you have enough kids (even if the number is zero). It starts with suggestions and jokes. The second stage is some arguing: “You must not love me if you don’t want another baby”; “Don’t you care about our family?”; “Why don’t you want what I want? We need to be on the same page.” When, really, that deep-seeded feeling in the pit of my stomach has nothing to do with love or respect or lack of communication. It’s the result of lots and lots of dollar signs. Diapers, bottles, wipes, new clothes – for every season and yes, of course, those “My First Christmas”, “My First Easter”, “My First Thanksgiving”, “My First Whatever” onesies for every first they could possibly have – babysitters, preschool tuition, sports fees, school supplies, college…. I mean the list is inexhaustible really.
I psych myself up and strengthen my resolve when I think about all that I already have in front me. We already have too many outfits to buy every season; birthday presents all year every year; I need to win the lottery just to pay for Christmas. Vacations take the whole year to pack for, and then everything never really gets put away when we get home. I have way too many sex talks, prom dresses, and move-in/move-out days ahead of me. (Don’t even get me started on the midnight Taco Bell trips while she’s pregnant.)
But Ashley’s resolve is just as strong as mine and when she shows me cute baby pictures on Instagram and says: “But, babies!” I know this will be a standoff for the ages.
And #TheFever is unfortunately one with no cure – you either ride it out or you give in. Tick-tock as she plans the crib set, blankies, and new stroller in her mind. Mentally piecing together the baby gift registry. I’m at work and I start to receive emails about new credit cards that I’ve signed up for to Diapers.com and Babies R’ Us.
Going to the mall is like a tour of all things baby and that gift registry is starting to eclipse our Christmas lists in length (and urgency). You know you’re almost at the peak of #TheFever symptoms when all forms of birth control have suddenly gone AWOL. You get that feeling of loss like you just buried your hamster. That loss soon turns to despair as the clock keeps ticking and #TheFever gets stronger.
I can’t tell you for sure if more babies are in our future or not. I can say that, whatever decision we make, we will both be happy with it. We already have three beautiful, happy children who will be raised in a loving and hard-working household. While we can’t decide our children’s futures, we do know that we are busting our butts to give them their best shot at a happy, successful life. If we do take the plunge and have a fourth (or fifth, or sixth…) then we’ll both be happy about growing our family and bringing one more person into this world who will be loved and taken care of.