I kind of like the idea of having a second child. THE IDEA, that is. This hypothetical second baby of mine has very specific attributes. For example, s/he sleeps through the night from day one. And loves to snuggle and sleep with us, but somehow doesn’t take up any extra room in the bed. And is born toilet-trained so we don’t have to go through any more diapers (I don’t actually mind changing them, but paying for them and then throwing them in a landfill KILLS ME). This second baby somehow disappears or, at the very least, ceases to need care and attention whenever we, the parents, have other things to do: chores, social plans, naked time, what-have-you. This baby needs no room or gear or financial outlay of any kind as it is somehow entirely self-sufficient. Best of all, this amazing second baby somehow magically appears on the scene without ever having any physical entanglement with my body.
We talked it over and discovered, much to my surprise, that there is actually no such baby. So in the real world, Chris is getting snipped tomorrow afternoon.
Please send him happy, pain-free thoughts and gentle reminders of that time I was in labour and he promised me he would NEVER AGAIN COMPLAIN of any physical discomfort that may befall him.
PS: This book really helped me understand the environmental impact of family size, as well as many other myths and truths about only children. If you’re interested in thoughtfully considering the concept of smaller families, check it out.