I don’t do well with numbers. For many years, I swore I was dyslexic mostly just to mask how ridiculously awful I am at math. The other day I bought a coffee and the smart ass clerk rung me up at “103 pennies.” I started to sweat. Yes, that’s how bad it is. (I blushed for a second, but did whip out the $1.03 the a-hole asked for.) If in a hurry or under pressure, it’s not uncommon for me to forget my own phone number. When we were first married, my husband insisted on balancing my checkbook because I would make hundreds of dollars worth of mathematical errors. Whoops. And word problems still look like this to me:
However pathetic my math skills, I am able to solve this equation:
1 son + 1 daughter + any more kids = outnumbered parents
A few weeks after Ella was born, Zach took our dog to the vet. In response to his announcement that we wanted even more children, the lovely woman who expresses our pups’ anal glands warned Zach that 3 or more kids requires a change from man-to-man to zone defense. This would put us at a clear “mathematical disadvantage.” May I remind you that my husband is a math teacher and although wicked intelligent, lacks a bit of common sense sometimes. The fact that 3 kids is more than 2 parents was “DUH.” to me, but had never really dawned on him. Until the Day the Veterinarian Interfered. He may try to deny it, but I know that woman planted seeds of doubt in him that grow each time Brady refuses to go to bed or Ella cries because her favorite blanket is in the wash.
There is hope, though: even after the big mouth vet’s words, Zach has admitted, “I like round numbers; let’s have four kids.” To be fair, I should point out that the night he said this, we were at a wedding where the gin and juice was flowing and I was obsessing about having three kids. There is a slight possibility that he was being derisive and just wanted to shut me up…
I know many families who have 3 or more kiddos and their homes and lives are filled with more chaos, more busy days, and more demanding schedules. But they are also filled with more hugs, more laughs, and more love. There are certainly days when the zone defense comment echoes in my mind (namely right now since Ella is boycotting her nap–SLEEP, CHILD!), but a friend’s advice always seems to drown out the cacophony of doubt: I’ll never regret having more kids, but I could regret NOT having more. I know Zach worries more about the monetary side of things, but because that requires me to think about numbers, I usually gravitate toward thoughts of sleepless nights and lopsided boobs. But let’s be realistic here: the fun bags have already met their demise and by the time our kids are ready for college, Penn State will only be, like, $20 a year, so what the hell? Let’s procreate!
Other factors are certainly contributing to my thoughts, but when I watch my son and daughter play together or witness Ella’s face light up when Brady greets her in the morning, my heart feels so full that I can’t resist the urge to listen to country music or snuggle something fluffy. Of course, there are also days like this:
I just tend to focus on the fluffy stuff.
I’m curious to talk to other parents in my same position or those who have braved the waters of 3+ kids. I don’t usually ask anything of my readers, but if any of you would be willing to share your words of wisdom or experiences, I would sure appreciate it. We could make a game of it: he/she with the best advice will be the namesake for my next child. Okay, probably not, but it was exciting while it lasted.