Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stop Me if You've Heard This Before

Just look at these faces. That's exactly what I've been doing over the weekend, in photo form anyway. Part of the remodel process includes (come to find out) sorting through all of the crap I've ever owned in my life. And this naturally includes photos.

Yesterday the boys and I spent part of the day sorting through a big box of photographs and actually putting them in an album. For a woman who is only months away from having both kids in school all day, this kind of thing can be risky business. I mean, they look so cute and cuddly in the pictures! But they look like that the same way a baby wolverine probably does, too. I mean, really – it's no secret that you feel all warm and fuzzy from the memories precisely because that's what they are: memories. None of these pictures portray the utter exhaustion, frazzled nerves, endless diapers, worrisome fevers, inconsolable crying, night-waking, weight gain or house that's never clean. Now if I could have captured all of that on film, then it wouldn't be so easy to start wondering what it would be like to have a third child. And yet, somehow...

This whole scenario is only exacerbated by questions like this from the boys: "Mom, when are you ever gonna have a baby in your stomach again?" "The next time you have a baby, can it be the girl kind? We have enough boys around here." "Mama, we really need a baby in this house. When are we gonna to get one?"

Maybe by the time you have your room clean.

Brooks won't even talk to me about it anymore. This annoys me to no end but secretly I think he's being smart. How many times can a good man take the crazy wife saying she's ready for another one and then in the same breath wanting to discuss permanent birth control procedures?

On the one hand, I tell myself that I'm more mature now than I was eight years ago. Besides, the two kids have given me a thick skin (not to mention a good aim) which makes me more prepared this time around. I'm more loving, more nurturing, more patient, more eager to spend time with them.

But on the other hand, to be pregnant I'd have to go off all the medication that makes it so I can be those things.


To make it even more confusing, this entry comes at the end of a day when I blew up at the boys for fighting (again) then wouldn't talk to them for the rest of the night because I was so irritated. I went to bed early and left them to fend for themselves. (OK, I did give them a little supper before ditching. And I knew Brooks would be home any minute. But still.)

So why won't the romantic notions of having another one just leave me alone? I can't help but wonder what would the baby look like. What kind of big brothers would Brahm and Oliver be? Would it be another boy or would God dare send us a she-beast? I'd give my bottom dollar to see Brooks being a dad to a baby girl, watching how she'd wrap him around her little finger. Sheesh - just one more can't be that hard - all my friends are doing it and they're still alive.

But then there are the times when I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. "What am I thinking?" I shriek aloud before jumping in the car to buy the nearest pregnancy test. "Just to be sure," I say in a trembling voice.

To help remind myself that two is enough, I recall a session I had with my shrink a few years ago. In it I divulged all of my shortcomings as a mom (OK, maybe not all - we only had fifty minutes). The issue of more children came up, of course, and she summarized the hour by saying, "It sounds like you have a thin skin for the chaos of childrearing, Jenny. I think it's OK to honor that." True, but this is also the same shrink I fired shortly thereafter because, well — I'm still crazy.

So I can't talk to Brooks about it, my friends are sick of listening, and I'm sure God Himself cannot take even one more prayer. I mean, how many times does He have to tell me that the world would be a safer place if I didn't before I'll listen? But sometimes the crazy part of me thinks I should just get pregnant and be done with it, logic and reason be damned. But that's exactly where the shoe pinches: I won't be "done with it" for at least another eighteen years after that. And for a woman who's only got approximately twelve to go (no matter how cute the little face might be) that may be asking a little too much.


Super Kate said...

woweeeewow!!!! Way to throw it out there Jenny, love it! I've been on your boys side this whole time thinking...i wonder when they are going to have another kid, they couldn't possibly be done with 2. We need way more Briggs in this world. Then again I say this with no children, so post this again in a year and perhaps I will say...glory and praises to Jenny how on earth do you take care of 2!!!!!!!!

Sarah said...

Oh Jenny. You sound just like me 2 and 1/2 years ago when I was trying to talk myself out of those baby hungry feelings. I was fine with 3...really I was! I did NOT want to start over. But I couldn't get rid of those tender baby feelings. So we had Lilian. And yes, it was my worst pregnancy. And yes, it's definitely hard starting over after such a big break. And yes, there are days when I think back to the point of life I was at before we decided to have another...all 3 kids in school and me pondering a job or more schooling, etc. But do I regret having Lilian? NO WAY. I can't imagine life without her. That being said, obviously you are not me. :) And what's right for me may not be what's right for you. And it's totally okay to be done after two kids. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't! It's just that your post reminded me a lot of the thoughts and feelings I had a few years ago so I thought I'd share my two cents....

Croft Family said...

Jenny, Your a great mom, at least from what I saw at Lynn and Carol's. Any spirit of Gods would be lucky to come into your family. But my view of kids are 1 is a 24 hour job and well in my case so is 5. But I also have a husband who pushes for more babies.

BakerBloggers-Matt & Jenny said...

Jen, I'm going to warn you right here and now, don't come over if you're still feeling the "maybe". Something about two precious babies snuggled up together might just get to you.
You could think one couldn't be that hard. Look at crazy Jenny Baker trying to do two.
You might run away screaming "no, no, no!"
Oh. Babies crying. Time to feed. Again.