Posts Tagged ‘ only child ’

Still, Though, I Think I’d Be Happy With Just One Kid…

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Saturday, your best friend Sophie stayed with us while her parents went to a wedding.  I had these preconceived ideas going into the event that, despite caring for two kids instead of one, it would not only be a lot of fun, but also, less stressful and chaotic than it usually is on the typical Saturday afternoon at our house.

Turns out, I was completely right! Sophie is so kind, so sweet, so cute, and so hilarious. That part was the icing on the cake.

The “cake” itself was the fact that you definitely were less needy than you typically are when it’s just you, Mommy, and me.

It’s that awkward number of three that makes the dynamics weird and often, more stressful, for me at least.

You rarely let Mommy prepare dinner or do anything productive without whining and hanging on to her legs, even though I eagerly want to play with you and your toys in the living room.

And I understand why, given the fact we both have to work while you’re at school all day.

But with Sophie here, making that new number 4 instead of 3, it was ideal. Everybody paired up throughout the afternoon.

Most of the time it was you and Sophie; me and Mommy. Or you and Mommy; me and Sophie. And a few times, you and me; Sophie and Mommy.

No one was ever left out; everyone had a role and a place. It worked. I liked it a lot.

From playing outside at the water table, to a luxurious wagon ride, to a delightful dinner involving mac and cheese along with Gogo Squeez applesauce pouches, the day had an excellent flow.

With that being said, I’m still not convinced that having another sibling would bring that sort of feng shui for our family.

After all, you and Sophie were born just one month apart. So basically, age-wise, you two are the equivalent of twins.

Not to mention, physically, you could easily pass as twins anyway!

But I’m not talking about twins in my scenario here. I’m talking about the possibility of Mommy and I having another baby; who would be a few years younger than you.

Those dynamics would be a lot different than having an equivalent girl version of you, plus you.

My reasons for wanting another child, when I sporadically do, are never sincere enough or truly legitimate. (Am I being too honest right now? Am I committing social media taboo by admitting that?)

I feel like my reasons are always selfish. If we’re going to grow our family, I want it to be “for the right reasons,” and I’m not even sure what they are anyway.

(Hmm… I wonder if that would make a good blog post?)

Yes, our family absolutely loves (!) Sophie and I really appreciate the dynamics she brings to our family; still, though, I think I’d be happy with just one kid.

I feel complete with a family of three. But, that could always change…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

 

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Why Dad Feels Anxious About The Thought Of A 2nd Child

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Disclaimer: Contains potentially confusing viewpoints that may be exclusive to the male mindset.

Dear Jack,

The main reason I feel anxious about the thought of having another child is not the financial aspect, or even the fact we only have a 2 bedroom townhouse; it’s knowing that I would be placed in that frustrating position again of not knowing what to do on a daily basis.

Sure, I’d know more of what I was doing the 2nd time around, but it would also be on top of taking care of you too; though you demand less attention than you did when you were a baby.

To see me in my worst element is to see me in a high pressure, reoccurring situation where I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. For me, that was the first 15 months of your life; back when you wouldn’t let me take care of you without Mommy being in the same room.

Therefore, I couldn’t feel like I was leading our family, and it made me feel horrible about myself.

Just to be clear, I don’t mind high pressure at all. In fact, I like the challenge of it; given that I’ve been well trained on the subject.

It’s no secret: I find my self-worth not in how others see me, but in how I see myself. If I don’t feel in control, or at least that I know what my role is, I sort of feel worthless.

Now that you’re well beyond the age of 15 months, in fact, days away from being double that, my frustrating days of flat-out not knowing what to do in regards to being a dad are mostly a thing of the past; back in the year 2011.

As for modern day life, I know my role now; every minute of the day, and I love it!

In addition to being your official chauffeur, bedtime singer, protector from monsters… I also am the official dishwasher, bathroom cleaner, garbage man, vacuumer, relationship mediator, and the parent juggling two jobs outside of home life.

Every night, after our family eats dinner, I know that once Mommy takes you upstairs for your bath, I am going to immediately start washing and drying all the dishes, then wipe off the counter, and vacuum; just in time to go upstairs and sing your final bedtime song.

While it would be really nice to just chill out after dinner instead of doing housework, I don’t even mind. The reason: Because it sure beats the heck out of those first 15 months when I didn’t know my role.

As your dad, who is wired to fix problems and lead others, it’s very challenging for me to… I’m trying to think of a way to say this without using the PG version slang word…

I like to be driving the motorcycle, not riding in the sidecar.

(Watch the movie Garden State, when you’re older, to fully understand the reference. “Sidecars are for…”.)

What I am saying is that right now, I don’t feel like I’m riding in the sidecar. I feel like our life is predictable enough now where I don’t taste the chaos in the air anymore.

I love having this peace in my head; not dwelling on my inabilities to successfully figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do every single second. I love knowing what to do.

Ah, if and when the time comes for a 2nd child, I fear losing that again.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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2 Going On 72… To Infinity And Beyond!

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Since I took you to Shipwrecked, your favorite indoor playhouse in the Nashville area, for the past two weeks you kept asking me, “I go back to Shipwrecked? I drive Buzz?”

So yes, you finally got your wish yesterday. You got to drive Buzz. And boy did you enjoy it… I think…

Last time, I explained how you drove the Lightning McQueen car like a crotchety old man. Driving Buzz was the same way for you.

Clearly you were just there for business, not pleasure.

Your objective was to drive the Buzz Lightyear car from one side of the indoor playground to other, without any other kids trying to take it away from you.

Based on the look on your face in the picture above, I’d say you did a pretty good job of scaring them off. I’m sure you made it clear you weren’t there to make friends… but just to drive Buzz.

Fortunately, after you accomplished your mission, you starting interacting with the other kids there. You abandoned Buzz for the ball pit, the train table, the book nook, and the building blocks.

You didn’t even mind that other kids drove Buzz during the rest of our 2 and a half hour session.

I guess we could say you are learning to share, despite being an only child right now.

Well, this is a start, at least.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

 

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Of All The Siblings Who Never Existed

Friday, December 7th, 2012

2 years.

Dear Jack,

There’s the near daily discussion between Mommy and I about the possibility, in the future, at least a year from now, of us possibly trying to have another baby. Yes, that would mean a younger brother or sister for you.

We can easily think of good reasons we would want you to be an only child. We can also easily think of good reasons for you to have a sibling.

As far as why you should have a sibling, there’s one weird reason that keeps popping up in my head; one that Mommy has never mentioned.

So I guess I have to file it in the “Daddy’s Deep Thoughts” folder. Here it is:

I think about all the potential siblings who would never be born if we just stopped with you.

It just seems weird to only have one more. Why not two more? Why not five? Why not ten?

At some point for financial, logistical, and other practical reasons, that “one more kid” finally becomes one too many.

How am I supposed to know who the final little brother or sister is supposed to be?

Half of me is wired like Jim Bob Duggar, while the other half is wired like every parent in the history of the world who was content with their decision to only have one child.

I mean, to a certain degree, God leaves it up to Mommy and I to decide how many more lives to bring into the existence of this world.

Really? God is okay with my input in that decision?

No matter how many (or few!) brothers or sisters you end up having, or not having at all, much of that responsibility falls on your parents.

We have less than a decade to decide…for us, for you, and for all the siblings who will never exist.

 

Love,

Daddy

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Surprisingly Asking, “What If We Had Another Kid?”

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

2 years.

Dear Jack,

The day after Thanksgiving, Mommy and I had to go work, so your Nonna and Papa came up to visit and take care of you.

When I got home, Nonna told me how you kept telling her, “Mama and Daddy go to doctor.”

These days, you have random words floating around your head at any given moment, so you are often spitting out sentences that, while they make sense, aren’t actually true at all.

No, Mommy and I haven’t gone to the doctor; specifically, we haven’t gone there to confirm a pregnancy or get a sonogram. That’s because Mommy’s not pregnant.

But you sure had Nonna wondering.

Jack, you definitely may be an only child. That’s something Mommy and I have been very open about with everyone.

We don’t think it should be weird to only have one kid. In fact, it’s a wonderful and respectable idea.

However, I am willing to admit, now that you’re 2… I’m not completely opposed to the idea of having another kid, like I basically was just a couple of months ago.

No offense, but you’re a lot easier to take care of now. I’m not feeling overwhelmed or slightly angry like I was before.

It also has to do with me feeling more secure at my job as I am getting HR certified. It has to do with Mommy and I getting closer to being out of debt. And it has to do with neither of us being stressed out quite as much.

Like I said in my letter to you on your 2nd birthday last week, “The younger you were, the more difficult being a dad was. I was so clueless, even a year ago.”

I recently realized that I no longer feel clueless as your dad. I am much more prone to take on any challenge if I already sort of know what I’m doing.

A couple of weeks ago, Mommy asked you, “Jack, do you want a brother or a sister?”

You instantly answered, “Stister.”

That’s no typo- you literally said “stister.”

We’ll keep that in mind. But I still don’t think you’ll be a big brother anytime soon. Give us at least a year or two.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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