Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. He has written the fiction book “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt” and is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
In general, our love lives are expected to follow one of three predetermined paths. They are as follows:
- Get married, have children
- Stay single, be lonely and unfulfilled
- Be George Clooney
You’ll notice that I coupled marriage and children together. Because, quite simply, everyone expects children once you’re married. Immediately. And they expect you to keep having kids until the novelty has worn off (for them). And why not? What do they care? Those kids aren’t going to invade their lives and refrigerators. In fact, people encourage you to have more children for the same reason we watch reality television shows – because seeing other people struggle is a sick, twisted form of entertainment most of us actually enjoy.
For anyone who watches my already existing children–don’t worry. Sonia isn’t pregnant, as far as I know. I’ve just been hearing a significant amount of talk lately regarding whether I should throw caution (and any semblance of sanity or a social life) to the wind and have a third child. And there seems to be two distinct schools of thought around this. Not surprisingly, both are built around the fact that my life would effectively be over, if it wasn’t already.
So, here are the two sides of the argument, based on actual quotes I’ve heard from friends and family.
CASE FOR A THIRD:
“Dude, once you have two, you might as well have eight.”
Now, this is how I generally feel about cookies or horror movie sequels, but I’m not sure how it is applicable to offspring. I believe the thinking here is that, if you’re already wired to deal with more than one kid sapping your brain cells, then what’s one more? I can at least see where they were going with this one.
“All children are a blessing.”
Now, this is clearly not logical. And trust me, I don’t believe it. Some children are an absolute burden. I’ve seen plenty of examples in my local mall. This does nothing to sway me toward the dark side. In fact, it does the opposite.
“You have two boys. Don’t you want a girl?”
Sure. I’d love to have a girl. I’d also love to see Real Housewives of New Jersey magically disappear from my DVR without my wife leaving me. But some things are out of our control, aren’t they?
“Come on, join the ‘Three Kid Club!’”
First of all, there is no such club. And secondly, this isn’t even a point. It’s just people whose lives are over who want mine to be over too. I don’t blame you, but don’t think I’m naïve enough to think this whole “Three Kid Club” includes a wet bar.
CASE AGAINST A THIRD:
“Are you an idiot?”
A legitimate question to which I have a simple answer. Yes, absolutely. Anybody who has kids on purpose is at least partly one.
“They will outnumber you and your wife.”
Probably the best case against having a third. I mean, if you were in a tag team wrestling match, you certainly wouldn’t welcome a third member on the other team, right? But if that third team member would occasionally hug you and draw pictures? Come on, you know you’d consider it.
“You can’t afford another child.”
Kids are money-suckers. I’ll give you that. I have no real argument against this one.
“Two is more than enough.”
This coming from someone with 14 tattoos, five earrings and working on their sixth cup of coffee.
I’ll admit to seeing merit in both arguments. This is what makes this type of decision so painstakingly difficult. Because the people who are pro-third make me consider the joys of parenting another child while the anti-third folks also make valid points about the very real horrors I’d be signing up for. However, as with anything else in life, this decision will likely be made by alcohol.
Ultimately, having children at all seems downright moronic most of the time. They demand our time, money, attention and guidance 24 hours a day and rarely ever reciprocate. But I’d be interested to hear from my readers, parents or not, about your thoughts on the topic. Do you have three children? And if so, are you mentally stable? Feel free to share your thoughts by adding a comment below!
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