Baby steps

Recently, in an effort to clear up some misconceptions surrounding human anatomy (you will be relieved to learn that girls do not, in fact, “pee out of their bums”), I got out our copy of It’s Not the Stork and sat down with Rowan to have a little chat.

After we clarified — at least, for the moment — the tricky question of the female urethra, we kept turning pages until we got to the pictures of babies in their mothers’ bellies. And I found myself having what appeared to be my first formal “birds and bees” talk with my child.

I’ll save the actual details for another post, but suffice it to say it was all pretty low-key. I communed with my mother, flashing back to the time she made a special trip to the library and got a book — with diagrams — in order to answer my four-year-old questions about how the baby got out of such a small hole. I congratulated myself on my upfront, no-embarrassment, give-just-as-much-information-as-necessary-but-not-enough-information-to-overwhelm approach.

Until Rowan dreamily asked the one question I hadn’t really prepared for: “When are we getting another baby?”

Reader, I snorted. If I’d been drinking coffee, it would have sprayed out of my nose. I immediately felt bad: I mean, seeing that he is a kid, my kid in fact, it might be just slightly rude to suggest that he and his brother have set a precedent I don’t want to repeat. I mean, it’s one thing to shout, as I have, at my ovulating body, “Do I look like I want any more children?” It’s another to scoff at the very idea in front of your own offspring — I mean, it could send the wrong message, you know?

The right message, the true message, is that the two kids we have are the two kids we want. And with every milestone — the crib for sale, the high chair gone, the way these two kids grow and blossom and become more and more their own people, more and more independent — I have no desire to rewind and start over again, times three. I want to run ahead with my boys, not lag behind to nurse their younger sibling or stay home while that baby naps. I’m not ready for another two years of sleep deprivation. I want to cuddle them in the mornings. I want to watch Rowan put on his own coat and boots and help Isaac into his so that they can play outside in the backyard after dinner while Rachel and I have a conversation at the table and then join them. I want to push Isaac on his tricycle as Rowan figures out the two-wheeler with training wheels ahead of us. Forward, not back.

And then Rowan mentioned a few days later that, for his next baby, he’d like twin sisters.

And part of me — the insane part of me, the part of me that’s not be let outdoors on spring days — thought, Oh sure, why not? How bad could it be?