I want a baby

Ye gods, ha, did you think I meant me? Sweet Jesus, no. It’s just that I can’t get that phrase out of my head since watching this, by Morgan Brayton:

Unconditional love and always having someone to talk to notwithstanding, there is no baby lust here to speak of. As in, we’ve pretty much told the donor to go get a vasectomy. (The donor, by the way, is here! Now! For the better part of a month! Last night he went grocery shopping while I lay around reading the first in the Stieg Larsson series — yes, it’s come to that — and then watched the slightly disappointing season opener to Mad Men. And, as I write this, he is helping us fill in an unexpected gap in child care by taking Isaac this morning, for a fun-filled three hours that I suspect will mostly involve throwing things down the laundry chute. Two parents good: three parents better. But, alas, the same does not hold for children, at least in this household. Two is great — can’t quite get it up for three.)

For some reason though, people of late have been bringing it up, that long-ago resolved question of the third. “Are you planning to have any more?” other women (always women) keep asking. “We are planning to have no more children,” I keep answering. And then they usually sigh and say, “Us, too.”

I keep coming up with new reasons why we don’t want another baby. “If we have another baby,” I will say to Rachel, “it will be a third set of grimy, scratchy little fingers on the CDs and DVDs.” “If we had another baby, we’d have to get a minivan.” “If we had another baby, it would wake us up all night long and I would get depressed and anxious and unhinged and think only about sleep, and then where would we be?” Where would we be, indeed. Somewhere less fun that this place, I tell ya.

And then Rachel said, “If we had another baby, then we would make Isaac into a middle child.” And we both stopped and scratched our heads and said, “Oh, yeah.

It’s not that either of us has anything against middle children, but simply that Isaac is, still, the baby. And, inasmuch as we don’t feel the need to have any more babies, we’re not quite ready to turn our latest and last baby into something else. Just yet. Or, ever.

But then, a couple of weeks ago, Isaac pulled the household copy of I’m a Big Brother! off the bookshelf — the one we got for Rowan when Isaac was born, the one where we scratched out with a Sharpie all instances of the phrase “Mommy and Daddy” and replaced them with “Mommies” — and asked me to read it to him.

 

“See?” I chirped at him as we turned the final page. “Babies are fun to play with!”

“I want a baby,” he said. He jabbed at the baby in the book: “A baby like that.”

(So, why do or don't you want a baby? From the inane to the profound.)