Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Parenting for pussies

The three years and eight months A.R. (after Rabbit) have indeed gone by in a flash. As is the balance of what can be reasonably called my young adult life. I think I first met YLM and AM at 30; it seems like just a few years ago, but now 40 is starting to loom.
Since any reference to Manhattan Mama's age--real or imagined--will earn me many moons on the couch, I'll leave that out of the equation.
So here's the question that presses with greater urgency with each passing month. Call it the Kid 2 Conundrum. Every day I spend with the Rabbit brings sustained, powerful joy. But will she get a brother or a sister?
Now that she's about to go into public pre-k, we've cleared the first big financial hurdle. She speaks. She reasons. She can eat demurely in restaurants. She's fit for polite company. She can be a smartass, but mostly she rocks and everyone loves her. We could stop now, enjoy it, and keep a toe in the unencumbered adult life this city is built for.
Kid 2, on the other hand, is a commitment to parenthood-as-lifestyle one can't really understand until it happens to you. I know I've seen it. It's the difference between a nice dinner date for three at Schiller's and snatching a slobbery pacifier off a fetid carpet at Applebees. Its the difference between hopping a train for a weekend away and a minivan full of car seats and pulverized cheddar bunnies.
Truth be told, a big part of me has a hard time imagining going through the dark, unshaven, sleep-deprived first few years of parenthood again.
But then there's the upside. A few years of discomfort and zero sex=a real family life with two sing-song voices little voices, another round of ballet recitals, swimming lessons and other incredibly cute stuff.
A year ago, my thinking was clear on the subject: single-kid childrearing is for pussies. Now, I'm thinking, am I the pussy?

1 comment:

Mad Mom said...

you're the pussy