I had my second pregnancy scare of the year this weekend. The last one was in March when I hit day 35 of my cycle, bought a test in a panic (it was negative), and Aunt Flo appeared the next day. Right now, I’m on cycle day 37 and still no sign of her, so I finally caved in and bought a test. Thankfully it too was negative. My best guess is that my cycles are returning to what they were like as a teen, pre-birth control pill, when my period came about every 2 or 3 months. Either that or it’s early menopause. Either way I don’t care – I. AM. DONE.
I really don’t want another child, DH even more so. I have given about as much of myself as I think I can. With DD it was all so easy: I had been living for myself for so long, and I willingly and easily gave up my previous life to devote myself to her needs. With DS it was a bit harder, probably more because there was another child needing my attention rather than not having the emotional resources to give of myself fully and freely. But now that DD has hit an age where she is somewhat independant – she can walk with me and not run into traffic or disappear in a store, she can entertain herself with books and computers and DVD players – I am getting spoiled. Now I have a taste of what it’s like to not be so dependent on the child’s needs…and it tastes GOOD. I really don’t think I can go back without feeling some resentment.
Then there is DS who is bringing toddlerhood to a whole new level. DS is a wanderer and will take off virtually anywhere, regardless of how far away he leaves the family or the group of kids we are with. Like virtually all toddlers he is incapable of sitting still for more than about 15 minutes, tops. All activities and outings are carefully designed, planned for, and constructed around these needs. We don’t go places like the public pool, or the cool weekend music festival some of my friends are going to this month (because I’d basically have to tie DS to a stake in the ground to save both his ass and my sanity). He doesn’t understand things like “you want to play way over here (on the playground) where DD can’t see us anymore, so we have to go back and get her and our stuff then we can come right back here”. All he hears is “we’re leaving” and then I’m wrestling 35lbs of full-body-tantrum toddler all the way back to DD (while he attempts to yank out fistfuls of my hair and tear the glasses off my face), and trying to get DD and our stuff together while pinning him down so he doesn’t take off back to the other place. I am struggling to savour this stage of his life but even cranking Alphaville’s “Forever Young” at high volume while perusing our computer’s photo collection of adorable baby and toddler shots is not enough to stop me secretly wishing I could zap myself ahead 1 more year in the blink of an eye.
Suffice it to say, I am SO looking forward to entering the Next Stage of parenting, when I have KIDS, not babies and toddlers, and can actually DO stuff with them, rather than to them. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the baby stage and the toddler stage, but after round 2 (aka: DS) I’m done. It was wonderful, amazing, life-changing, and full of blissful memories. But I’m ready for the next level….I want to sit down with both of them and talk about what we’re going to do today. I want to take one child to a class and know the other one can sit still with a book or a game for a while. I want to walk down the street with two kids walking alongside me. I want to go to a playground and knit while my kids happily play with the others and STAY PUT (or at least respond to shouts of “too far! come back!”). I want to be able to travel in the car and not have to dole out food and drinks in sheer desperation that someone is gonna have a total meltdown. Not only is it dangerous to drive with one hand while performing the “backhanded banana pass”, but my car is DISGUSTING. There is so much food and crap in there in all the nooks and crannies. On the bright side, if we ever got stranded in the car we could probably live off the crumbs for a week. Seriously, the day my kids are old enough to hear “you’re hungry? Okay, lets do XYZ and then we’ll eat” and deal with it, I am buying a new car.
Two kids feels perfect: I have two arms, can carry one on the front and one on the back in moments where both need a hug at the same time, they can each sit on one of my two sides while we read books, and there are two parents in this household to “divide and conquer” at bedtime. DH’s viewpoint is even simpler: he misses me, he misses “us”. He knows that the kids come first, and he wouldn’t do things any other way than how we’re doing them. But he is really looking forward to having me all to himself in bed, to me not being completely “touched out” by the time I get into said bed, to having my boobs all to himself again (and bless his heart, the fact that they bear no resemblance whatsoever to the pair he signed up for doesn’t phaze him a bit – he thinks they are amazing because they grew his two kids).
So goodbye to Pregnancy. And hello to Using Condoms Every Time.