I am very sensitive to not making a big deal about the fact that I have three kids. Not everyone wants a kid, let alone 2 or 3 or 4, but there are plenty of couples out there who can’t have the family they want and they don’t need people going on and on about their 3 kids.
When I wanted to have a second child (and had 2 early miscarriages) it hurt and it really irritated me when women would chirp about their “Irish twins” or “not trying” or whatever. I silently gave them the finger.
I managed to have my second with a 2.7 year spread, which was kind of ideal now that I look back. But I was always conscious of families with one child once I had two kids. No bragging: I vowed to myself.
When I ached to have a third child, it seemed like everywhere I looked, everyone had 3 kids. I think the New York Times did a story on how everyone was having 3 kids, because a woman I know that likes to keep up with the Upper East Side Joneses decided to have a third kid. At school functions, at birthday parties, in the grocery store, it was always, “Wow, the third kid really puts you over the edge,” or “yeah, I can’t even think about scheduling playdates, what with hockey practice every day and our THIRD KID.” (Me: silently giving the finger in my mind).
I finally had my third kid 2 years ago and every day I look at him I am grateful. Even when he paints the couch with nail polish or wakes us up at 3am asking for food or throws my shoulder out because I am 41 and he is my largest baby by far.
So I try not to be like the annoying people that used to annoy me, what with their humble bragging about their big family and amazing fertility. I’ve caught myself and am chagrined after: like when my third kid acts like an animal in a restaurant, I find myself saying, “My first two are so well-behaved. This guy is really different.” Translation: “I am a good parent. I promise. I am just 41 and tired.”
Yesterday I had to leave my Boot Camp class to pee and I didn’t want anyone to think I was trying to get out of squats and bicep curls. You see, I was jumping rope and had some leakage. Like the kind Lisa Rinna claims to have, or you just assume she has because why else would she model those ridiculous underpants/adult diapers? As I ran out of the class, I called out, “Wow- didn’t think that third kid did a number on me, but guess he did.”
I could just picture the mom of the only child silently giving me the finger.