There are many wonderful reasons to have a child, the most important being to silence friends and relatives who keep demanding, “When are you going to have a BABY? You’ve GOT to have a BABY!” A demand to which I used to respond by shrugging, “I dunno. Maybe never?” — if only to chuckle at their look of horror.
Evil, thy name is Candy.
When I gave birth to Miss Skye, I figured those days were behind me. Which proves I am not only evil, but also embarrassingly naive. Because I’ve learned the second you have a baby, nobody cares about that baby anymore. It’s all about: “When are you going to have another baby? You’ve GOT to have another BABY!” A question to which I genuinely respond by shrugging, “I dunno. Maybe never?”
Oh, the looks I get from admitting that. As if I’d just said I let my kid gnaw on crack pipes (something I never do without proper supervision). As if allowing my daughter to be an only child will surely drive her into a life of acute loneliness and no social skills, forcing her to move to a remote cabin without electricity or running water, and eventually cry out for attention by launching a campaign of deadly mail bombings.
Which is just ridiculous. No electricity? No child of ours could ever get by without a flat iron. (Wavy, frizzy hair runs on both sides of the family.)
Real responses I’ve gotten:
“Having one child is cruel.”
“I have a nephew who’s an only child and I just feel SO SORRY FOR HIM.”
“But wouldn’t you like to try for a boy?!”
By the way, the “cruel” remark…? Offered up by none other than my 90-year-old Grandma Kirby who purposely had only ONE CHILD and wasn’t even particularly enthusiastic about nurturing that one. Yeah, okay, pot.
But more on Grandma Kirby later.
The interaction between siblings can be beautiful to behold. And, now that I am a parent and love the experience more than I’d ever imagined possible, I am slightly more open to the idea of having another rugrat. Slightly. Depends on which day you ask me. That said, what business is it of theirs? Is it so wrong I’m happy with our little family, as is? What if we tried and couldn’t have any more? Now we know if we don’t have another kid, they’ll be looking at Miss Skye and feeling SO SORRY FOR HER for having such cruel, cruel parents.
I am like an only child, myself, with much older siblings who’d moved out of the house by the time I was in school. Far from being lonely, family rumor has it I actually begged my parents at one point to not have any more kids. I’m convinced being only child-esque made me creative, independent and capable of entertaining myself. Yes, it also made me an attention whore — but rather than become the Unabomber, I simply forced my parents to watch my one-woman performances of “Annie.”
So, basically, I still inflicted pain on innocent victims.
Maybe next time someone asks, “When are you going to have another baby? You’ve GOT to have another BABY,” I’ll just break out into song: “It’s the hard-knock life for us! It’s the hard-knock life for us! ‘Steada treated, we get tricked! ‘Steada kisses, we get kicked! It’s the hard-knock life.”
Yeah, that should put an end to the discussion pretty quickly.