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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Numbers Game

This post is a rambly response to C. Beth's post today (Two is enough). She talks about the ages of her children and how she's really enjoying the level of development each has reached. Rather than feel baby fever, she's very content with the two adorable children she has been blessed to raise. She ended the post by asking how we feel about the number of kids we do or don't have.

Unless you're new here, you know that the number of kids I have is zero. It's complicated. I always wanted kids (probably two). Then I didn't want kids until later. Now that it's later, I just don't know anymore. My vision of what I do or don't want is clouded by emotional and physical issues that seem impossible to sort out.

That made me think about my experience growing up and the number of siblings I had.

I grew up as one of three children. I was the oldest by 5 years, with my brother and sister being only 2 years apart. For years, I was the spoiled only grandchild. Then came Rob and Tina.

I often felt left out as they played together. As the years passed, I then resented that since the "younger" kids were the majority, most of our activities were more age-appropriate for them. At 13, I was over Halloween. At 15, Chuck E Cheese wasn't my idea of a good time. By 16, I was tired of babysitting and dragging them around and being responsible for them.

This is why I think kids should come roughly in pairs. If there had been two older kids and two younger kids, it would've been okay. Of course, those of you who know me best know why that's an even bigger issue for me.

Here are some other reasons I believe two children is a good number:
  • no more kids than you have hands to hold
  • they shouldn't outnumber you and the other parent
  • most homes have 3 bedrooms
  • food items (and most everything else) come in even numbers (if there's an odd number, that means one for mama!)
  • noone has to sit in the stupid middle seat in the car
So there, some random thoughts about kids, families, numbers, and product packaging. Go read Beth's post and let her know what you think.


Melinda said...

Oh my goodness I never though about the dreaded middle seat. Another check mark in the no more than two column.

Accidentally Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Accidentally Me said...

I kind of always felt like one would be plenty (I sort of adopted my ten year old sister, so I kinda had another one to start with).

Then I had twins. went that plan.

C. Beth said...

All excellent reasons to have 2. Except the bedroom thing. We have 4 bedrooms, and I'm not using that as a reason to have 3. ;-)

Tortuga said...

Haha! All great reasons for having 2 kids, which I do. Even without that middle seat they still fight though, haha!

My solution to anytime I want another kid: buy a dog!

holly said...

I have three siblings so two of us had to sit in the middle seat. You know those big sedans with bench front seats? Yeah, that was us.

We've got a four bedroom house and I'm w/C. Beth - I think two kids sounds just perfect. Although before my brother was born, my mom would say, "it's great having three kids because everything is three for a dollar." If dollar price divisions is how we're deciding kids now, I guess I'd have to stick with just one. Shit is expensive now!

Faith said...

I'm have 1 sibling. My husband has 2. We have 4 children. I can't imagine bedrooms being a good reason to have (or not have) kids. All four of my children share one room for beds & use our 3rd room as a toy/book/school room.

Children outnumbering you doesn't seem so difficult a thing to get over (to me). I mean, when Daddy goes to work, Mommy is outnumbered most of the time anyway. What's the difference if it's 2 per adult, or just 2 per Mommy. ;)

On a positive, I can see the benefit of having them in pairs. I definitely love having an even number. I also love having them close together (4 in 5 years here).

That corgi :) said...

when we were thinking about adopting a third, my very wise pediatrician's nurse said "never let them out number you". We chose not to go for baby #3 (not only for that reason). I feel for you and I feel for my sister. She was you and my brother/me 17 months apart made her life a "living hell" when we were growing up.(she was 2 years older than my brother). Children are wonderful if/when people think they are ready for them and even then, most have no idea what they are getting themselves into.....


Jazzbumpa said...

I posted my personal thoughts at Beth's place, so I'll respond here to what you said.

If your physical and emotional issues suggest to not have kids, then do not have them. They bring their own needs and a whole new set of vitally important responsibilities. If you're not equipped to handle this, don't try.

Three of the four next-gen families in our clan have three - I'm not sure if any of that was by design. One, for sure was a big surprise. All are great kids, and the family dynamics - especially among the cousins - are much richer.

My sister is almost 7 years younger than I. We were never close as kids, and it's almost as if my parents had two only children. In fact, I was awful to her. An 11-year-old boy with a 4-yr-old sister - not a good combo. I'm just happy she speaks to me now.


Toriz said...

Outnumbered or not, I'd love half a dozen kids running around.