Tonawanda News — Thanks in part to the wonders of social media, I’ve been able to share in the joy of several sets of new parents I know.
I “like” the pictures from the delivery room. I comment on the “first night in her own crib” photos. I leave semi-snarky, semi-helpful remarks on how to handle all-night feeding sessions and constant puking.
Seeing all this online chatter got me reminiscing. I can still vividly recall watching “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” at 4 a.m. in the rocking chair with a cranky Penny trying to nuzzle into my shoulder after unsuccessfully trying to ... um, naturally feed off me.
I can still see (and smell) Rigby’s overflowing diapers when he had an upset stomach. I still am motivated by remembering when Penny thanked me for going to work every day so I could afford to buy her new shoes.
I smile when I think about these memories, and it inevitably makes me consider whether I would want to go through these experiences again (you know, just assuming for purpose of this discussion Mommy was willing to go along).
I consider it a minute it and then ... nah.
As much as I love Penny and Rigby, they can be draining. Have you ever tried to, while cleaning your son up after using the bathroom, tried to pick him up and unfold him out of the on-all-fours praying position he’s assumed on the floor? Has your daughter told you each of the past 12 days that “today is the worst day ever” because her trip to see Santa and dinner at one of her favorite restaurants did not end with a bouncy ball out of the vending machine?
More children? Hah! Methinks not.
I mean, just having to do Penny’s hair every morning is ... well, I’ve come to enjoy that, actually. I am even sort of good at it now. But Rigby’s suit, well, that has so many stinkin’ pieces and ... no, he really looks amazingly handsome in a suit, especially with the new fedora he was recently given with his name stitched on it.
But potty training! We’re still not 100 percent there yet. Accidents are so hard to clean up, although no smile beat Rigby’s grin the first time he went on the toilet and insisted on a high-five while he sat there.
There are so many magical moments as they grow up. Maybe they would be worth the trials and tribulations to be able to experience again. First steps, first birthdays, first words — all treasured memories.
Maybe ... nah.
Even with the emotional gains, there are finances to consider. I can only take so many jobs without collapsing, and a third child might just push us over our own fiscal cliff. They need diapers and food, then money for field trips and fancy school clothes, then graphing calculators and designer fancy school clothes, then college educations — and then they might just move back home after graduation.
But is that so bad? The lack of sleep can be a drain, but it is nice having life in the house. And the kids give me the best greetings. Plus I have a convenient excuse to keep watching cartoons for a while longer.
Maybe ... nah.
They’re only going to complain more as they approach adolescence. Children are rarely content unless you’re constantly doing something, and that generally involves some combination of further sleep deprivation and additional spending. They pee on the floor — on purpose sometimes — vomit on your bed, refuse the food you spent 30 minutes making (and they requested) and LOVE to use the word “no” once they learn it.
They demand more from you than you ever thought you had, then once you’re totally licked ask for even more. They completely alter the fiber of your being, forcing you to reconsider every habit you have. They make you strung-out, stressed beyond belief and so dog-tired you forget what day it is.
But they make you better, stronger. They show you a type of love that’s incomprehensible for those without children. They make you not really care anymore about — well, most things, as long as they’re all right. And they provide you with small miracles each and every day.
But would I have more?
Maybe ... nah ...
Maybe ... ?Contact Paul Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org.