Because that’s how many we always said we wanted.
You know, back when we were totally full of shit and had no fucking clue what we were on about.
And, like, we’ve always been kid people, so it’s not like we had zero experience with them. Apparently when you asked little scruffy-looking nerfherder what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would answer, “A daddy.” (I know, I know: fucking SPLOOSH.) He went on to babysit when he was a bit older, even taking a babysitting course and getting certified and all that. He was also a summer camp counselor for many years for tweens and teens. In short, he fucking LOVES kids.
Same for me. I was babysitting by age nine, went on to nanny for many, many years, and although I always assumed I’d have some sort of career, I mostly just wanted to be a mama when I grew up. That was always way more important to me than any other longterm goal.
So by the time we met and fell madly in love in our 20s, we were SO FUCKING READY to have kids. We actually wanted a baby more than we wanted to get married at first, to be perfectly honest. But we’re this weird mix of ultra progressive and somewhat laughably traditional in some ways, so a few months into our relationship, we just sort of decided we’d get married and then try for a baby.
Not that there is ANYTHING ABSOLUTELY AT ALL wrong with having babies whenever the hell you want them, OF COURSE. That’s just what worked for us personally. And, you know, those types of things should ALWAYS BE PERSONAL DECISIONS.
Where was I?
Right. So we talked and talked about having babies and how many we would have, and while he would always (mostly) joke about having an entire soccer team’s worth, I talked him down to four because it seemed the perfect number for us. We’re both middle children and knew we didn’t want three kids, but two didn’t seem like nearly enough, so four it was. We agreed I would stay home with them and I literally imagined myself barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen with a gaggle of children tear-assing through the house and yard with the dogs while I blissfully scrubbed pots and simmered porridge on the stove or some shit.
Long story short, after several years of suffering unexplained infertility, undergoing IVF, the shenanigans surrounding their birth, then, you know, having TWO FUCKING BABIES AT THE SAME TIME, and breastfeeding on demand and cosleeping and wearing them and all that good stuff because that’s what seemed right and good and best for our family (again, personal decisions and all that), I couldn’t fucking FATHOM having more kids, especially if it meant going through IVF again with littles already at home.
And that was an extraordinarily difficult reality for me to come to terms with because it didn’t fit the image I’d always had of myself AT ALL. But considering where my mental health has been these past few years, I quite literally shudder at the thought of us having had more kids.
And I’m never more thankful we only have two than on nights like this.
It was almost 100 degrees here today and that is somewhat obnoxiously hot for us in general and downright offensively hot for me personally. We also don’t have AC, and while we completely open the house up at night with fans blowing and close up in the morning, that only does so much when it’s this hot. The SLNH and I spent most of the day catching up on housework and deep-cleaning, so we were home all day and by about 5pm, the house was getting uncomfortably hot (though still considerably cooler than outside) and The Goblin Queen especially was getting downright fussy. So I had this grand idea that we would spend money we don’t have and go out to dinner so we could all fill our bellies while chilling, literally, in some AC.
Aaaaaaaannnnnnnnd immediately upon getting in the car afterward, I told the SLNH to remind me of the experience the next time I have a similar “grand” idea.
Because, you know, EVERYONE else had the same fucking “grand” idea and the kid-friendly yet super delicious place we went to was downright slammed by the time we got there at 5:30pm. Luckily we got a table right away, though, and ordered the wee folk’s food promptly to forestall any hangry child behaviour in public (they usually eat at 5pm). They coloured happily until their food came and then scarfed it. So far, so good. But in a really disappointing and super uncharacteristic turn of events for this establishment, even when they’re slammed, our food took FOREVER to come. And, you know, as good as our kids really are in public, kids have limits, especially that close to bedtime, and eventually I just couldn’t hack it anymore and was all *eyetwitcheyetwitcheyetwitch*.
So we told our server to just package our dinners to-go and the ever-awesome and unflappable SLNH took the wee folk outside to run around while I waited and paid for our food (our server did comp us our drinks but I also ended up giving him closer to 15% than 20% in tip and that always makes me feel bad but I was fucking eye-twitchy, you know? I don’t care whose fault it is, you don’t get 20% when I end up eye-twitchy, dammit).
And, all things considered, this was a totally decent outing with two five-year-olds. They didn’t cry, shout, scream, roll on the floor, throw things, make a ginormous mess, ask to go to the bathroom 18 times, spill their drinks, annoy other customers, nothing. Our kids are really fucking good damn kids.
And STILL, I get eye-twitchy when things don’t go as I’ve envisioned them, especially in public.
So, when we got home, after thanking the SLNH in the car for never failing to stay calm and good-humoured when I’m doing everything I can to hold my shit together (this relationship obviously wouldn’t work otherwise, as I’m slightly high-strung…), we were sitting at the kitchen table, finally having eaten our dinners, and I turned to him and said, “Dude, I am so fucking glad we didn’t have four kids.”
And he snorted derisively and was all, “Yeah, can you fucking imagine having two more?”
And we had a good laugh at our younger, ridiculous selves and then threw the kids in the shower to calm their asses down before bed.