I have to admit that there are moments of weakness in my parenting adventure when I envy couples with only one child. Wait, envy seems like such a dirty word...(especially when you look up the synonyms to envy - yikes!) maybe a better word is admire? look longingly at? I think you get my drift.
There are times where, in relation to mine, their lives seem so effortless. Oh, you want to eat dear? Let me hold the baby while you get to have an adult conversation. You have to do the dishes? I'll play with junior downstairs so you can do that. You want to talk on the phone with your mom? I'll take our one manageable child upstairs so you have some peace and quiet. You want to eat chocolates and drink wine? I'll have junior bring it in to you and then quietly disappear.
There would be no pushing, no fighting, and no tattling. When you lock them out of the bathroom so that you can use it, there wouldn't be banging and screaming equal to an army of little dudes. There would be no crying at bathtime. I could do things like "just run in" to the mall. I wouldn't have to push a cart at every grocery store I went into - especially if I was just getting milk. There would only be one bedtime, one set of bedtime stories, and one dinner that would be tossed on the floor for the dog to eat.
Life would be grand.
Okay, I realize that this is total bullocks, but the truth is that I'll never know. I had only one child for about 8 months, and that is hardly a fair judge. To be honest, I barely remember it - it's like a fast moving blur in my life now.
But last night I got a little taste. Miles was sick and chose to lie in his bed nearly all night long eating oyster crackers, taking medicine, and drinking water. Although I spent most of the afternoon curled up on the couch with him while his little brother tried everything in his power to acquire every sick germ vibe that Miles could have possibly been giving out, I finally let him just crawl into his bed and lie there miserably. Besides the occasional check-in it was like he wasn't even there.
There was no pushing, no fighting, and no tattling. Liam didn't have anyone to follow around and mimic. At dinner time we had a nice quiet prayer and only one set of tortilla chips got fed to the dog when we weren't looking. When it was bathtime there was no one to yell "bath time!" and start stripping their clothes off immediately. There was only Liam quietly getting into the bath. There was no crying at bathtime...in fact, it lasted for almost 45 minutes. Instead of dodging flying bath toys I sat there and read a book. There was only one bedtime. I was off the clock by 7:15.
Then Dustin asked me...."Could you imagine if we only had one child?"
So that is what it would be like?
There wouldn't be drum wars in our kitchen...No tag in the dining room...No wrestling matches on the dog pillow (I know - gross right?)...No book sharing....No playing catch. Life would be so quiet. Too quiet for us.
I have no doubt in my mind that couples with only one child feel fulfilled and have a full life - in fact they may have room in their lives for so many other fulfilling ventures that their lives are overflowing with happiness. I can still admire that.
But my life isn't that...and I am totally okay with it.
My life is instead filled with a noisy house, broken belongings, and giggles after bathtime. I guess I really wouldn't have it any other way.
Sorry Liam, but it looks like your luxurious bath-for-one last night was a one time event buddy. Here's to an early childhood full of sharing bathtoys - hopefully someday you'll be the one antagonizing your little brother or sister.