Disclaimer: There is a high probability that this post will make no sense. To the extent that there is some philosophical meat to it, it will be buried in more frivolous anecdotal whining. You see, today is my day sans Nanny (cry me a river) and I have just spent the past four hours and forty-three minutes wrangling my Blue Angels (Toddler and Baby). Alone. Yes, alone as in without the able hands of a certain hot and hands-on paternal figure and without the assistance of a trained professional. And, yes, Toddler was tucked away in Preschool for three of those hours (yes, we made it today!), but still. I know. I know you do this every single day or your wife does or someone you know does. I know. It's just that I don't. And every time I do, I want to take a long shower and scream and go to a night club and be a teenager again fall in love with my girls a little bit more, but I am tired. Bodily and mentally. And then my thoughts are kind of loopy. So consider yourself warned.
My birthday is coming up. I will be thirty-one. I know. You don't care. No one cares about thirty-one-year-olds (a hyphen too many? Be honest.) No, in this society, people care only about a) little kids; b) sixteen-year-olds; c) eighteen-year-olds; d) twenty-one-year-olds; e) and then the decades (thirty, forty, fifty, etc.) But thirty-one-year-olds? Whatever. Not even worth talking about this birthday or, say, devoting an entire blog post to this milestone. Because no one cares. Truth is, I don't care. I've never been a big birthday person. Birthdays kind of stress me out because, well, they are indicators that I am getting older. Oh, and every year on my birthday (except for last year when I was busy clutching a bridesmaid's bouquet and having the cutest little contractions) I make a mental list of all of the people who should call or email and say happy birthday and inevitably, members of that invisible list do not call or email and then I tell myself I do not care and very rapidly overdo it on the Pinot Grigio get over it because, really, I don't care about birthdays. Not at all.
If I secretly cared about birthdays I would for instance tell you the actual day (October 4) and ask you to mark it on your calendar and then I would make some casual and supremely witty joke about how you could maybe drop me an email (or a blog comment!) and say happy birthday on that day. But I wouldn't do that. That would be embarrassing! And, anyway, even if I did that, I would not make my impending unimportant birthday the point of an entire blog post. That would be so transparently narcissistic and I am all about insecurities, but that would be a little overboard. Even for me.
So. Three paragraphs and fourteen minutes later, here I am about to spew the "point" of this post. And remember the foregoing disclaimer and note that I use the word "point" quite liberally.
While the world really does not care about 31st (wow, so much better than all those pretentious hyphens) birthdays, Husband does. About mine at least. The other day, he asked me what I wanted for my birthday. And, frankly, nothing came to mind. Perhaps I have given you the wrong impression on this blog, but I am not at all materialistic. In fact, material things (like clothes and diamonds and shoes and decorative items for our new home) make me queasy. Yuck. So this was a tough question. But I vowed to think about it.
What do I want?
Dutifully, I have given it some thought. And I figured it out. I know what I want.
This is how it went down this morning.
"I figured out what I want," I said, flashing an absolutely irresistible and mischievous grin.
"What's that?" Husband said.
"A fourth child," I said.
Husband laughed. Which was cute, but kind of rude. Because this is really want I want. Sure, we only have two kids at the moment and the third kid is not even a blip on our collective mental radar screen and Husband has made it very clear that we are capped at three kids, but that fourth kid? I want it. Yes, it. I'm not even being picky about what it is. I don't care if it's a boy or a girl. I just want it. I want four kids. Is that so wrong?
Well, maybe. (And this is the point in the post where I veer off on a slightly more serious, existential detour, so deal with it.) Why is it that we so often talk of kids as commodities, as things to add to our collections? It's not like getting pregnant or staying pregnant or sustaining a healthy pregnancy is easy, akin to going on a spontaneous shopping spree (in the neighborhood after brunch at Ocean or Citrus). It's not like labor is a spa day. It's not like those first few months of sleeplessness are pure bliss. It's not like that twenty-block walk back from Preschool with two screaming children during which you are sweating through your jeans and chanting "I know you have to go, but keep your peeps inside you and you will get unlimited candy corn!" is really that much like a designer bag (Chanel, metallic preferably, quilted, gold hardware). No.
So why do I want so many of these creatures? Why do I want to ensure that my home is covered in a thick layer of rainbow toys for as many years as possible? Why do I want to completely eliminate all possibility of a relaxing vacation without little ones (Miami or Bermuda? November?) Why?
I don't know. I can't help what I want any more than I can help how mangled this essay thing you are reading is. It is what it is.
Game over. While the Angels are still napping, I must tidy up and do laundry crash on the couch and watch The View on DVR before it is time for Round Two.
Are you a birthday person? How many kids do you want/have/dream of? Any insights on how to convince Husband about Baby #4?