Sunday, March 13, 2011

For The Next Kid

Throughout R's babyhood we've been buying her things that would also work "for the next kid."

"Cloth diapers and wipes are great! We can also use them for the next kid."

"Let's get this [insert random baby item] in gender neutral colors, so we can also use it for the next kid."

"We'll pack up R's old clothes in storage, just in case the next kid is a girl."

And that's how we've been going all along, planning ahead and saving every little baby item that R no longer uses, because our next baby might need it. Except lately we've been thinking there won't be a next baby. The desire to give her a sibling comes and goes, but more often than not, I return to the thought, "She'll be okay as an only child." Still I continue to squirrel away R's leftovers, not knowing what else to do with them, and not entirely sure that we won't need them again.

The prospective sibling has already been named (our girl name also happens to share the name of a new perfume, so I think of a baby girl every time I smell the ad in a magazine), and that may be where I'm having trouble letting go. I've already imagined the two of them together, getting into squabbles, trying my patience, but also playing with and loving on each other.

She'll be okay as an only child... right?

Her best friend.

Health concerns most certainly warn me to not risk another pregnancy. And after some tough times with R, I've had doubts about how "good" of a mother I could be to two children. In motherhood I am realizing that throwing tantrums won't cut it anymore, not if I want to remain cool and teach my child how to properly manage her anger. After an extremely stressful morning last week where Senpai ended up going to work three hours late because I had a meltdown and needed him to take over trying to get R back to sleep, I felt an intense desire to get help managing my anger. I found it yesterday in the form of a parenting book that I have thoroughly underlined and will most likely finish tonight. I'm still growing as a parent, that much is for certain, but the growth comes because the stressors are there. If your kids don't test you, who will? So it's hypothetical that maybe, just maybe (with lots more books), I might be able to effectively parent two. It's a theory, at least.

Will we have another? I don't know. Like I said, the feeling comes and goes, ebbs and flows with my hormones, the full moon, the tide, seeing other mothers with two children, seeing siblings relate to one another, and then seeing R sitting by herself, playing quietly with her toys.

My heart is thumping with the possibility. My head holds it in check. Who knows what the end result will be.



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