Phillip told me that I made it sound like I was pregnant. Hence his throat-clearing the other night. Oops. In case anyone is wondering: NOT PREGNANT. Which doesn't mean I can't talk about it, right? But before I get started I have a little bit of business with my husband. Okay? Just a sec.
Phillip DARLING. You should probably just skip this one. There won't be anything new for you, and since putting the words "third" and "baby" next to each other in a sentence makes you all jittery-like, it's probably best you just skip this one. Be thankful I'm doing my venting elsewhere and that I won't need to rant your ear off for another, oh, couple of weeks.
All right. So. Back whenever Phillip and I had the How Many Kids Do You Want conversation my answer was, "At least three" and Phillip's answer was "No more than three." Which means: Three. (At least.) (Heh.)
SEE PHILLIP?! I'm just trying to be FUNNY. RELAX. I'm SORRY. Just go back to your queries or your reports or whatever it is you're doing today. BYE.
Anyway. Large chunks of my grad school neuroses revolve around the fact that we're more or less putting our lives on hold for two years. I am, at least. Phillip gets to go to school and earn a degree and I WANT THIS FOR HIM, but I feel, essentially, that I will just be at home waiting for him to finish. And two of the big things I'm thinking about can't happen during the grad school years: moving to a bigger house and having our third child. "Can't" of course is probably the wrong word, but 1) those things seem unwise, for various reasons and 2) Phillip doesn't want to. Especially the third baby. He will have enough going on, thank you very much.
The house thing is another post for another day (and wouldn't you know, I'm already plotting the alternatives.) But the baby thing is requiring a lot of Perspective Shuffling. A lot of Paradigm Shifting.
To be super perfectly absolutely honest, I am not ready for a third baby. This has mostly everything to do with pregnancy. I had a ridiculously breezy first pregnancy and I remember feeling like I could SO handle a second when Jack was only 5 or 6 months old. I could TOTALLY do that again. But my second pregnancy was really hard. I was sicker and more uncomfortable, I was in way more pain, and the near-constant anxiety I experienced during that pregnancy laid the authoritative smackdown on any anxiety I've had in the last handful of years. Not enough time has elapsed to make the memory softer around the edges. I'm not sure how much time that will require, to be honest. It was worth it, and I'm willing to do it again, but I'm also really happy NOT being pregnant. Or nursing. Or anxious. Or trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I haven't been this happy in my own body... EVER, and I'm not ready to mess it all up again.
But I hate - HATE - this sort of insta-decision about the size and shape of our family. It means waiting and there is nothing I am worse at than WAITING. It automatically means there is a three-year age difference, at least, between Molly and Third Baby. I don't like that. It feels huge. It makes me think I'll have to have a FOURTH baby, just to make up for Third Baby's lack of close-in-age sibling. You can only imagine what Phillip thinks about THAT! Or poor Potential Fourth Baby, whose only reason for existence is to make things up to Third Baby. GAH. BE THANKFUL YOU ARE NOT INSIDE MY WARPED AND STUNTED BRAIN.
Now, before you all start lining up to slap me, I am FULLY AWARE that in the Grand Scheme of Things, three years is NOT a super huge age difference. That plenty of people want to wait that long or longer. That plenty of people don't even WANT a third baby. And then there's another group of you who want to call me out on my Catholic cred and demand to know why I think I can "plan" this at all (or the fact that I even WANT to, and if you are one of those people I am thinking you should find yourself another website to read for I am going to DISAPPOINT.) Oh, and then LOTS of you, I'm sure, have three-year or more age gaps between your kids, or between you and your siblings, and it's perfect and why would I think it WOULDN'T be perfect and obviously I need to get over myself. Oh! And! The people who are all, "DUDE. She already has TWO and her husband is going to work full time AND go to school AND she wants to sell her house and she's talking about WHAT NOW?"
Have I left anyone out?
Okay. So. You all know that I am the oldest of five kids, that we're all about one year apart and that family holidays are a rocking good time at my house. You may also know that Phillip is the youngest of two, that there is an EIGHT-year age difference between him and his brother and that family holidays at his house are of a quieter more laid back variety. (Although it gives me opportunities to be The Youngest and 10-year-old me was right: being the youngest IS a free trip to Awesomeville.) Add in expectations and cultures and plain old personalities and you just sort of end up with your own picture of how things will work out. I don't think either of us set out to or wants to or intends to mimic our own families, but it DEFINITELY plays into our visions of our future family. Phillip cannot fathom the kind of life I had growing up. I cannot fathom his. To me, a three-year age difference seems lonely and separate. To him it's nothing.
I know it sounds kinda weird being all Morose over something I don't even WANT, but I just don't want it YET. What if I want it in three months? Or six? Or when Molly is two, which even Phillip thinks is an acceptable time to start negotiating the next baby? It's not like it COULDN'T happen, but between The Circumstances and My Husband, it probably won't. SIGH.
The smart thing to do is wait until he's done with school and we're in a bigger house. We will allow for surprises and, you know, life happening, but that's the plan. "Plan". And little by little I am wrapping my brain around the idea. Waiting so long for Third Baby is not half as bummer-worthy as it was even a week ago. And I keep seeing families with two older children and one little one in a carrier or a stroller. I know it's because I'm keeping my eyes open, but I can't help but feel like God is trying to tell me it will be fine. THOSE families look happy! Mine will be happy too!
I also don't want to sound like Third Baby will just easily and cheerfully appear, or that everything will go according to plan. I know enough of your stories to know that's not always the case. But I have no reason to feel anything about Annoyingly Optimistic, the way I am about pretty much everything else.
I have that nagging blogger feeling, where you've written a whole bunch about a topic that's important, to you at least, and you haven't quite got it right. Like you've left something out. And people are going to comment on the thing you've left out and you're going to be all DARNIT. I MEANT TO SAY THAT. But oh well. It's almost ten and I've had two people instant message me so far to inform me that if I don't get my powdery mildew zucchini away from my tomatoes I shall have no caprese salad this summer AT ALL. So. Must start Googling!