My One And Only

The Next Family

By: Tosha Woronov
Tosh and Leo

We are not having any more kids. We are stopping at one. Leo will be -barring some change of heart, mind, plan – an Only Child.

The decision has been made and yet…the discussion won’t stop.

Here are the conversations I have been having –

-with my husband:
me: I am just so afraid we are doing a disservice to him.
him: We’re not. He’s awesome. We’re awesome.
me: I don’t want him to be lonely.
him: He won’t be. I promise. He won’t be.
(long silence)
him again: We are three.

-with Leo:
him: Please give me a baby brother mommy. I promise I will take care of him.
me: I know you would, honey, but I need you to understand that the baby would be tiny, and you will not be able to play baseball with him for like, 5 years.
him: I know that. I would take care of him until I can play baseball with him.
me: Do you realize that daddy might not be able to pitch to you as much, because he will be taking care of the baby?
him: Then you can pitch to me.
me: But I might be making the baby’s bottle or something.
(long silence)
me again: See, Daddy and I think this works so well, just the three of us. We like having just you. We like that we get to spend more time with just you.
(pause)
him: Ok, I don’t want a baby brother anymore.

-with his family:
them: You really don’t think you’ll have any more? I am so surprised! Is this how Peter feels too?
me: He’s actually more sure than I am.
another of them: I just want to announce to everyone that, in the spring, we are going to start trying for a second!

-with my family:
them: oh, just have another one!
them: you won’t regret it.
them: trust me.

-with friends:
me: I just feel guilty that Leo will be alone.
them: You don’t have a craving to get pregnant?
me: Oh, god, not at all.
them: Then don’t give it another thought. I just want to be pregnant again so badly.

-with acquaintances/strangers:
them: Are you guys having any more?
me: I don’t think so. I think we’re done.
them: That is sooo interesting.
them again: But look how gentle he is with her! How could you not give him a baby sister?

-with myself:
me, me, me: what is wrong with me? Why don’t I have the urge? I am defective. That’s crazy, I have a child! Why is one not enough? He is incredible, a miracle. I could never love another child as much as I love him. But people do, you know they do. What am I going to do when he doesn’t need me any more? What if I suffocate him? Our love, all on just him, that’s too much pressure. But another baby would kill us, break us. What if he needs it? Are we selfish? We can be three and happy or – god -four and divorced. They seem so stressed out, so exhausted. We have an easy flow, the three of us. I love our little team. But their kids have each other. Leo is all alone. I am the worst mother in the world. Oh my god, the cost of preschool for 2 kids! How do people do it? I’m sure Peter would want another one if I had been better at it the first time. Why don’t I want another one? What is wrong with me? I cannot believe Leo will be an Only Child. I cannot imagine another soul taking root in my heart. I wish I had the answer.

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