How One Became Three.
by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
Sometimes (all the time) when I look at my life I can’t believe I have three kids. When I run from room to room prying dried Play-Doh from the coffee table, removing colored chalk from little mouths and cleaning poop off of the carpet (you read that right and those so-called miracle carpet cleaners? Not so much) it seems unfathomable that I did this on purpose - well, not exactly on purpose, the twins thing falls under the umbrella of me planning and God laughing (note to God: not that funny). More than two years ago I had it so good with one mild mannered, yet plenty energetic toddler daughter and was quite content with the status quo, so why, did I suddenly see the need to rock the boat? Why does anybody?
Immediately after having Elby, I truly thought I firmly fell into the “one and done” camp. Even though plenty of my new mommy buddies were of the “two and through” variety, I had not been totally convinced to even have one let alone more and I thought that one baby was challenging enough. As time wore on though I became less certain of my stance and not a little jealous of the women who seemed so clear about the number of children they wanted.
When Elby was about eighteen-months old, I started unofficially polling women on how they knew they wanted another baby. A few of these women already had two kids, some were newly knocked up and one, my friend Lara, was ready to pop. I met Lara when our babies were seven-months and she was always pretty decisive. We shopped daycares together back in the day and while I would have stayed for the entire tour at each and every place, one withering glance from Lara told me all I needed to know and saved me quite a bit of time. She was the perfect person to quiz on the whole “how did you know you wanted another” thing.
“It’s just something I always knew. Kids should have a sibling,” she said, in a completely Lara-esque way as if telling me you don’t serve soup with a fork. My husband thought this too but it didn’t seem so obvious and simple to me. For one, new babies are a lot of work, no sleep, messy, requiring bottle cleaning and baths and diapers. Plus, there are no guarantees that siblings will even get along. On the other hand, I was so in love with Elbs, it was starting to seem a little sad to only get to do it once. I was stuck which wasn’t surprising given that I have trouble deciding which type of peanut butter to buy at the grocery store; crunchy or creamy, salted or unsalted, Jesus do I even need peanut butter at all? It’s a wonder I managed to decide to have the first kid.