Third Time…Maybe Not a Charm


Does there really need to be another baby here?

I want to have a third baby.

I WANT to have a third baby, people.

It’s taken me a while to admit that. To actually say the words out loud. Because it feels so, so dumb. Like a supremely dumb decision. Like sleeping with a drummer. Like getting a lower back tattoo at 3am after you’ve been out drinking with that weird work friend you don’t even really like that much.

For me, having a third baby feels like diving head first into a decision you know is incredibly stupid but you just want to do anyway. Like, ‘I know shooting heroin is supposed to be really bad for you, but it’s just what I want. It’ll be fine.’

My embarrassment about my third baby dreams is so bad that I haven’t even mentioned it to anyone in my family outside of my husband and I’ve barely consulted him. I’m hoping I can stealthily carry and birth the thing, after which I can just say ‘Yeah, here’s another baby. He/she’s already here, so it would be tacky and cruel for you to call it a mistake. Please provide a pack of up&up brand diapers and/or a gift card to BabiesRUs at your earliest convenience.’

Why am I so humiliated about adding to my family? Why am I making such a big deal about it? Why can’t I just act like a normal person and do what I kind of/mostly want and deal with the consequences and in the meantime maybe shut up about it?

The main drawback, I guess, are the three year and 18 month old boy children currently residing in my home. Children I’m supposed to love and support for the rest of my natural life. They already take literally every ounce of energy, effort and sanity I possess in any given day and they can both sleep all night/generally feed themselves. How will I cope with another small, most likely screaming human, who wakes up all night and wants to stay permanently attached to my nipples?

Another problem is money. Where will it come from and who will give it to me? Buying in the Normal Park school zone seemed like a good investment at the time, but where is this supposed third child going to sleep in my tiny house? The closet? Probably the closet. Not to mention the presence of a fifth person will necessitate the purchase of the final nail in the coffin of my youth: a minivan.

And what about college? How will that even begin to work? Economists predict that in the year 2030, college will cost something approaching $42 *MILLION* annually, reserved only for the super wealthy and those crazy kids who go to the Scripps National Spelling Bee every year.

But I don’t care. Or rather, my brain cares, but my heart and my ovaries do not. I’ve always pictured myself with three children, despite the lack of three kid arrangements within my extended family. When I imagine our future, I always see one more person coming along for the ride. My husband says this is because I was brainwashed by my benevolent babysitter, the television, from a young age. The Simpsons, Full House, Family Matters, even each half of The Brady Bunch. All three kid families and all apparently models for my important life decisions.

So, like a young girl with an abstinence only sex education, I’m birth control free. Does it matter that my children will probably never go to college or Disney World or the dentist? Does it matter that the sheer pressure of caring for three small children might drive me to fake my own death and live out my days hiding in a Mexican border town? I suppose not. What matters is, I guess, going with your gut and doing what you really believe is right, no matter how ridiculous it seems at the time.

So, future Ashley, you’re welcome/I’m sorry for the person-shaped gift I may be giving you. Hopefully he or she has enriched your life beyond measure or at least hasn’t screwed it up too royally. Also, get a haircut. No matter how long it’s been, it’s been too long.


Comments are closed.