So I finished reading Maybe One. It was good. And I am relieved to know that only children grow up to be just as smart, happy and well-adjusted as their sibling-having counterparts. Apparently there have been some pretty weird theories about onlies, but this is mostly a thing of the past and these days more and more people are having just one. I also whole-heartedly agree with McKibben’s view on environmental impact. As in us arrogant Westerners consume like nobody’s business—he notes that one American family creates more toxic carbon in the atmosphere than entire villages elsewhere. But I digress.
I digress and debate. I debate and discuss. Rich and I talk about the pros and cons. No one can ever claim that we’ve made this decision (in whichever direction) lightly. Right now we’re holding at no. But as soon as I get used to the idea of Josh as an only child, Rich sends me an email suggesting a name for the next baby and then that seems like a pretty good idea. Don’t even try to say it’s ridiculous to be tossing around names already. The only way our last child got named at all is because we started talking about it 10 years before he was born. I am so not kidding.
Then here comes the day where Josh is up at five AM, I wake up with a headache and stumble downstairs to discover we’re out of half-and-half. I rally since it’s playgroup day and we get to the playground with a minimum of crying. It’s a little too cold, but we have a good time even though it’s a bit crowded and hard to talk to the other moms with kids all running in different directions. We picnic in the chilly breeze and are finally getting ready to head out when I notice the smell.
Now sometimes my little guy is saintly about diaper changes. Really, he announces, “Poop,” walks over to the changing pad, lies down, amuses himself, and not a peep though the whole thing. Other times he is completely possessed. I am compelled to use an extremely overused metaphor: he becomes the Exorcist baby. And this out-the-back-of-the-car-with-the-wind-blowing-on-his-bare-bum diaper change is of the pea soup puke persuasion. And this particular poop is not, well, firm. So I am pinning him down while he screams and spews forth the vileness of one possessed while I pop open my travel wipes container and find: two wipes.
That’s it. Two.
And I have to tell you, this poop that I am faced with is in no way a two-wipe poop. Not a chance. But I am far too deep in the process to bail out in search of another mom to ask for wipes back-up. So I do my absolute best with the materials at hand and somehow mange to not get poo all over myself. I’m anxious to leave him semi-poopy as I still have a touch of PTSD from the last diaper rash he had that required a prescription, but I figure I’ll just change him again as soon as I get home. Then, he falls asleep in the car.
Now my anxiety kicks into high gear as I’m forced to choose between the sanctity of nap and the reality of bad diaper rash. When I think of his little crevices filled with poop, I see his sensitive skin reddening and blistering. I can actually see it, and it looks really bad. I flashback to the screams and the looks of, “Mommy, you’re torturing me,” as I tried to wipe him. I told you I have PTSD. It was so awful.
This means that as much as I hate to sacrifice oh-holy-naptime, I have to. I convince myself that I might be able to change his diaper while he’s sleeping (this was possible on many occasions before he was eight-or-so months old) and do manage to get him out of the car, upstairs and onto the changing table before he wakes up screaming. Sca-reaming.
Now I will spare you the gory details of the rest of the day, but suffice to say that he was even less excited about that diaper change than he’d been about the previous one, and that twenty minute nap he had in the car was the only one he took.
At the end of that kind of day, when I think about having another baby, it seems like the CRAZIEST THING EVER.
Even though I really do like the name Rich suggested.