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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Great Debate: Only Child Syndrome v. Stop Touching Me!

tina fey, 30 rock, liz lemon
Hey team.  So we may start encountering times where there may be some radio silence.  Either we are in a holding pattern waiting on something or ... well... that seems to be the general theme of this.  Right now we're waiting for "cycles to progress" and trying to "lose some of the girth of my equator"... ok, so I'm not the best at euphemisms or discreetness. Or spelling, grammar, awareness of my speaking voice decibel or when "enough cheese" is "enough". Anywho. While we wait  and have no real news to share, I wanted to tell you about an ongoing discussion Meg and I have been having.  Meg grew up as an only child, only gaining her step-siblings (yay! we love you!) when she was a teenager.  From my discussions with her she informs me that it is fan-freaking-tastic.  She never had to share.  She never had to...come to think of it...most of the benefits circle back to that.  I, on the other hand, grew up as the youngest of two children.  Now.  Note to parents- in no way are any of the statements directed at you, your rearing or anything else that you may take personally that I may have to apologize for.  It's merely observational and backed up by tons of research (note: research may have been done by me with fellow friends with muli-kid backgrounds while at happy hour).

Let's Start With Meg's Perspective As An Only Child Rooting For Us To Have 2 Kids
First of all I'd like to say that I'm not necessarily against having only 1 kid. I see the obvious advantages. I'm just not against have 2, either. I grew up an only child and as a kid I thought it was pretty great. I never had to vie for my parents attention, they were able to be at every recital, I was able to get a ride to every was pretty sweet! I remember liking to play by myself, being very independent, and not wanting anyone to mess with my stuff. I got to go to whatever college I chose because, well, there's only 1 of me. Had there been another kids to put through college, it would have been a different story. Being an only child suited me. As an adult I can see there were some downsides.
For instance, I never properly learned how to share (sorry Kate). As a kid that meant I hated when my cousins came over and wanted to play with my toys. As an adult it means that if I buy 5 yogurts, I expect there to be one available to me every day of the work week. What do you mean I live with someone else who also likes yogurt? BUY YOUR OWN DAMN YOGURT! Ok, I'm usually not that bad. I work really hard not to be a total jerk about the sharing, but it's not something that comes naturally to me. There's just no substitute for sharing space, toys, food, resources, etc with siblings. Now, as mentioned above, I do have 2 wonderful step-siblings and Kate and I are basically obsessed with them and their families. They make me see what grown-up sibling relationships can be like. I look at my mom and her adult siblings and I'm envious of those relationships. I want to provide my children with the opportunity to have those bonds. Now, Kate and I know all too well that not everyone has a sunshine and roses relationship with their siblings. But I think most people would never trade their siblings in for the chance to be an only
child. Obviously we're just working on our first child now, so what the heck do we know? This process might be so hard, expensive and time consuming that we choose not to do it again. The baby might scream his little head off for the first year of his life, much like my parents looooove to tell me I did. Hey, now that I think of it, maybe that's why they only had one...

My Perspective Coming From a >1 Kid home Voting for Us to Have an Only
dodge minivanIn a multi-child household you come to learn how politics works. Stay with me now... The learning experiences were often accompanied by a bruise and a side of 'go to your room.  Let me set the scene.  You're in your 1980 Dodge Minivan on a roadtrip to grandma's house and you and your sibling have to share the back seat.  No iPods, no Nintendo DS, no walkman, no tv, no A/C, and you have absolutely no control over the radio as you killed any future opportunity of DJing be playing "Raffi" for 10 hours straight on the last trip.  You most likely have a book and maybe a coloring book with old ass crayons that are starting to smell funny (fun fact: I detest the smell of crayons that have been stored in a plastic school supplies box).  It's hot because it's July in Virginia aka the 7th Circle of Hell.  And you are bored.  And so is your sibling.  You look out of the corner of your eye and your sibling is slowly
moving his/her hand across the seat with their pinkie outstretched.  They creep closer and closer until they are a millimeter away from your skin and then they stop.  That is when you feel the rage bubble up inside you and you scream, "MOM.  HE WON'T STOP TOUCHING ME!" to which your siblings says rationally, "But I'm not touching her!  SEE!."  This goes on for hours until you've said "STOP IT" to your sibling more
soccer, what is this
times than we've all said it to Miley Cyrus in the past month.  Then your parents turn around, look at you (the complainer) and yell a stream of unrecognizable words that you can only assume is Swahili (?).  You sibling will give you this shit eating grin of superiority and your jaw will be on the floor with the overwhelming feeling of unfairness. You're only choice it to fake sleep until you finally arrive at your destination, but it's safe to assume you'll get a spanking once you're out of the car.  

From this experience I kind of understand the history of the relationship between England and France.

80s music, footloose, fame, debbie gibson, flash dance, cindi lauper, MJ, Michael jacksonAnother thing.  Money.  Children be expensive.  Yes my sibling and I shared.  Clothing, in fact.  When I first came out to my mother she said her first reaction was that it was her fault for dressing me in my older brother's hand-me-down clothes.  Not how it works, but that was precious right?  There are times when you know money is tight and you 'need' the new Debbie Gibson cassette or there's a book fair and you have to buy those books because it feels good to buy things, but you know you'll never read them because of this:
nintendo, nes
Big Ups to BuzzFeed for these visuals.
Every parent wants to give their kids everything and we all know that it isn't possible.  I worry, particularly living in Massachusetts where our rent could be 2 home mortgage payments pretty much anywhere else in the country, that we would struggle and I don't want my children to feel the stress of that.  Besides, we know that no one can really understand stress until they have had to make this decision.
oregon trail, apple, mac

Nonetheless, there are other factors behind my feelings, but we don't have to make this decision right away and, who knows, maybe clomid will make the decision for us- you guys know I love a bargain.


  1. You two missed your real calling in life......I love reading your posts and I'm sure you love writing them. God will give you exactly what you need and as you both know.....not necesarily what you want.....triplets perhaps??? Just wanted to thank you for a really fun (for everyone but the two of you) journey to parenthood.......You are going to be amazing parents!!!! Hugs to both of you! Cheryl aka Dad's Pew Mate!!!!

  2. PS.........I had to jump thru hoops and missed my din din to post this......didn't have the right credentials..........whew

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed these two perspectives and this topic has been discussed between Mike and me for some time. We both come from 2 sibling families and Mike is adamant we will NOT have an only child while I'm more in the "meh 1-2-3-5 it's all good." He is also firmly against more than 2. Luckily, I have the exclusive rights to my uterus and enough sexy underwear to get what I want...(what?! too much info? oh, who am I kidding...I only have one pair of sexy drawers that come out only for birthdays...ok his birthday...every other birthday....)