People ask me all the time if we’re going to have another child, or worse, they’re so nosey as to ask why we haven’t had a second child. I’m not even talking about my parents, which would still be annoying, but friends, co-workers, sometimes random strangers in the grocery store.
We have all the usual reasons against another child; can’t afford it, we’re getting too old, etc. The real reason is a combination of those factors, mixed in with events that scarred me emotionally, leaving me totally incapable of even considering another trip to the Amityville Horror of toddler-land.
I specifically remember one warm day in June, when Connor was two-years-old. After work, I stopped and picked him up from daycare. I could tell he was crabby. Hell, who was I kidding, he was always crabby lately, especially since he had completely given up napping (yes, at two-years-old, no more nappy nappy…sucks to be us).
We pulled into the driveway, and I got out and ran around to let him out of his car seat. As I headed for the house, I realized there was a short person not behind me. I turned around and saw him standing at the car. “Come on, let’s go inside,” I say.
“Come on, let’s go. We’re not going to just stand around in the driveway.” He just looked at me, so I started walking toward him.
As I got closer, he started moving to the other side of the car. Yeah, he was digging in his heels and gearing up for a game of chase. Not the fun kind of chase, the “screw you, I’ll do what I want” kind of chase. So I summoned up my very stern mommy voice, and told him “do not run from mommy, we are going inside right NOW.”
But I was wrong. We were most certainly NOT going inside right now.
Each step I took closer, he moved another step away. He placed himself on the opposite side of the car from me, and we circled it like animals stalking each other. I tried running, he ran faster. I tried a slow, casual pace, he matched me step for step.
I was getting warm and sweaty. I loathe being sweaty. I also loathe putting on a driveway show for my neighbors, who are crazy anyway, so I don’t really want them thinking I’m on the same level of cuckoo as they are. Soon I resorted to bribery.
“If we go in, we can have a really yummy snack and watch your favorite show, the Little Einsteins.”
“How about a cookie, don’t you want a cookie?”
“NO, I DON’T WANT TO!!”
Damn it, I was sweating and now I had to pee. Hubby was at work, so I couldn’t call him for back-up, and we’re not the Cleavers, so we don’t even know our neighbors (they’re crazy anyway, remember?), so I was on my own. Beads of sweat forming on my forehead, bladder screaming, think, damn it, think!!
I will beat this child at his own game. I drop to the ground, like a crouching tiger (just go with it), and peer under the car. As I start to creep to the right, I see his face appear beneath the car. He’s on to me. GODF’INGDAMNIT!!
I sit down, and start talking to myself like a lunatic. “Ohhhh, what’s this I found? Look at this wonderful shiny thing. This is the coolest, most awesome shiny, spinning, uhhhh, thing I’ve ever seen. I LOVE this new, cool shiny thing.” A face peers around the front of the car. He has taken the bait. I hold my hands together to shield the shiny thing from view, and move to a squatting position, while I babble on about the fabulous new “thing.”
And then I lunge. I catch him by the back of the shirt, as he was fleeing. I reel him in, throw him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and run for the front door as he kicks and screams. The 20-minute stand-off has ended without me peeing my pants. And by the way, there was no shiny thing, which is a fact that fueled the epic meltdown even more.
Somewhere in that driveway, my ovaries shrivelled up and died. And something told me this escapade was only the beginning of things to come. Right then and there, I knew I would not be starting this adventure all over again with another one.
So stop asking me if I’m having another one. I’m not. Besides, I’d rather put everything I have into the spirited child I already have.