Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Triple Threat

In the theater world, a "triple threat" is someone who is not only an incredible actor, but can dance & sing too. They are the multi-talented person who seems to do everything with amazing ease & natural ability. In high school the resident triple threat was a girl named Krista Braun. She & I were in quite a few musicals together at Mags, and I have to say, the girl was incredibly talented. I'll admit even being envious of her & the praise she received from everyone around us. While I am a good singer, my abilitiy to act & dance is what I would call a sub-talent. They exist, but on a lesser level than the singing. In any lead or supporting role I was given, it was usually based on the part requiring a strong messo-soprano.

While my love of theater has continued, my involvement in it has waned since my early college days. In fact, it's been quite a few years since I've even heard the phrase, triple threat. Funny that now, 14 years after the days of Krista Braun, the words seem to have a totally different meaning. Now the phrase conjours up just one image in my head: 3 kids. The ultimate triple threat? perhaps not, but it's something that certainly requires a natural ability to juggle multiple things. And these days, for some reason, the question "will you try for a third?" seems to come up almost weekly.

Maybe it's the fact that we're finally sleeping through the night & the bags under my eyes are beginning to fade. Maybe it's the idea that a mom of two same sex children *must* of course want to try one more time for the opposite sex child. Or perhaps it could be that if the subject of having more kids comes up in any conversation, I'm the first to jump in with my list of pros and cons. Whatever the case may be, I do think about it quite a bit.

Truth be told, Andy & I are both fairly certain we'll try for one more child. How could we not after having such success with both Jackson & Charlie. Though they are very different kids, they are amazing little creatures, each with their own little quirky personalities. Each day, even the stressful ones, I am a better person thanks to them.

Knowing that we want one more child & being ready for another is a totally different thing. Neither of us feel that our family is complete, however, neither of us are ready for the demands of a newborn. (nor the demands of another pregnancy) And this is where I feel conflicted. I've explained this internal debate of mine to many people around me, all of whom probably think I'm crazy for feeling to need to justify not being ready for a third. Charlie is, after all, 10 1/2 months old. But there is a part of me that feels guilty for wanting to avoid a pregnancy, however silly that may be. Maybe I feel it takes something away from Charlie. Often parents of an extremely easy baby are heard saying they'd take a dozen of their kid if they could. So by saying I'm no where near ready for a baby, am I implying that Charlie is a difficult child? And there it is: mommy guilt. It lurks in the background of nearly every decision we make. With Jack it was the decision to go back to work after 7 weeks off, now with Charlie it's this.

But in all honesty, Charlie is a big reason that I don't want another baby right now. Not because he's been overly needy or an incredible night owl, but because I want to be able to focus on his accomplishments & milestones before passing the spotlight off to a younger sibling. His brother had such a spotlight for over 2 years, I feel he deserves at least that much time, if not a bit longer, to be the baby of the family.

Another big reason is me. I do not have easy pregnancies. Granted, they are not as rough as some, but throwing up daily for 20 weeks takes it's toll on you. (As does the cost of Zofran - an anti-nausea medication that became a must with my last pregnancy.) Even that fades though thanks to what they call "mommy amnesia", allowing you to forget the miserable parts & look back at pregnancy with great nostalgia. Maybe after the second time around it takes longer to forget the negatives, allowing you to space your children proportional to the amount of time it takes for you to regain your sanity. The same way it took longer this time to lose the baby weight & slide back into my size 6 jeans. I'm just nowhere near ready to do it all again & a voice inside me keeps saying I should feel guilty for that. (probably the same voice that says strapless dresses don't look good on me - stupid voice.)

In another two or three years, I will probably sing a much different tune. I'm sure my desire to finally try for a third will coincide with Jackson's first day of Kindergarden or Charlie reaching a milestone that fully transitions him from baby to big kid. There's also a big part of me that would love to try for a girl in order to have a mother-daughter bond similar to what my own mom & I share. But there's time for that... in fact, we have years.

Then again, in a few years we'll be out of diapers, have two kids in school full time & no doubt be much better rested. Perhaps it'd be easier for me to just learn how to act & dance.


Jill said...

Size 6 jeans...that makes you a sextuple threat in my book!! I have no doubt that you will have a third--I don't think I've ever doubted it. When you are ready, when Cha, Jack, and Andy are ready, you'll all be thrilled to add *her* to your family. Or *him* for that matter!

Babs said...

Three! Oh my goodness! You have a full plate right now. You handle it all with such amazing grace & enviable wisdom, but it's SO early to be having a third! You still have a very loving, sweet baby boy in Charlie...and Jack is learning & growing so much right now...I completely support your ignoring the "mommy guilt" and just focusing on your existing blessings.

For me, the certainty that a third would be okay came when I decided that another boy would bring me great joy. As I know I've told you, Bill & I didn't even have a baby girl name chosen when I delivered Jill. Her arrival was a great surprise back in the pre-sonogram days, and put to rest forever the hospital's not-so-subtle pressure on me to have this one circumsized! Ha ha! (Yes, I was THAT radical! After 3 C-sections, I was just totally fed up with elective surgeries. It's probably lucky for Jill she WAS a female!)

I hope some day you will have a daughter, but that's one of those no guarantee kind of things. I really think you & Andy are the kind of parents who will nurture any child to its full potential, and that's what matters, whether it's another son, a daughter, or simply the special two you already have!