Not long ago my wife and I looked lovingly as our daughter put on a mask, took a superhero stance and shouted "To the rescue!" before dashing out of the room. We looked to each other and silently nodded before saying to each other, "we can do better."
OK, maybe not. But, then, I'm not sure why we're doing it again but evidently that's a thing that's happening.
Of course, this was something that I foolishly thought was up for debate. I was hoping we would treat this like an important political issue, in that we'd broach the topic before adjourning without a resolution, vowing to bring it back up in committee because it was "too important to ignore" and then ignore it. Unfortunately she was one of those activist nutjobs that sees a cause through, even recruiting others in a grassroots campaign. I figured I needed to squash this campaign before it gained traction.
"We're not farmers," I said, logically. "We don't need more hands to tend to the fields. Because if we have another child, we'll have to get fields for them to work on. I'm 99 percent sure that's what happens and I know very little about agriculture, though I'm willing to purchase a tractor because I think it has GPS in it now."
"But this is happening," she replied.
"Let's look at this another way," I reasoned. "My parents were smart; they went to the casino and bet the farm on 'Red 15.' Guess what? They won. Pretty handsomely if you ask me. They left with their jackpot (me). Admittedly, comparatively, our daughter is pretty awful, but very good when it comes to traditional non-savants. Do you really want to bet it all again? It's like hitting on 19."
Of course by this time my wife had left the room, but the point is you stay on 19. I mean, come on.
"What could go wrong?" she asked me when I was still considering a second child and she was probably already pregnant from the idea.
What could go wrong? Allow me to point out a couple sensible possibilities.
One child is wonderful, manageable. Two could team up to scheme and plot. Think about it; how many times has a single person hosted a riot or gone to war? So many bad things happen when in a group, for instance hippie drum circles or Donnie and Marie. I don't want to be responsible for that.
Secondly, even though I've stipulated this house is a dictatorship and I am Caesar (stop laughing) you insist on a democracy. Whenever we want our daughter to do something, it's always 2-1 and our majority rules. We're upsetting the natural balance by creating more possible dissent. What happens when New Child agrees with Old Child and the vote is 2-2? I don't know if I could take their filibustering.
Finally, two begets three, which begets four, etc. So much begetting. Where does it end? Why not just create an entire basketball team? I think you're becoming one of those women that get addicted to being pregnant.
"The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that one is plenty," I said, finally. "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to put my foot down on this."
Once we learned we were pregnant (I still don't know how it happened) I tried to look on the bright side; it only makes sense. Did Picasso only paint one landscape? Did Babe Ruth quit after his first home run? Who am I to deny a second child the opportunity to learn from/adore me? That's just selfish. Perhaps, with the right parenting, they can become my minions. I've always wanted minions. I have so much bidding that needs doing.
Plus, the second pregnancy would have to be much simpler. I figured whenever my wife got hungry I'd just shoot marshmallows into her mouth from across the room with my marshmallow gun and everything else would just sort of work itself out. After all, this is no longer new territory.
"I don't see what the big deal is," I said, nonchalantly as she was feeling nauseous and hungry, which is apparently possible to be simultaneously. I was clearly handling things much better on my end. "I imagine it's a lot like muscle memory. Sure, the first time you do it your muscles get all sore but eventually they get used to it."
She gave me a look that on the surface looked annoyed but was secretly astounded by my medical expertise.
"I'm just saying that if I do something every day for almost nine months I'm going to be pretty awesome at it. Even if I stop for a couple of years. Sometimes I forget how you're not the gifted athlete I am."
It's amazing how accurate a pregnant woman can be with a remote control.
Speaking of increased pregnancy powers, I forgot howfascinating pregnancy is from an outside perspective.
Did you know
A food can smell too much like that particular food and become disgusting?
Meals are incredibly easy to plan, provided you don't use chicken, beef, eggs, lettuce, paprika, fish, or generally anything edible. There's only so much you can make with string cheese and Cap'n Crunch.
Senses are heightened, but that doesn't mean you get to assign her the superhero nickname, "Prego-Nose." And don't even TRY and flush out a back-story.
So round two begins.
"What are you afraid of?" she asks. Truthfully, I don't know. There's just so much to be afraid of if you look hard enough. But I just keep focused on the end goal.
My new tractor.
Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via interpretive dance. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny while he's still somewhat rested and lucid.