As usual I’m behind on my New Yorkers, but I did manage to read Tina Fey’s great piece in the February 14th issue on motherhood and deciding whether to have more than one child. I love how frank she is in discussing what she deems the second-worst question you can ask a woman (the first being the as-idiotic-as-it-is-ubiquitous “How do you juggle it all?”): “Are you going to have more kids?”
Funny, this question has never struck me as particularly rude or even annoying, but then again, despite our similar and obviously excellent personal styles, I’m not exactly Tina Fey. For example, I’m not a movie star. Additionally, there wasn’t really enough time between these babies for anyone to wonder whether we’d have another (including us). It just might be a question reserved for those four+ years-in-between folks. (Or older moms. To wit, Fey’s line: “To hell with everybody! Maybe I’ll just wait until I’m fifty and give birth to a ball of fingers!” Oh, how that made me chuckle.)
Fey writes about how she thought only-children would be the norm in New York, when in reality, “all over Manhattan, large families have become a status symbol. Four beautiful children named after kings and pieces of fruit are a way of saying, ‘I can afford a four-bedroom apartment and a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in elementary-school tuition fees each year. How you livin’?”
I know this is why we are having a second. We just want to show that we CAN. Can…do the geometrically impossible by squeezing a mini-crib in our little bedroom! Take that, poors! No, I don’t know. We just figured that siblings who were close in age would have a good chance of being buddies, and that we might as well have a bunch of babies while we are physically able, and used to being on a budget, and heck, when it comes to number 2, why not just add him to the mix while we’re used to not sleeping and having our pockets constantly filled with raisins and boogery Kleenexes?
And then there’s always the question of, as Fey writes, “who will be my daughter’s family when my husband and I are dead from stress-induced canker sores?” Plus, even if Harper and Boomer have their differences, at least they will have each other to complain to about how weirdly perfect their parents are.
That said, OH MY GOD WE ARE ABOUT TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY and the old baby is, you know, still in diapers. Then again, she also changes her dollies’ diapers an awful lot (the other day I was informed, wonderfully, that “Virginia Woolf got a package from stinktown”). And hopefully Boombox is coming along early enough in her life that she won’t remember and miss the before. And ALSO hopefully (as Fey worries) I’m not destroying my movie career by having so many darn kids right now. Oh wait. Wait, no, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. Lucky me, I’m a writer! I can write my really wonderful amazing novel when I’m 60 and all my kids have moved out and the publishing company (if there are any at that point, or books, I guess – ok, my e-text-phone-app-book-thing) can slap an outdated author photo on the dust jacket and we’ll call it a day.
Now he just has to be born. Tick-tock, due date. We are officially in the super-ready-to-be-done-being-pregnant phase.