January 31, 2007

This morning I watched the Today Show segment featuring Melissa of Suburban Bliss, and I think my overall takeaway from it was: Boy, was that stupid. I mean, the ridiculous montage of playdate footage featuring approximately 4938 looming wine glasses, close-ups of wine bottles, and befuddled-looking babies as seen through the yellowy, translucent wine-filled glasses themselves (my god, won’t somebody think of the children?); the pointless “expert” who just repeated the same one-liner over and over; the utter lack of any actual substance behind the opposition to mothers who dare to drink alcohol in their children’s presence.

I thought Melissa handled herself well, and I like her even more for having the nads to participate, and I hope her next TV appearance involves a member of the media who has, I don’t know, a shred of journalistic integrity and isn’t focused on producing an easily digestible, overly simplified news product. I think the thing that’s most disturbing to me about the segment is that people watch lame crap like that every day. I’m no elitist over here, I watch American Idol for god’s sake, but I like to think I can recognize when I’m being spoon-fed a steaming chunk of bullshit.

I will say that while I have no objection whatsoever to mothers enjoying a drink at a playdate (almost as if they were adults engaging in a perfectly legal activity, or something), I strenuously object to the playdates as depicted by the segment. I hereby declare that anything called a “playdate” should involve women sitting around in t-shirts and jeans, and anything that requires three hours of prep with a flatiron and a color-coordinated Banana Republic outfit that had to be IRONED beforehand should be something else entirely. I’m just saying.

In other news, Riley has had the sort of demon-child afternoon that really can make a person rethink the whole second kid thing. Don’t bother telling me how much harder it will be with two, okay? I have an active imagination and I can get depressed ALL BY MYSELF, thanks.

I wish I didn’t have so many doubts and fears about adding a second suctopus to our household, but I do, I have about a million of them. Where will this child sleep? How will we afford the additional costs? Will we ever leave the house again? Will I have any time whatsoever to do the things I like to do? What if this baby refuses to sleep at night? Or has colic? Or requires special care? And what about my ass, exactly how fat will it get?

All I can take solace from is that I have faith we will love a second baby just as much as we love Riley, that along with challenges he or she will bring great joy into our lives. And hopefully, as siblings their childhood will be made richer for having each other.

Then again, maybe I should just get another dog. A Welsh Corgi, say.

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Shana
Shana
14 years ago

OMG I’m having my 5th, and I want to go crawl in a corner and die after the day I had with my demon children.

Jennifer
14 years ago

I’m expecting #2 in May and I’m TERRIFIED. Especially on those “sell my son on E-Bay” days. I keep telling myself that lots of people have 2, or more kids, so I can DO this.

On another note, I used to love the Today Show. I love when you said it was a steaming chunk of bull-shit! Well said!!! If I weren’t pregnant, I’d be planning a cocktail “playdate” right now!

Swistle
14 years ago

After the first few weeks with the second baby, I thought it was easier having two than having one. For one thing, I’m kind of bored by kid stuff–playing, doing crafts, singing songs, etc.–but it seemed a lot more worth it when there were two babies to benefit from it. Some stuff is harder, I guess, but mostly I felt like it was more efficient: change two diapers instead of one, feed two children instead of one, etc.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

Congrats and holy-shits one the choice to move on to another baby. The topic has come up recently here as well (Jacob was born the same week as Riley, I think) and we’ll be joining you this summer some time.

You would be COMPLETELY INSANE if you didn’t have doubts and fears about baby number two. The next few years are pants-pissing scary, but hey! Just imagine Riley reading to his little sibling, and peering his little sucktopus face over the edge of the crib and asking “Why doesn’t the baby just walk?”

Oh, and my child-developmentalist friend told me to get Jacob a baby doll when I got pregnant, to give him 9-10 months to get used to the idea of a baby and learn how to treat them. Maybe it will take the edge off some of the fear?

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

Whoops. That should have been “on the choice”, obviously.

jessamyn
14 years ago

Yeah, we’ve been trying for over a year now for a second, and so each month that I don’t get pregnant I get depressed. Which invariably leads to me being grumpy and short-tempered. Which nearly always translates to Katie, who can read me pretty easily – and so therefore she ends up being a whiny angry pill, usually right around bedtime. So I lose my temper, we both cry, she goes to bed, I leave her room and feel like a total asshole, and curse myself with, “Well, clearly I couldn’t HANDLE another child, it’s a GOOD THING I didn’t get pregnant! Again!” And of course I have totally left out the ordinary demon child days and their effect on me. Good luck with everything, with all of it. I am not sure how/if I will/would handle a second child well, but I’m sure of the same things you are.

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

I found that having two small children was not that hard. It wasn’t the same as one but certainly not twice the effort. You’re way down the learning curve about caring for a baby already and you have most of the stuff you need. By the time your new baby is mobile (and needs to be watched 24×7) Riley will be at the age where he is more ‘self contained’ and doesn’t need to be monitored as closely. One suggestion I would have is to have Riley potty trained before the second arrives. The big upside with two is having a built in playmate. Mine entertain each other for hours. When they are not fighting anyway.

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

Oh, and yes my wife worked and we shared the work load on raising the kids.

Ashlea
Ashlea
14 years ago

I’d go with the second dog personally. Course I’m terrified of having one kid whenever that happens! Children scare me/annoy me. I will not be a good mother. Quick someone Stereilize me!

(in all seriousness.. Its totally A-okay to go for another kid ^^ even if when I heard that yesterdayI was like.. “Noo! Not Sundry! Riley is enough! You’ll be miserable with two!” Ah the thoughts of a college student with no maternal insticts.)

honeybecke
honeybecke
14 years ago

We had all the same concerns, fears that you have regarding a second child.
We always knew we wanted at least two kids, so ya know what we did before the first ‘go for it try’?
We stuck our heads in the ground like an ostrich and told ourselves it would all work out just fine.
We might be a little crazier, but that just makes things interesting.

Five months into this second pregnancy, and my head is sorta ready to come out of the ground cause I really do know it will all be OK.

And, I’m gonna say it again. Hoooooray for the lovin’s with no birth control!

Hmm. Can you please do an entry on birth contro methodsl? RE: IT SUCKS. What do your readers think about it, what do they suggest? I’d be mighty interested.

Stacey
14 years ago

Ummm, you mean not every stay-at-home-mom wears designer clothes and heals with their hair styled and nails manicured while hanging out around the house and taking their kids to playdates? Yeah, I’m lucky if I actually shower daily. You’re dreaming if think I’m actually going to put product in my hair AND put on make-up all in the same day…..but I’m all for the mommy-tinis during playdates!!

Alyson
Alyson
14 years ago

The timing of #2 kid is crucial, and you will NEVER get it right! There is 4.5 years between son #1 and son #2 (there should have been about 5 years) and 6.5 years between #2 and #3 (OK, so he was a little surprise). Right now, I have a child in elementary school, a child in high school and a child in college. Financially, spacing them out like that is a good idea (only one kid in college at a time!). But on the other hand, just as you get out of the diaper and carseat phase with one, another one shows up and you start all over again. On Another hand, I will be in my mid to LATE 50’s when my youngest graduates from college. Oops! I ran out of hands!

So you see, it will never be perfect. And face it, you wouldn’t want it any other way!

Jennifer D.
14 years ago

I’ve always known that I want two children but for me, it’s harder to decide on number 2 (hehe) due to being more knowledgeable on what to expect in comparison to the romanticized thoughts and dreams prior to having my first.

My son will be 16 months in a couple days and he’s so easy and good so I am pretty damn sure I’ll never get that lucky again. I’m quite certain the second child will be a spawn of Satan.

Ditto on the no birth control sex.

Laura H
14 years ago

Let me tell you about Corgis… Heeheee. My best friend has one and we affectionatley refer to Sprocket (his given name) as “land shark”. They’re awfully cute as puppies though…almost like bunnies!

We spaced our kids (not by choice) 8 years (OMG what was I thinking after trying for 6?) apart and I can honestly say it sucks just as much some times so you’re better off getting it over with and not dealing with pampers and pre teen all at the same time. Actually, it was totally worth it anyway.

Laura H
14 years ago

Oops..read that as affectionately please.

Kathy
14 years ago

I often have the very same thought after watching many of the “lifestyle” segments on Today – “boy was that stupid.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten sucked in by the promise of an upcoming segment that sounds really interesting – and been utterly disappointed by the 45 seconds of air they give it.

Amanda
14 years ago

The magic thing you learn when you have a second child is that babies are EASY. EASY EASY EASY. I promise. It’s the two year old that’s going to kill you. If we all waited until our firstborn children were two years old before deciding whether or not to procreate further, THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE WOULD DIE OFF. The baby is going to be a breeze.

hello insomnia
14 years ago

My sister cites sports terms in reference to her three girls, “When you have two kids, it’s easy ’cause you and your husband can play man-on-man, but when there’s three, you’re playing zone defense.”

We only have one but it feels like we’re playing against five first-round drafts.

Mama Ritchie
14 years ago

Going for seconds, eh? Well you have bigger balls than me – I refused to tell anyone when I was trying. But then…

It all blew up on me on Monday when I went to the e.r. for what I thought was appendicitis. Turns out I’m pregnant with number 2! Of course the e.r. doctor, who was hunky though he was no Clooney, told me the pain probably meant it was an ectopic pregnancy. So I freaked out for 2 days, telling all of my family and stuff, until I got in to see an ob/gyn today who told me that whoever said that was a retard – that the reason they didn’t see the pregnancy in the ultrasound is because it’s too small to register on the screen. The pain is from a cyst on my ovary that everyone gets when they are first pregnant – mine is just huge and in a really bad spot so it’s killing me. I’m like 2 weeks pregnant, so if I sneeze it could go away. Let’s just hope the rest of the pregnancy is drama-free. So let’s see – moving out of state AND pregnant. This TOTALLY gets me out of any heavy lifting. My plan has worked!

Now hurry up so we can be in the same baby-of-the-month club. BTW, I got off the pill in mid-December. Like, six weeks ago. It took me almost 2 years to get knocked up with number 1. I’m just saying, expect the unexpected and enjoy the ride.

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

Your next baby will not be Riley2, and I hear second baby’s are often quieter, calmer… not sure this is true as I am a second baby myself, and have been told I was a handful and almost killed my mother with my personality etc… !!!

Anyway, I think you should have a second baby because it will be another cute baby for us to coo over. Do it for US!

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

OOPS.. should read “second babies” (duh!)

Kelly
14 years ago

Amen, I say Amen.

We are such wafflers around here that John may turn 20 before we have finished hashing it out. It feels like we have finally gotten into such a groove with him. Why go ahead and upset it, you know? Of course you know. And now that I have typed out the actual word “groove” I’m sure the universe will offer up some major toddler-related UPHEAVAL tomorrow.

Good times, good times.

Anita
Anita
14 years ago

Aaah number 2- am currenly on maternity leave with my second, I thought it would be easy having been there before but I unfortunately did not realise how different 2 siblings could be. Daughter 1 was a breeze as a baby, daughter number 2, well the less said about those hellish first months the better. Hardest thing now 6 months later is the 2 year old who is making up for her well behaved babyhood by living up to the terrible part of the terrible 2s. I didn’t realise though how great it would be watching them together, that is the best part about having another kid. The way my eldest daugher is with her sister and vice versa has been worth all the hell of these months. Still, can’t see myself heading for number 3 and upsetting things yet again. God luck with it, I’m sure Riley will be a great big brother!

Risey P
14 years ago

Now, I can’t speak from personal experience, BUT the majority of my friends who had second children were very pleasantly surprised by how much easier things were the second time around. Sure, new problems arise, but you and JB are pros and will figure it all out.

Michelle
Michelle
14 years ago

Hi, enjoyed your post again! I’ve got 5 kids from 1 – 15, 3 of them live with me 1, 9 and 11. There’s so many pros and cons, and all kids are SO different! I’ve mostly done it on my own too, the only thing I’d suggest is don’t plan babies and teenagers, that’s HARD. XXX

Claire
14 years ago

Welsh Corgis are good but I hear they can be kind of snippy with children. Maybe a Boston Terrier – we have 3. Although, we have no kids yet, they are supposed to be wonderful with them.

Shelly
14 years ago

What, was yesterday National Demon Child Day and I didn’t get the flyer? It was certainly rampant in our house.

Jamie
14 years ago

An encouraging word for you, more than one kid actually makes it much easier!

filakia
14 years ago

Hi,

Really, I am not trying to depress you or anything, but also keep in mind that your children might not get along. Or even like each other.

My brother and I were 19 months apart, so pretty close in age, and we could barely be near each other without fighitng. And this was the case for as far back as I can remember my brother’s being part of the household. We never got along, and it didn’t change until I left for college. (Because it’s hard to fight with someone who lives a few hundred miles away). This is horrible to say, but true: I didn’t like my brother when we were growing up, and I wished, wished, WISHED I were an only child. Even now, as adults, we barely speak, although this is more out of habit and physical distance than lingering animosity. We’re not close, and I don’t think this will ever change.

I note all this just because it might be all the more disappointing and difficult should your second and first children not share a close and friendly bond. I know the lack of a positive relationship between my brother and me rather crushed my mother, who had been an only child herself and, I think, had hoped that my brother and I would share all the sibling bliss she felt she had missed out on.

My brother and I might be the exception to the rule, but just be careful not to get too upset if the kiddies don’t enjoy each other’s company.

M.A.
14 years ago

Wow — sorry I missed that. I’ve read Melissa on and off for quite some time — we live in the same state so it’s fun to recognize places she and her hubby frequent as well as reports on endless construction. In terms of you and Rilette, I truly think you and JB are great parents and *should* be adding good people to the world. Scroll back on some of your earliest emails about Riley…. Might quell some of your concerns.

nonsoccermom
14 years ago

I am so glad you wrote this. I am totally with you, freaking out about our decision to start trying for a second kid. I want another, and I know that we can make it work, but financially it scares me. And my son is already almost 4 1/2, so we shouldn’t have two in college at the same time or anything like that, even…I guess it is one of those things, you just have to take the plunge and know that it is the right decision and it will all work out.

Incidentally, I watched that Today show segment too, and agree with you on that as well. Complete crap.

Leigha
Leigha
14 years ago

See, I’m praying that I had the demon child first, because if it gets any worse than what my son was (colic and refusual to sleep until five months of age as a baby, a complete and utter monster whom I love very much and am only tempted to ship him to Alaska on every third day as a toddler), I think it will tear a hole in the universe and we will all die. Or something. I could be a bit dramatic, but really, I think not.

I worry that I won’t be able to love my second the way that I love my son, but from what I hear, that’s a pretty common worry. Or maybe people are just telling me that so that I don’t feel bad for thinking it. Bryan has my heart in his hand – there’s room for another hand there, right?

steph
14 years ago

There are “Lost” signs posted all over downtown Bellevue for a Welsh Corgi named Reba. Hmmmm, I think I may have a lead for the owner …

… and I laughed out loud when I saw Ashlea’s post about how her first thought was that a second child is a mistake, but that it’s probably just her college-student-lack-of-maternal-instinct-thing talking. What is my excuse? I’m 32 and everyone around me is trying to get pregnant, pregnant, or swimming in newborn bliss. And I am just so relieved that my life just wouldn’t allow for a kid right now, so I can live in denial for a few more years.

Mandy
Mandy
14 years ago

I have one 2.5 year old son I am wildly in love with, 2 dogs and a husband (and a full-time job outside of all of that). If another baby was added to the mix, something would have to give or someone would have to go–most likely me! I kid, of course, but I have the same doubts you do about having a second child, and it’s interesting how those doubts land me squarely on the “we’re definitely only having one child” side of the fence while you have the cojones to go for it. Most people do go for it, in fact, and you know, it does work out. You will feel blessed with another precious child, and better prepared for all of the less positive stuff about childrearing. My sister-in-law has the same full plate I do plus 2 children and is contemplating a third, but she definitely has the temperament for it. She’s a relaxed kind of gal; I’m an anxious freak. So go forth and multiply!

Sarah
Sarah
14 years ago

My grandmother said “The babies bring the love with them when they come” and she was right. My second just turned one and my first is almost 3. The first few months were hard and my daughter watched a lot of TV, but now we are back into a routine, they nap at the same time in the afternoon and sleep all night. and It’s great, they play together and are so cute. (I have just jinxed myself and they will stop napping together and sleeping through the night now…)

squandra
squandra
14 years ago

Listen, I don’t have any kids so as far as I’m concerned you are out of your mind, but I will say this: My brother is my most favoritest person in the whole wide world and I don’t know what I would do without him.

Maybe it’s worth it?

Sonia
14 years ago

When you get the answers to those questions, please share?
Corgis are seriously cool dogs. When I was a kid, I had 3 of them as 4-H projects. They have a ton of personality. Also, what’s not to love about a dog that looks like a German Shepherd with Dachshund (sp?) legs? Or a cross between a loaf of bread and a Volkswagen?

Sarah
14 years ago

Mama Ritchie~ I totally laughed when I saw your post. I too went in to the ER with what looked to them (and me) as appendicitis. Only they missed my pregnancy (I was about 1 week and a half along at that point) and sent me home with the diagnosis of a “complex cyst”. It took me 5 more weeks to figure out I was knocked up because of my admittedly stupid faith in the doctor’s assurance that I was not “even a little bit pregnant”. For spending so much time in school and seeing so many different patients, you’d think doctors would be able to recognize the World’s Oldest “Illness” when they saw it, eh?

Linda~ one more insipid “yay!” comment from me about Sucktopus 2. I remember all the baby pics of Sucktopus 1 and my oh my, I can’t wait to see the next round. So excited! :)

Lidian
14 years ago

We had to sort of stop thinking and worrying before we decided to go for #2, and just, you know, go ahead, because I worry about EVERYTHING and without temporary worry-amnesia, I don’t get things done…No doubt it is rough when they are little – I had a stellar afternoon once toilet training a toddler while trying not to wake the baby asleep in my arms (one ONE arm actually, as I needed the other hand). But they are now a tweenie and a teenager and those girls are a total delight. And they are great pals for each other, mostly. And blah blah blah. I really like your blog BTW, just haven’t had anything cogent to say ever (well, now included of course!) and then there’s the worry about making a really good comment. Crafting it and so on. Hence, never do it. But now, who knows!

April
April
14 years ago

I have a good friend that is an only child, and she’s a sweet girl. But, how do I say this nicely? The universe rotates on an axis that just happens to be right where she is standing at all times.

I know some people can be well-adjusted only-children, and you shouldn’t judge everyone by one person, but still…. it’s hard. Knowing her, I would definitely want to have more than one kid, if I have any.

And I know that my siblings are my best friends, and I wouldn’t want to take the possibility of that kind of deep, loving relationship away from my future kids.

Brooke
14 years ago

Well, we will be trying for #2, #3, or #4 (my second, his third, or a total of 4) in June. Our youngest is 7, so there will be a huge gap. I am afraid that the current baby of the family will become a hellion when he position is taken over by the newbie. She can already be unpleasant, so I’m not really looking forward to that. On the other hand, she may surprise me. We are planning to pop out another immediately after the first, so I’ll be watching your experience!

I think it’s great. You’re so funny and smart; hopefully your young’uns will inheirit (sp?) some of that.

Cheers!

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

I have exactly the same fears. We are thinking about trying for #2 this summer. I love the Corgi idea!

Laurabelle
Laurabelle
14 years ago

I grew up with a corgi and consider my parents’ current corgi essentially mine (though she and they would dispute that). They are herding dogs and will sometimes try to herd people and kids, and they herd by snapping, so it might seem like they’re being threatening when they’re just looking for some cows to push around.

And that one corgi! At the end of The Queen! Peeing on a bush! Screw Helen Mirren–give that dog an Oscar! Tasty political humor, that. (And Cardigans are way cuter than Pembrokes eve, so you now that’s saying a lot.)

Another corgi up-with-grower: Glark. Wouldn’t you want Riley to grow up as awesome as he?

amanda
14 years ago

I had my daughter in September of ’04 and my second daughter in May of ’06. Right about February of ’06 I stopped dead in my tracks and thought “What the fuck have we done?” How were we going to give our first the attention she was used to and how the hell would we be able to tend to a baby? 2 weeks. 2 weeks of, “Don’t bring that thing near me.” and it was fine. It’s different (not harder or awful, just different) but we have moments when we see them in the backseat together…
just think of ’em in the back of that fine ride of yours, it’ll take your breath away
…and we could see how incredible it was that they would always have each other. They get along great with the exception of the odd two year old tantrum.
I say just have fun and let what happens happen. Then again I may be bat shit crazy as I sit pondering #3.

Candy
Candy
14 years ago

I totally agree–having a secong kid is a huge, tough decision. Even though we always knew we wanted another child, it took me a long time to feel like I was ready. Then one day I just was. My second son is now 8 months old, and the first is almost 4 years old. I’m a stay-at-home mom (of the unmanicured, un-ironed, unhairstyled variety) and there are days (I think when the planets are in proper alignment or something) that things just flow smoothly and I give myself a nice pat on the back.

But, most days it is HARD. The hardest thing I’ve ever done, in fact. I rarely get time to do things I want to do. I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t get as much time with my husband as I’d like. But, as tough as it is most of the time there will be an unexpected moment when you see your two kids make silly faces at each other or one will tickle the other until they can’t breathe they are laughing so hard, it is then that you think your heart will burst into a million pieces. And you know it is all SO worth all the tough times. (And for a very brief fraction of a second you think of maybe wanting to have lots more of them! But the…um, no.) If you try to keep focused on the “big picture” all the little day to day stuff doesn’t seem so bad, really. A baby takes a lot of work and time (amazing how much I forgot about that!). But they are only babies for a short time–that I do remember. I am so excited to watch my two boys grow up together.

When you are ready, all the doubts and fears, while they never really disappear, will substantially diminish.

Staci
14 years ago

I agree with everyone who says two are almost easier than one. After the nursing or bottles stage is over they eat at the same times, play at the same times, nap at the same times. You strap them both into carseats at the same times… Seriously, it is pretty easy.

Also, watching your children play together… watching them do something really kind or thoughtful for each other is one of the best feelings life has to offer.

Good luck to you!

Jenny
Jenny
14 years ago

Being childless myself, I can’t comment about Suctopus II: Brain-Shatteringly-Cute Boogaloo, except to say best of luck with your future endeavor, etc.

However, I will say that the Today show is officially dead to me. I can’t seem to NOT have it on in the morning while I’m getting ready for work. But after this morning’s segment about how hand sanitizers are MOSTLY ALCOHOL (NEWSFLASH!) and COULD BE DANGEROUS, NAY, DEADLY if consumed, and OH MY GOD THINK OF THE CHILDREN, and EXPERT, EXPERT, EXPERT, I thought, “Oh, give me a fucking break. Go drink some hand sanitizer, Today Show.”

fifi
fifi
14 years ago

I haven’t read the preceding bazillion comments, so apologies if this repeats anything better said by others…
If you are thinking of having a second child, because “it’ll be better for Riley not to be an only child”, ask all your friends, find out if some of them were only children, and ask if they’ve found making friends and sharing a problem because of their only-child status?
I don’t know if being an only child is worse, or better, per se, than being a sibling. I’d say it’s only once their parents get old, and ailing, that most onlies wish for a sibling. But by then, most people with siblings have realised that life is unfair in other ways!
But if you decide to try for another, good luck, and happy landings!