Sweet Boy and I just came from an awesomely fun birthday party at our local Moonbounce Adventures. He ran around like a spring-footed maniac, and I watched with a big goony smile on my face, thinking, wow, what a grown-up boy he is...and how easy and wonderful this is to just stand here and watch him have fun. (Sidenote: I really wish I'd remembered to wear socks because I really would have been in there bouncing with him!)
Then I looked around at my mom-friends, all of whom have more than one child. They were really working! These mamas are amazing. Do they give out the secret hidden arms and extra pairs of ears and eyes when you check out of the hospital with your second child? They're keeping track of more than one kid in more than one location at all times, attending to every child's needs without once yelling "Mommy just wants to sit down!" I found myself staring dumb, feeling like I should be helping, but how in the world could I give a hand without totally throwing off the flow, systems, and momentum they've developed? I would just get in the way.
At one point the kids were all seated at the table while the hostess doled out the pizza. My son got his slice, I poured him juice and gave him a handful of pretzels, then sat down. He sat there chomping away, I sat there watching him. Easy-peasy. Meanwhile, the other moms were pouring juice, wiping spills, taking care of infants, deciphering toddler-speak, dishing out potato chips, cutting up pizza, and taking photos...simultaneously. I was awed.
A well-meaning but insensitive coworker once said to me, during one of the horribly intrusive and obnoxious when-are-you-going-to-have-#2 conversations (I'll save that rant for another day), "You know, you're not truly a parent until you have two or more children." That offended me, of course, but today it's ringing in my ears, and I wonder, is it true? Am I a slacker mom? Am I just coasting through parenthood?
We haven't yet decided if Sweet Boy is going to be an only child. (And how arrogant to believe that it's truly our decision to make.) If we're going to have another baby, we should probably do it soon before we are too spoiled by our grown-up boy's independence and easy going nature. My slacker side says, stop while you're ahead, one is perfect: you'll never be outnumbered, you'll eventually not have to wipe any more poopy butts, and soon you'll be able to sleep past 7 am on a Saturday. Heaven! But my restless side says, what are you waiting for? If those women can do it, you certainly can! That boy needs a playmate! And sleeping in is overrated!
Tough call. Today was perfect with just one...but those other moms seemed to be having fun too.