They Always Want More


I would say that the Appleseed was probably less than a month old the first time we heard it.

"When you have the next one..."

Or some variation thereof.

It's like when you get married and at the reception people start asking about when you'll have kids.  You have your first kid and as soon as you're able to pull your head above water, people start asking you when you're going to have more.

Appleseed is not quite 14 months old and we are constantly learning new things about this process.  The idea that we know enough to have a second child makes no sense to me, although I can see how it would be easier, but only if that second child existed in a vacuum, without an older brother that also required care.

Generally speaking, people seem to ask about a second (or third) child before mentioning what I gather to be completely inaccurate information regarding children with no siblings.  I know more than a few only children and all of them are great people.  They're social, they're as well adjusted as anyone else, and they're good friends.  This idea that only children are somehow inferior or damaged because they never had siblings strikes me as ridiculous.  The family you're born into is sometimes secondary to the one you create.

It's strange that only children have such a stigma about them.  I suppose, perhaps, a bunch of horrible people
have been only children, although I just Googled it and Hitler was the 4th of 6 children, so having brothers and sisters isn't exactly a cure all for badness.  It makes me think that perhaps this urban legend of the mentally unstable, emotionally broken only child is a way of making sure that people have more than one.

This is not to say I'm against having more kids.  The other day I thought about the fact that Appleseed will be
out in the world on his own really, as soon as he goes to school.  I suppose technically he is now.  But it occurred to me that a sibling would be a partner.  A sibling would be another person he could count on, maybe another person to watch out for him and that he could watch out for.  A sibling could be me (and Nicole) when we aren't there.  Maybe not that directly, but at least a reminder of his parents, a reminder of what we'd say or do in any given situation.

And a sibling would be a friend.

But the idea of having more kids freaks me out.  I often refer to Appleseed as "my favorite baby," but is that no longer true when we have a second kid?  How do you divide up this feeling, this affection?

Here's the other thing: many, many people have described Appleseed as "sweet."  Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time someone told me how sweet he is, I'd have a lot of dollars.

Now, part of that is his nature.  He's fairly easy going toddler (he was a fairly easy going baby).  Not many things upset him and those that do don't upset him for long.  He's able to be happy in almost any situation unless there are a lot of people around.  He has all the wonder of a toddler without all the angst, if that makes any sense.  So describing him as "sweet" seems pretty obvious.

But there's also a nurture element at work and I'll admit I feel strange even writing that.  But it's true.  We
heaped so much positive reinforcement on Appleseed that it adds lift to his already happy demeanor. Happiness is a pretty easy thing to squish or to ignore, but we don't do either.  There is a lot of joy in this house and I have no doubt that it takes root inside Appleseed.  I know that we are nurturing that sweetness to the point  where everyone who comes into contact with him notices.

What happens when all of that time and energy is suddenly divided?  If helping my child to be the best version of himself he can be, doesn't that mean I need to be the best parent I can be?  And how can I do that if my attention is split?

These are, of course, all hypothetical, high level questions.  The reality of the situation is that something like money will probably play just as big a part in all this.

In the end, part of me feels like I'll miss all the time I get to spend with Appleseed now if I'm taking care of another kid, too.