I've held dozens of babies since giving birth to mine. Felt nothing, past the "so-cute-smells-so-good" feelings that accompany the relief that comes with handing them back to their parents. Done, I say, when asked if we'll have more children.
Done, I snort at my husband, the one who's never here and whose pining for a third is based upon his desire for a daughter. Frankly, I find that a bit odd and often make a point of reminding Mark of his misspent youth:
"Babe, remember high school?"
"Yeah." (Stupid, goofy grin)
"Remember YOU in high school?"
"Yeah." (Nostalgic, stupid leer)
"Now, imagine a boy like YOU dating your daughter."
"No effing way!"
That's what I thought, I say. Now, can you please pop by Shopper's on your way home? There's a sale on condoms. Buy 'em all.
This is how it's been for almost four years. Mark wistfully gazing at little girls and fawning all over his niece, remarking especially on her curly locks and long, pretty lashes - much like his own. For that same amount of time, I've been firmly shaking my head whenever the question of a third child is raised:
1. We have a two-bedroom house and I like it, so no more babies.
2. I want to sleep through the night again before I'm 40. If I have another baby, it'll never happen.
3. As much as I loved pregnancy, I am not in any shape or condition to live through another one.
4. Not one single part of me - physically or otherwise - longs for another baby. Not. one. bit.
Today long-lashed, tow-headed, making snuffle-sounds-whilst-falling-asleep, finger-wound-around-mine baby boy Landon changed all of that and for the first time in my life, I understood the phrase, "my ovaries ache."
I could totally have another son - my Jonathan. My bookend. My final chapter. My youngest apostle.
Not that I'm going to act on it. The ovary-ache thing, I mean. Nope. Not gonna do it. Will, in fact, completely disregard that biological, deeply-primal, practically-impossible-to-ignore instinctive and basic human female drive to reproduce.
I am woman. Hear me IGNORE!
But first I need to stack the deck against my hormones and the sweet siren's song belonging to phantom boys called Johnny. In order to gird my treacherous loins, I have enlisted the help of Reds.
Matthew is so eager to please and agreeable, his is an existence that virtually BEGS one to make more of him. His birth was the one I would have happily repeated mere hours after bringing him into the world. True story. Epi headache and all.
Luke's birth, however, was quick and so painful, I must still distract myself during sex, lest my brain somehow make the connection between what we're doing and a similar position that ended in screaming and hemorrhoids the size of oranges.
How will Luke ensure that I have no more children, you ask?
The answer is two-fold:
1. Luke is impossibly cute and sweet when he chooses to be, but he can scream the dead from their slumber when he's pissed. And he is presently sitting in time-out, screeching as loudly as he can because I wouldn't let him hit his brother in the eye with a hockey stick.
Read that sentence again.
LUKE is pissed at ME because I won't let him maim/permanently disfigure his brother. If that's not enough to keep me from bringing another McLennan child into the world...
2. A surprisingly cheerful, though random conversation with Luke this afternoon:
"Mummy, can I have a dog?'
"It would be nice to have a dog, wouldn't it? But I don't think so, Lukey."
"If I'm a good boy and stop breaking everything, can I have a dog?'
"No, Lukey. That's not how it works. You need to stop breaking stuff because it's not right."
"But I like it. It's fun and makes good sounds."
"Hmmm... yes, but..."
"So do dogs, Mummy. Dogs are fun and make good sounds."
"True, but they also poop a lot and people need to pick up their poop."
"Like you clean up my poop when it falls out of my pants?"
"Uh, sort of like that, yes."
Big pause while my ovaries stop their aching, having somehow recognized a potentially life-altering moment-in-the-making:
"If I poo in the toilet, can I have a dog?"
"Only if we can name it John."
Future Blogging Ideas:
How to Blame Your Ovaries For Just About Anything
Finding the Perfect Pet for Your Family: A Helpful Guide
Manipulative Children and the Mothers Who Love Them
And you? Did you heed your Johnny's call or get a dog?