First off, Hubby and I can't have any more kids. I'll leave y'all guessing as to which one of us had some alterations done, but the bottom line is the two of us, as a couple, have procreated all that we can procreate. And I think I speak for the both of us when I say, 'Thank goodness.'
When I pick the kids up from school each afternoon, I sit and people watch the other moms there picking up their children. Many of them have multiple kids, and many of them have multiple kids under the age of the child they are at the elementary school to pick up.
No thank you.
As y'all know, my kids are 10 and 7 (though The Ginger will be 8 here in a few months). The Ginger is always begging for a little brother or sister (usually when he's mad at his big sister for, well, being a big sister), and while we tell him that we can't have kids anymore, there is that small part of me that sighs the 'Maybe I do want another gorgeous little baby' sigh.
Then I watch these other moms at the school and pull myself back into the reality of being thankful I don't have to go through that anymore.
So here it is: 10 Reasons I'm Glad We Can't Procreate Anymore:
- Diapers. You know that feeling when you are walking through a store and you all of a sudden smell something funky, and the thought hits you, 'Crap, I need to go change my kid'? Yeah, me either anymore. I haven't had to change a poopy diaper in 5 years, and it's been amazing. When I clip coupons and I see the $2 Off Pampers or $3 Off Huggies Big Box, I get to keep on flipping through, with a smile on my face. My kids can wipe their own asses, and it feels great.
- Midnight Feedings. If my kids decide at midnight that they are hungry and want to eat, they can walk to the pantry themselves and grab a granola bar. No need getting up, stumbling through the dark, fixing a bottle or getting situated to latch a kid onto me. My sleep is my own. Yes, I'm still on duty if a nightmare wakes one of my kids up, but as far as someone needing me for sustenance? My job is done!
- Trying to Figure Out Crying. I have no more of hearing a kid cry and change it... Nope, still crying. Feed it... Nope, still crying. Rock it... Nope, still crying. Sing to it... Nope, still crying. If one of my kids start crying, it can be quite simple: "What's wrong?" "Sissy hit me.""Are you hurt?" "Nope." "Did you hit her first?" "Nope." "Did you deserve it?" "I don't think so." "Then hit her back." "Okay." Problem solved.
- Naps. It never failed. You put the kid into his or her car seat just to drive 5 minutes up the road, and the kid is asleep when you get to your destination. So now you have a sleepy kid on your hands that you have to pick up and lug around, even if you just needed to run to the store to get milk. Then the child inevitably wakes up when you touch them, in a bad mood of course because they only slept for 5 minutes, you grab your milk, and when you get home and lay them down, they no longer want to sleep. No more for this mom. If my kids fall asleep in the car and wake up in a bad mood, they get told to go to bed when we get home. If we're at home and the kids are bored, they'll take a nap. If not, they'll amuse themselves while I take a nap. No more fighting about naps or having naps be inconvenient. The only thing that's inconvenient about naps now is when I don't get one during the day.
- Temper Tantrums. Do 10 and 7 year olds throw temper tantrums? Yep, they sure do. Would you like to know what makes them different than a 2 year old's temper tantrum? When my kids start to throw one, they get told to go to their room. End of story. They are old enough to know the consequences of coming out of that room before they are told. There's no fighting or wrestling to get them to sit in time out, and at this age sometimes they are ecstatic to get sent to their room. A 2 year old's temper tantrum can last for what seems like ages, and there's yelling, crying, screaming, throwing themselves up in the air and down onto the floor, kicking the floor and much more. When a 10 year old throws a temper tantrum, you get an 'I hate you', they storm off to their room and lock the door. The worst part is if they decide to turn up Justin Bieber loud on the radio to piss you off. That's the real torture.
- Strollers. Every outing is an adventure, and not in the good way. Park car, get out, open back of car, take out stroller, try and unfold stroller, pinch a finger in the process, cuss, try unfolding stroller again, undo car seat straps, grab kid, realize stroller wasn't locked into place, try unfolding stroller with child on hip, cuss some more, finally get stroller unfolded and locked, put kid into seat, have kid slide down seat before you latch their belt, pull child up, latch belt quickly before they slide down again, pull down stroller shade, close car door, and you are off. Five minutes later the kid is screaming to get out of the stroller, so you end up carrying the child anyway, while still pushing an empty stroller. No thank you. Now my outings have 2 steps: Park car, get out. That's it.
- Child Proofing. There was nothing worse than grabbing for a doorknob and having the doorknob cover you had to put on it so little Sally wouldn't open the door and wander into the outside world, just spin and spin and spin. What was even worse than that was opening a cabinet door in the kitchen or bathroom and having it slam shut on your finger because you didn't quite push the cabinet lock down far enough. And let's not even talk about the locking mechanism on the toilet and having to pee in the middle of the night...
- Infant and Toddler TV Shows. My kids came along at the Bear in the Big Blue House and Blue's Clues time period- and I totally approved of those shows. Unfortunately there was also Teletubbies, Dora the Explorer, The Wiggles, Lazy Town and the Backyardigans. Those shows were like nails on a chalk board to me. Thank goodness we missed this Yo Gabba Gabba crap. Seriously, that show freaks me out. The infant and toddler TV shows they keep coming out with get stranger and stranger each year that goes by. More bright colors, more strange creatures, always singing and dancing... and we wonder why kids nowadays can't amuse themselves and don't have imaginations. The crap they are watching on TV does it for them.
- The 'They Don't Know Any Better' Phase. The Girl stuck playdough up her nose one time- green playdough, so we didn't notice it at first. She kept rubbing her nose and trying to shoot snot rockets out of it, so we decided to check and see what was wrong. Green playdough wedged so far up her nose I had to get tweezers to get it out. The Ginger used to flush toys down the toilet. He loved to watch them swirl around and then disappear. We had a plumber on speed dial, and that phase of his life became quite expensive for us... as did the 'Let Me Put Anything Thin into the DVD Player or CD Drive on the Computer' Phase. Nickels, pop tarts, whatever would fit, The Ginger found great pleasure in shoving into expensive electronic devices. Thank goodness my kids are old enough now to know right from wrong, stupid from smart, and to think through consequences before they do something.
- Limited Outings. We recently went to see 'The Dark Knight Rises' in theaters shortly after it came out. There was a family in there with an infant... someone please tell me who brings an infant to a movie like that? The first loud sound in that movie and the baby began screaming... and the people had to leave. $20 wasted. My kids sat there, with their own popcorn, drinks and candy, knew they had to take a bathroom break before the movie began and had to hold it if the urge arose in the middle of the movie, and watched the whole thing. We tried to take a family outing to the third Shrek movie when The Ginger was only about 2 at the time... big mistake. He wouldn't sit still and Hubby ended up having to leave with him, missing the movie. Now that my kids are older, there are so many things we can do with them... laser tag, movies, grocery shopping, dinner out... that is either problematic or downright impossible with younger kids.
Yes, so many reasons to be happy we can't procreate anymore. Do I ever miss the pitter-patter of little feet? Sure I do. Then I remember that the little pitter-patter is usually followed by a little stumbling, falling on their face and crying because their coordination isn't so great. That, I don't miss at all. Now if one of my kids trips over their own two feet, we make sure they are okay first, then burst out laughing and tell them we totally saw the floor come up and trip them. There's hurt feelings for about 2 seconds, then they are laughing, too.