Talking Three

The other day Hal texted me a baby name. It wasn't totally out of the blue - we'd been discussing for the past few months our desire for a third child someday but it always felt more "I love you SO much and our kids are SO great, let's make MORE BABIES! YEAH! KISS ME! UH!" than "Wife? Let's have intercourse and make another human."

Not that Hal was asking me for human-making intercourse but he was dropping baby names, which, in my head was the same diff.

And although I wasn't particularly thrilled with his baby name, I agreed it would be lovely ... for the middle name... of Archer's pet fish.
The choice to have a third child is indeed a controversial one. I come from a family where on one side, having more than two children is considered "environmentally irresponsible" and have been lectured at length so that I understand the ramifications of bringing more than two human units into the world. (In summary = I might as well drive a stretch-hummer, collect plastic bottles to throw in the regular trash can, raise corn-fed cattle on obliterated rain forests whilst buying stock in BP.)

On the other side, having less than three children is a slap in the face to the world population of Jews/people with Jewish last names. Understandably so. As a descendent of European (Polish, German, Hungarian) Jews, most of whom were killed during the Holocaust, the cultural Jew in me (all 3/4ths of her) wants to breed like a rabbit on behalf of every never-had-the-chance-to-be-born European family member. The environmentalist in me? Believes it's my ethical duty to get my tubes tied now and be done with it as not to worsen the world population crisis.

Such is my current conundrum as I clock the hundreds of hours I've now spent arguing with myself, discussing with Hal this particular matter.

Here's the thing: Moments after Fable was born, I was consumed with the thought that there was another one out there. That we weren't complete... not yet. It was bizarre and completely caught me by surprise because I never thought I'd want more than two children. Ever. Especially after being blessed with the best of both worlds.
And yet? I do. We do. All four of us do.

Recently Archer told us that "Fable wasn't a baby anymore and could we please go get a new one at the Baby Store?" ... Hal and I talked to him about whether or not he desired another baby, whether or not he felt like we were all here. "Fable wants to be a big sister," he told us. "How do you know?" we asked. Archer shrugged.

"Having three is a lot harder than two," my mother said when I brought up our desire to maybe try to get pregnant again in the next year. "It's amazing and I can't imagine not having three (ed: my little sister, her third child, was a fabulously unplanned surprise baby.) but its a lot harder than having two. Harder on the body (my mom had serious physical complications during her third birth) the wallet, and much more difficult in terms of what you can do, where you can go... your day to day life."

And she's right. I grew up one of three so I remember the changing dynamic. I also know how much work it is to have two children and am perfectly aware that three children would pose a thousand new challenges. But also? A thousand new joys. And selfish as it may sound, I cannot, much as I've tried, fight the instinct I have - the instinct I've HAD since Fable's birth that there's a babe out there waiting in the wings. Especially when Hal feels it too. And Archer. And Fable, according to her translator.

Wanting another child is easy. (For us, at least.) It's the figuring out how we can raise three children in a financially stable environment, with time, lifestyle, career(s) permitting that's tough. It's understanding the ramifications of adapting to a new kind of juggle - changing the dynamic of the family and a million other variables. All things we never had to worry about with Archer because one day I woke up pregnant and that was that. Even with Fable we never really *discussed* seriously "trying" for a second baby until New Years Eve 2007. Nine months later? Fable was born.

But this? This conversation we have had weekly of not daily for the last several months is becoming hilariously insane. For two people who aren't planners by any means, in any arena, we can't help but make fun of each other's responsible-ness this time around.

"If we're going to try for three in early 2011, we must first make X amount of dollars more a month."

"And I must have solidified X and one of us must first know that X is going to happen for sure and hours X,Y and Z must be free and E=MC2."

I'm certain this is how most people family plan, and with good reason, but for us? This is all very new - this checking calendars and trying to figure out the "right time" and "age gap" and "bank balance" to get pregnant again.

And that's not even taking into account the days when I'm like, "I must be CRAZY to consider another child! What the hell am I thinking!?" or the nights (like last night) when Hal spelled out how much it would cost to send three kids to private school. (Which we will most likely HAVE to do for middle school and high school, if we stay here in Hollywood.)

"I dunno, Bec. For the first time in our lives, we are living comfortably as a family of four..."

I couldn't argue because everything he said was true. And a part of me was like, "Yes! Thank you. We're so totally blessed as we are. Let's appreciate all that we have, the four of us..."

We fell asleep agreeing that two was "all we ever wanted, needed, I love you, goodnight."

Of course, early the next morning Hal changed his tune.

"We HAVE to have another baby. We have to! We just do!"

And I was like, "Oh, thank God! Yes! I know! I'm so glad you changed your mind! HOLD ME! Oh, YES!"


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