I am at an age where people consider this to be my last shot at childbearing if I’m so inclined. With no morning sickness, two and a half hours of labor and no pain medication, I really was made for childbearing, so I probably should have had more than one baby. For a variety of reasons my husband and I chose not to. Many women my age get all misty-eyed and pine for the days when their children were tiny. They yearn for one more little bundle of joy to coddle and sooth, one more sweet little face to feed and read to. I have never thought of myself as one of those women. I have believed for quite some time that I don’t want any more children. I love the one I have more than life itself. I love being a mother. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It’s the most important job I have. However, just the thought of trying to stay up all night with a newborn wears me out. Fumbling around my knees to find a boob and breastfeed a baby…not pretty. I don’t want anything living in my house that isn’t big enough to clean up its own vomit. I still have flashbacks about the roto-virus that keep me awake at night. And I refuse to go back to Chuck E. Cheese unless they start serving margaritas.
I hear, “Are you SURE you don’t want one more?” a lot. “Nooooo”, I answer with confidence, but I usually do a little reality check in my head, just to be sure. This past weekend I had a moment of clarity that sealed the deal and erased even the tiniest of doubts. I helped in the nursery at church. The cutest little two-year-old crawled into my lap with a book and asked me to read to him. His skin was so soft. His hair smelled of that Baby Magic elixir, and those big brown eyes were intoxicating. I was sucked into his lair of sweetness, feeling a little bad about my “No Child for my Behind” policy, when he turned those calf eyes toward me and uttered two sobering words, “I pooped”. (GROSS ALERT!!) Just to check his accuracy, I stood him on the floor and pulled back the very top edge of his pants. OH MY GOD! This was no ordinary BM. This was one of those virus induced, stink to high heaven, crawl up the back poops. If you have had children, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the kind that makes you want to heave, even if you’re accustomed to smelly diaper changes. I swear, the dead possum I passed on my way to church did not smell as bad as this kid’s britches. And…hang on to your gag reflex….it had crept so high that I ran my fingers into it when I checked his pants. OH MY GOD! I could not handle it. The other nursery worker changed the child’s pants and scrubbed his backside, while I washed my hands. Remember the movie “Silkwood” and how they scrubbed Meryl Streep’s character after uranium exposure? I wanted that kind of exfoliation. As I stood at that nursery sink, surrounded by tiny toilets and the patter of little feet, I knew with all my being that I just couldn’t handle another child. I-AM-DONE. FINISHED. NO MORE FOR ME. I am too pooped to handle the poop.
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