April 15, 2013 by Katia

Most Russian families have one kid. If you have two you’re considered hardcore. Ever since 8 Month Old became a reality, I can’t help but feel like some sort of an extreme sports enthusiast: a bungee jumper or that Felix guy who parachuted from outer space – a mom of TWO, everyone!!! Israeli families typically have two kids or more. My husband and I were both only kids. His father went on to remarry and had other children, but 36 Year Old is his mother’s only son.

Years ago I spoke with an Astrologer. A few of the things she said were wrong but some weren’t and they stuck with me. We were sitting in my bedroom, going over the map she created for me, discussing how I should dance more, probably better not drive and some more meaningful things I won’t divulge here and then the conversation was over, but she never said anything about kids. And at 24 I was already fantasizing about my future (waaaay future) children. And when I asked, a satisfied smile lit up her face and she said “oh, yes, of course. Two wonderful boys!” The two boys became a certainty and this is why I was freaking out a little bit when during my second pregnancy everyone was telling me, I must be having a girl. And this is why I burst into laughter on the ultrasound technician’s table, when she hinted in not so many words that I was having another boy, because the universe was doing its thing. I’d be really concerned for the universe otherwise.

April 2013 184

That creature, that 8 Month Old with his crooked smile and folded over tongue, that full head of black disobedient hair and the dimple melts my heart and I started having thoughts I never expected to. Do I want another one of those? Why stop at two wonderful if you can have three wonderful? And then superstition and fatigue always kick in and I tell myself “Remember? TWO wonderful boys”. And another  bizarre thought creeps in, a sentence I’ve heard somewhere – was it on a serious interview on CBC? Or a silly sitcom? – you’ve evened out the population the world. You now have a kid per parent. One to replace each one of you when it’s time, but you haven’t really contributed anything to the growth of the population. Excuse me?? Growth of the population? Did Angelina Jolie resign and put me in charge of population growth? I have no idea why, but the thought comes up, EVERY SINGLE time.

And then there’s the whole “now you should have a girl” mantra from some of our parents, from people in the elevator.

And then I wonder how I would handle three when this morning I was torn between just two? Since 8 Month Old wasn’t up at 5 a.m., it was 3 Year Old’s loud and insistent “MA-MAAAAA!” barging into my dream at exactly 5. He needed to use the potty and for a change did not resist my plea to go back to bed. He doesn’t fall asleep unless I lie down with him and very soon his little feet made their way to their safe spot, tucked just above and between my knees, wriggling and wriggling about until the first tiny snores were heard. And just as I heard those, I heard the first signs of waking up behind the wall. I was lying there shushing quietly, as I always do, to cover up the sounds that came from the next room, wanting to protect my older son’s fragile sleep, to keep his entire day from going astray, knowing he doesn’t nap anymore and will get incredibly cranky if he wakes up now at the same time feeling pulled toward my younger son’s room where he was waking up still cheerfully, but I knew that very soon his cheerful coos will turn into a desperate cry when nobody comes in to pick him up. Something had to give and it was 3 Year Old’s sleep when I eventually got up as cautiously as I could to comfort 8 Month Old.

I’ve given some thought to cloning recently. One of me would be able to sleep, that way. One of me would be able to attend to 8 Month Old’s needs while the other is still protecting 3 Year Old’s sleep, lots of benefits. But then I’d have to have that third kid, because 3 parents and 2 kids are disastrous for population growth, right?


And now to the winners of the Parenting Gag Reel e-book giveaway:

Melissa: I know I’m a parent because when I have a migraine my daughter barges into my bedroom and yells “MOMMY I’M HUNGRY!!!”

Anya: I look at the illustrations in my kids’ books! I grew up in a house full of books, and reading is one of the biggest loves of my life. Lately I’ve been reading more kids books than books for myself, but I have to admit – looking at gorgeous and imaginative illustrations sort of makes up for the obvious plot lines J

Stephanie: My daughter is off making the world a smaller place! Maddy is a talker and has absolutely no filter on who she talks to.  If the person doesn’t answer or turns their back on her, she doesn’t think twice – most of us would worry about being liked, but not Maddy – she just motors on, obviously there is something wrong with anyone who doesn’t engage with her.

Last night we are out with my parents at a buffet restaurant – an easy restaurant outing since she will not sit in her chair and she is the pickiest eater ever and needs 16 different plates of food but only ever eats garlic bread, pizza and dessert.

At the next table was a girl of a similar age.  Maddy slips off and starts chatting with her, despite the fact she is eating with her family.  Maddy, we call out, you can not just go and walk up to a girl when she’s eating her dinner.  Maddy looks at us and in a loud voice with much amazement “But I LOVE her…”.

after that there was nothing we could say.

so, she invited her new friend to her Birthday, of course.  and told her all the exciting things she was going to be doing for her birthday – not that we have any say in this.

We did talk to the parents at the next table so she is off making the world a smaller place

Christine: I forgot to answer the giveaway question!… I know I am a parent when I can hardly stay focused enough to follow the rules.




25 thoughts on “Two

  1. One question and one comment: Why do Russians typically only have one child? And, I don’t think any child should have to bury his/her parents all alone. Two is a wonderful number.

    • Katia says:

      I don’t know, Cheryl. I do think I’ve probably made a generalization, I’m sure there are Russian families that are blessed with many kids, but my own experience growing up with other friends from Russian descent was they usually had one sibling if they were not only kids. It’s probably a cultural thing.

      Part of the reason I wanted to have more than one is exactly what you describe. I’m watching my mom struggle with a full time job and being the sole care taker of my grandma and grandma’s sister who are both not well. I didn’t want my son to be the only one burdened with taking care of my husband and I, if it hopefully comes to that 🙂

  2. mysending says:

    My third probably was the easiest baby–the older 2 had each other to deal with, so I could pay more attention to my new one. And my oldest taught the fourth one to call her Mommy. I always wanted four because I was one of 3. It was always 2 against 1, and I wanted it to be more fair. Hah! It turned out to be 3 against 1…different ones, each time, so I guess that was the pay-off.

    • Katia says:

      Parents of three kids or more are my heroes 🙂 My ideal family has three to four kids (haven’t decided yet on the exact details of my fantasy). Had I started earlier and not struggled with fertility I might have had three.

      And I love that your daughter makes the others call her mom! My 3 Year Old refers to 8 Month Old as “my baby”. Sort of in the same spirit 🙂

      • mysending says:

        I had a miscarriage after my 4th…We are not in charge, by any means…

      • Katia says:

        I’m so sorry. And, yes, I agree, we’re not.

      • mysending says:

        I guess I could write about it on your series, at some point. The experience gave me tremendous understanding that was helpful when talking to other women who had experienced loss.

      • Katia says:

        I would VERY much appreciate it. I am sure you can bring a very interesting perspective to the discussion. I’ve got posts lined up for the next few weeks, so no rush, but I would be thrilled to get a contribution from you whenever you have a moment to sit down and write something and email it to me:

      • mysending says:

        Thank you!

  3. I’ve been wanting to have a reading done- it sounds like yours was extremely accurate! How come Russians usually only have one child?

    • Katia says:

      Well, I think I’ve probably made a GROSS generalization, I’m sure it varies depending on different regions, but from my experience observing my friends who were also from Russian descent, Russian families don’t tend to have more than two kids. It’s probably a cultural thing, but it would be interesting to look into.

  4. Dana says:

    Both of my parents are only children, and I always wished I had aunts and uncles growing up. I love that my kids have them (I have a sister and my husband has two brothers), and I love that they have each other.

    • Katia says:

      Absolutely! Didn’t have any uncles or aunts either growing up. I have one uncle who is in another country. I’m glad for your kids. It’s so important to be loved by as many parently (I made up a word) figures as possible growing up, or so I think.

  5. I’m struggling with the decision about whether to have another one. Right now, two for us seems so ambitious! But I was one of three, and I have always thought that a family with three kids was perfect. We had a pretty big age difference between me (the oldest) and my sister (the youngest), and I was definitely able to help out a lot as I got older.

    • Katia says:

      I agree, three sounds wonderful if you’ve got it in you. 8 Month Old is so much fussier and not as self sufficient as 3 Year Old. He wakes up at 5am and wants to spend most of his day being held, I don’t know if I could go through the sleep deprivation again (not that it’s over).

  6. MJM says:

    I don’t know anything about being pregnant personally…if I did I would be banking…but I do have two kids, both girls…and I love it. They say and do things that drive each other nuts…can’t stand to be around each other…and complete opposites…but when it comes right down to it they are there for each other.

    • Katia says:

      I LOVE watching the differences between my two sons, and it’s amazing to me that I can already tell how different they are when my baby is only 8 months old. I hope my boys are there for each other the same way your girls are.

  7. jen says:

    I always tell my sister, “lightening never strikes twice”. Since you got “twice” maybe three times is pushing it? I always wondered how a family of 5 would vacation…..cause you know that’s the most important part.

  8. Stephanie Sprenger says:

    That is SO interesting to me. I had a tarot reading years ago and the woman alluded to the fact that I would have three children, including “the boy I had been waiting for.” I currently have two girls, and we’ve been thinking about having one more. I’d be lying if I said the tarot reading didn’t enter into my thoughts when considering whether my family is complete….

    • Katia says:

      Oh, I know! It’s definitely influenced me. I met a girl recently who has two boys same ages as mine. Someone told her she would have twins and she was telling me about her internal dialogue (do I try again? But I’m so tired…)

  9. Jean Heff says:

    Katia, I could very much relate to this post. I have a 3yo and as of this week a 1yo. The mornings at our house are very similar but my husband is the one who does the “please go back to sleep” snuggling.
    I had a student draw a picture of my future family the year my first child was born. It was of me, my husband and two girls. She had all the conviction in the world that this is how my family would look. #2 is a girl and like you, because it was predicted, it makes our future family feel almost a certainty.

    • Katia says:

      Isn’t it crazy how these things get ingrained into our brain? I love that your prediction was from a student, though. That’s so sweet!

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