Nobody knows where little brothers come from

This is a guest post. Our special guest poster is Buster: Age 2.

From the beginning, it’s always been me and my big brother – and Mommy and Daddy, of course, but that goes without saying.

I don’t know where I came from, but I know where I’m going. I’m going to wherever my brother is playing, and whatever he’s building I’m knocking down – Buster style. That’s his idea of fun, which is why I don’t understand how it makes him pout so much. For my part, I do what I’m supposed to do.

One day, I noticed that Mommy was getting a little extra round in the middle. At first, I thought she was just hitting McDonald’s extra hard. But she kept getting bigger. It looked like she swallowed a soccer ball, and I’ve never seen them serve soccer balls at McDonald’s. Eventually, it got to look like she had a basketball in her belly. That was okay with me; I like balls. They’re fun to throw at people. But who am I kidding? Anything you lift in your hand is fun to throw at people.

One day, Mommy pointed to her basketball and told me it was a baby. I was a little disappointed about losing the ball, but I like babies too. They’re small and cute, just like little, mini toddlers. It’s a shame they have to grow up. Also, baby is an easy word for me to pronounce.

After Mommy swallowed a basketball

Apparently, they start out as basketballs. Odd but true.

Anyhow, I worried for a minute that Mommy had eaten a baby, cause that doesn’t seem right. Upon mature reflection, I considered this physically improbable. For one thing, the baby stayed in her belly. Everything I eat ends up in my diaper.

Everybody liked the baby in Mommy’s belly. Sometimes Daddy would look at it and wink at Mommy, all smug and proud of himself. Really, Dude? Like you had something to do with it?

The one thing that confused me was how a baby got in there and how it was going to get out. I guess that’s two things, but somebody should probably send me to school if they want accurate math from me. That baby was only getting bigger and I didn’t want it to pop Mommy. She’s my favorite parent. I know, we’re not supposed to have favorites, but it is what it is.

There’s a lady who looks a lot like Mommy that we often talk to on Mommy’s iPad. I kind of know her name, but I can’t pronounce it yet. One day, she showed up at our house. We were hanging out, having some laughs, when it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen Mommy or Daddy in a while. I was a little worried, but that lady is nice, so I held it together. Later, she took me to get my brother from school. Then we went to this big hotel place.

I’ll be damned if Mommy and Daddy hadn’t checked themselves into their own room!

And BAMM! Mommy’s holding a little baby. And Mommy’s belly isn’t like a basketball anymore. So I’m looking at the baby, and I’m looking at her belly. Look at the baby; look at her belly. My eyes are bouncing back and forth. Baby; belly. Baby; belly. And I’ll be a son of gun if that’s not the baby from inside her belly!

By and by, everybody comes home, and this includes the little baby. I like him. He’s pretty cute – reminds me of somebody I know. Mommy lets me hold him on my lap and kiss him on the cheek. And one time when I was kissing him, it dawned on me. This kid might be my little brother. Ha! What a crazy world!

Baby pictures

Showing the little bro some of my baby pictures.

I hope he is my little brother. Then I’ll have somebody to knock down my toys for me when I’m playing. That will be awesome! Way better than just another basketball. I can’t wait.

But I still can’t figure out where he came from.

You want to name him what?

In a couple of months, we will be welcoming our third boy child into the world. The thought of this glorious event is sometimes enough to make me want to run screaming into the night.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the idea of having a third son to share all the love and lumps with. If I can teach my growing brood to annoy, charge, and tackle each other, they will have less time to do those things to me. Plus, in those moments when their demons are sleeping and their testosterone is quieted to a slow simmer, there will be one more example of fleeting sweetness to enjoy for 3-5 minutes fortnightly.

The part that tempts me to share my terror with the neighbors at 2 a.m. has to do with practical matters. Will he eat the groceries we’ve clipped coupons for? Will I ever be alone with my wife again? Did I just push back my retirement until NEVER? Will our Golden Years be constructed of tin and duct tape?

Before getting caught up in these long-term worries, I guess we should tackle the more pressing issues, like deciding upon a name for Baby Number Three that is shorter and more endearing than Baby Number Three.

The first time my wife and I ever put our heads together to think up a baby name, it went swimmingly. We amicably agreed upon the perfect name . . . for a girl. We’ve held onto that name, and the memory of that peaceably-reached agreement, through nearly three boys. The names of the first two were bitter struggles.

99,999 more than we need

How about a book of just one name that we both can agree upon? Imagine all the trees that would save.

Neither of us is above compromise though, which is why our first two sons have names at all. Somehow, we found two boys’ names with which we both can live. I am not certain there are more than two boys’ names with which we both can live. This is why we have not yet bothered to discuss naming the impending child.

We have no desire to enter into that fray again, so we avoid it. This will continue to be a good strategy until that moment when a hospital administrator approaches my wife’s bedside with a clipboard in hand and a gaping blank on her page. Then, the wheeling and dealing will be fast and furious and the result may not be worth the already-spent nine months of peace.

still can't agree on a name

I feel like this whole baby name debate has aged me. (Image: Harris & Ewing)

Fellow Blogger, Don, from Don of All Trades, has hinted that we should name this child after him. While I agree that Don is the perfect name for those already named it, I hesitate to add another one to the population.  Don of All Trades has a catchy ring to it, but there’s hardly room for a middle name, and the kids might shorten it to DOAT, which has an awkward sound to it.

Perhaps we should auction off the naming rights. The proceeds might alleviate some of my other fears and it avoids the fight that’s brewing. Any bidders?

Desensitized to parenthood

We’re waiting for our third child to arrive. We’re waiting passively. It will be a great day when he comes, but we aren’t counting down the weeks. We did that once, and it was fun, but by the third kid, the waiting becomes routine. It doesn’t mean we’ll love him less; it means we know what’s in store for us.

During the first pregnancy, the excitement and nervousness kept us invested in every new development. Most things we couldn’t see; luckily, we had a book to tell us all the changes our unborn child was experiencing. We consulted that book for a Baby Development Review every week. My wife read the progress report aloud while I made amazed comments: “Wow! Our baby has a neck now!”

We always knew how many weeks we had invested and how many we had yet to go. If you’d asked me, “When is your wife due?” I’d have answered, “In sixteen weeks and three days; probably around 9 p.m., I figure.”

Things are different now. I couldn’t find that What’d Your Baby Grow This Week? book to save my life. We’re going on faith that if the baby doesn’t have a neck yet, he’ll sprout one by his birthday. We still do the fun stuff, feeling him kick and whatnot, but we’re not pressuring him into growing fingernails by a certain date. He’ll be ready when he’s ready. God willing, so will we.

There’s an edge to parents that gets smoothed down by each successive child. That’s a good thing, because that edge can get between two parents and scrape the thin skin off both of them.

I can see the difference between our first and second boys. With the first, my wife was particular about the routines she developed for him. I was defensive about my ignorance of these routines. I’d be giving the boy a bath and my wife could see I was doing it contrary to accepted practice:

WIFE: “That’s not how I rub soap in his hair.”

ME: “It’s how I do it.” (Thinking:  Everything doesn’t have to be done your way.)

WIFE: “Here. Just let me do it.”

ME: “No. I’m perfectly capable of washing his hair.” (Thinking: You’re not the only competent parent here.)

We’d be disgusted with each other all day.

Now, when I bathe the second child, (Thinking: Oh man, the ball game’s about to come on.) I’ll act clueless about washing his hair:

WIFE: “Is that the way you bathe him now?”

ME: “Yup. Daddy’s running this show.” (Thinking: Go ahead, step in and take over. What kind of mother are you, letting me do this all wrong? Just put one hand on the boy and this bath’s yours. Touch him. Just go ahead and see how fast I run away to the TV.)

WIFE: “Whatever.” Then she claims the TV for the Lifetime Network while I’m stuck washing the kid.

I sure hope there’s nothing on TV when this new one needs a bath.

Shut up kids. Our program's coming on.

“Dang it, Martha, those young’uns can bathe themselves; The Lucky Strike Hit Parade is about to come on the air.” (Image: Russell Lee/US Farm Security Administration)

Bar tender, my darling, let’s have another round over here!

It occurred to me recently that children are like drinks of scotch. After you’ve had a couple, someone will attempt to take advantage of your impaired condition to convince you that just one more would put you right smack dab in the zone of happiness. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve suffered headaches caused by your liquor or your kids. It’s not like you’re going to have half a dozen more, just one, and a little one at that.

Since I’ve had children, I don’t spend much time with scotch anymore. Only time will tell if I made the right choice.

I hope it’s the right choice because we’ve made it again. We’re going on this exciting and frightening adventure one more time.

Here comes the stork

I sure hope they’ve updated the safety regulations on stork transportation.

It’s exciting because my children make me happy, albeit with undertones of aggravation. A third would, by my calculations, increase that happiness by 50%. That doesn’t even account for compounding, but I want to keep any math I have to do as simple as possible.

It’s exciting because I’m still thrilled that a woman of my wife’s caliber would agree to mix her excellent DNA with my swill just once, let alone three times. My wife is amazing; her only failing is an occasional lapse in judgment.

You’d think that by the third go-round, the fear factor would be mitigated. It’s not. It’s a different fear. It’s not that old fear of being sent home from the hospital with a living creature and inadequate training on how to keep it that way. It’s the fear of stretching resources beyond their limits. The house suddenly seems too small. My car is definitely too small. College just became an even fiercer financial dragon. I don’t even know how these kids are going to pay off their preschool loan debt yet.

Retirement? Never heard of it.

After the sixth child, Teddy Roosevelt kept a shot gun filled with bird shot next to his bed. (Image: Kermit Roosevelt)

After the sixth child, Teddy Roosevelt kept a shot gun filled with bird shot next to his bed. (Image: Kermit Roosevelt)

Since we can’t trade in our house, we’re looking at minivans. I hate to give up the 15-year-old car, fully equipped with power nothing, that used to be the symbol of my Spartan existence, but I can’t find any infant seat anchors on the hood. And minivans aren’t so bad. I’m actually looking forward to taking 20 minutes to place an order at the drive through (30 minutes, if the kids want something to eat).

I recently learned from one of my favorite Mommy Bloggers that I’m some kind of hipster because I got married in my late 30s and am producing offspring well into my 40s. First off, she’s confusing trendiness with the inability to get a date for 20 years. Secondly, I just got a whole lot more hip, sister! And it’s not because of the replacement surgery. Not this time.

So the cat’s out of the bag. A bun is the oven. Where’s the scotch?

P.S. I want to send thanks to couple of fantastic blogs. Randomnessessities nominated me for the Liebster Award and Are You Finished Yet? nominated me for something I don’t quite understand but I’m sure is a high honor. Both are very well written blogs. You should check them out.