Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Step Towards #3?

Before Ben was born, we were 90% sure we wanted a third child. After he was born, it became really difficult to even think about going back to the place of sleep deprivation we were currently in, once we'd made it back out of that dark forest. It's just so hard to find the stamina some days.

But since he's had his own room, he's started to sleep much better, and so have we. He actually went 14 hours the other night - I was amazed! And on most nights for the past few weeks, he's only been waking up once. I think we're close to a regular run of nights of solid sleep.

We've once again started to kick around the idea of a third child. We have some concerns about the uneven numbers and how that will affect each of our current kids. If we have another girl, will Rachel feel competitive? Will Ben feel left out? If we have another boy, will Rachel be sad that she doesn't have a sister? Will Ben be sorry that he's not the baby any more? But overall I think those concerns would go away, just like our concerns about Rachel not feeling as special after a sibling arrived have pretty much dematerialized.

Not that there's no competitiveness on her part. It's pretty much subconscious, but she's been whinier since Ben's arrival. Things she wouldn't have whined or cried about in the past now cause her to do so, and I'm sure it's at least partly because she regularly hears a crying baby who's getting attention. I know that it's hard for her at times to share the attention that she used to have all to herself, but mostly she's adjusting very well. And I think that a third child wouldn't be as tough of an adjustment, because Rachel will be used to sharing us by then, and Ben will have always had a sibling to share us with.

To that end, we bought sock rings recently. What are sock rings, you ask? A sock ring is a little plastic ring that you push a pair of socks through before you put them in the laundry, thereby eliminating the time-consuming and frustrating task of matching up socks afterward and trying to figure out to which child they belong. And when we bought the rings, we bought 5 colors - just in case we have a third child, so that each of us has our own color. We figured it was just easier to get them now when we were getting them for the rest of us.

It may seem silly, but it felt like the first tangible and real step towards making that decision on a third child. That still feels a little overwhelming when I think about the reality of another child added to the mix. I'm sure that, with every child, the noise in the home goes up exponentially. But we don't feel like we're quite ready to be done yet. So we'll have to wait and see, but I think that we'll be hearing the pitter-patter of a third set of feet at some point.

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