Big Brother (Part I)

When two people are dating for a while, it’s only a matter of time before The Big Question starts getting asked of them: So, when are two getting married?

Immediately after they become engaged another Big Question starts coming around: So when is the Big Day?

As soon as the newlyweds step off the plane from their honeymoon, The Big Question gets much, much bigger: So, when are you two having kids?

For some married/partnered couples, that question will never get answered. But for the rest of us, we hope that the Big Questions stop as soon as we push junior out.

Not so fast.

This ain’t China, yo. Unless you live in a cramped New York City apartment and can only afford one private school tuition, couples are expected to multiply at least a few times.  We are obsessed with children around here and the more, the merrier. We live in a strange culture where people actually plan for births of multiples, celebrities adopt babies from multiple countries as if they’re souvenirs, sextuplets are celebrated (despite their bickering, self-absorbed, and money-hungry parents), and an uber-religious couple with their 19th child on the way says that the Lord has told them to keep multiplying until it’s no longer possible.  I’m sure if that uterus had any say in the matter, it would’ve called it quits a few kids back. Lastly, let’s not forget about the single mom with 6 kids who then gave birth to octuplets. Crazy, right? Well, crazy makes for good ratings, which is why these stories are even stories at all. We might not be able to give our kids proper attention, nurturing, and guidance, but at least we can make a few bucks off of them!

People don’t have just ONE child in America! Never mind over-population and the strain on environmental and economic resources. We must replicate our DNA over and over again! Plus, doesn’t your child deserve to have a brother or sister…or 10 of them?

I guess it was inevitable but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. As soon as my kid had his first birthday, people started asking about the next one: so when are you going to make the Monkey into a Big Brother!?! Why is there an assumption that there will be a next one? I understand getting it from the parents who love being grandparents, but getting the Big Question from complete strangers is just strange.

Planning for a second baby is much more difficult than planning for the first baby. You have no idea what you’re getting into before you get pregnant the first time. After that, not only do you know better, but you have another child to think about. To be honest, I would be just fine with my one little Monkey. He is just shy of two years old and I am simply not willing to give up the attention and time I devote to him. Until the little guy can speak coherently, is out of diapers, and is in preschool, I’m not even going to think about it. If I choose to have another baby, I’ll never regret it. But I will regret not being able to devote as much time as possible with the Monkey before another child takes so much of that attention away.