I’ve been thinking a bit about kids this week. The reason is evident in my afternoons: I’ve been taking care of a couple of extra kids. Suddenly I find myself the ‘father’ of 3 and let me tell you, it is a lot of extra work. It may only be a couple hours a day, but those hours seem to generate an unending pile of dirty dishes and empty my pantry of all the snackables. As lovely as these two extra girls are, they leave me quite sure that one is enough.
Way back before Mrs Portmandia was my Mrs, I had pretty much written off having kids. I was 35 and I’d never had a partner that could put up with me for more than a few years. It didn’t make much sense to ‘want’ to have kids. As a dude, I’ve never felt the biological need to have progeny anyway. When we did get pregnant, it was a surprisingly pleasant shock. We’d only known each other for a few months, but we decided to give it a go anyway. I think that we’d both say it was among the best decisions of our lives.
As much as we love the snot out of our kid, Mrs. Portmandia hated being pregnant. Hated it with a fiery passion. This made it pretty easy for us to agree that having just one child would be fine. I’ve never had the narcistic need to see little copies of myself (which is good, since the boy is practically a clone of my wife).
Much of this is fruit of my childhood, a divided home where I only saw my brother a couple of days a month. I don’t have the romantic notion of siblings that I hear about, where people claim that they couldn’t live without their blood relations. I like my family well enough, but those relationships aren’t magically better than the ones that I have fostered with friends. Seeing my son play with his friends, I know that he will be able to create those connections too. He doesn’t need a sibling to keep him company.
With neither the foolish need to create a legacy or give my children ‘guaranteed’ friends, it was an easy decision to only have the one. I could probably wax on about all of the advantages of having only one: easier to spoil, fewer mouths to feed, less scheduling conflicts, to name a few.
So breed on, breeders. I’m happy having only one awesome kid.