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One and done!

Thursday I was at the library, enjoying a respite from the rain and letting the Child run around inside for a few minutes after I picked up the new Anna Pigeon novel. A bunch of nannies that I know came in — they are all large black women from The Islands — I don’t know which Islands, precisely, just that they are Caribbean of some sort. They’ve got a handful of charges who range from sedate to bratty.

Anyway, at one point, one of them asked how old the Child was. “Two, almost two and a half,” I said.

“She is TALL! I woulda thought tree or tree and a haf,” said one of them. I explained that the Husband was very tall and there was a murmured conversation where they all came to the agreement that yes, my man was tall and that child was tall because no, she wasn’t very tall atall, no.

The oldest one, the one I think of as the Mama Nanny, peered at me silently for a moment and then when the clucking had died down said, “And you not working on another?”

“Nope,” I smiled and shook my head.

“Soon, though?”

“Nope,” I smiled, a little less cheerfully. “We’re done.”

Oh, no! That couldn’t be! sez the chorus of nannies. No, not with a beautiful child like that, I had to have another one. A little boy, too!

“Naw,” I held my hand to my tummy. “I threw up all nine months, I’m not doing that again,” and then I tried, hard, to change the subject. It didn’t work. I tried more. Still didn’t work. Finally, one of the kids fell down and they let me off the hook.

This is unremarkable. I get this a lot, particularly from moms and nannies and other women. But then an interesting thing happened to The Husband on Friday. He had to go to the urologist for follow up on a UTI a few weeks ago and decided to have a chat with the nice doctor — an Asian man — about vasectomies.

“I see you’re married,” sez the doctor. “Do you have kids?”

“Yup, one, a beautiful little girl,” says The Husband.

“Are you SURE?” asks the doctor. “You don’t want to try for a son?”

“We’re sure,” sez the Husband. “We got it right the first time. One and done.”

“Well, if you’re SURE, come back in a few weeks and we’ll do a pre-op appointment so you can think about it.”

Was it just in the air — telling me to get knocked up again? Do the dire warnings of rising food prices, declining oil reserves, soaring global temperatures, do these all seem like good signs to add to your carbon footprint with another child? When a woman says that she threw up for nine months — think about puking every damned day for most of a year, really think about that — do you really think that the exhortations of a stranger are going to make her embrace vomiting and make major life decisions? Is The Husband’s manhood really so fragile that he needs a son to prove he’s got what it takes?

I’ll stop grumbling now.

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Categories: motherhood
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