The decision to have a third child should not be taken lightly and should not be made when either or both of the current children in being are acting cute or well behaved. This decision should be made only when they are both screaming, fighting, and throwing food. That is to say, it should be made when traveling with them on an airplane.
There should be a booth stationed in the baggage claim area, designated as the only location where a couple could sign up for a third. Anyone who says, “Yes, I want another!” at this booth, while their kids are trying to take a ride on the suitcase merry-go-round, is definitely up for it.
Luckily for all of those born late in the birth order, no such booth exists. In reality, most people who do this are either, “going for a girl,” live on a farm, or decide to “try” within 15 minutes of checking in on their sleeping kids. It is when children are unconscious, that they exercise their most invidious influence. They look so cute and harmless and manageable with their eyes closed. I am convinced that sleeping children exhale some gaseous aphrodesiac/confidence/amnesia spray that attacks their parents’ frontal lobe function. Under the influence of this vapor, anything seems possible: Of course three children can share a bedroom! In nine months, our older two will have outgrown this demanding, rambunctious phase! We really don’t need to sleep ever again!
This is why there must be so many people in my position, thinking one minute, oh wouldn’t it be great to add to our family and “Calgon, take me away!” the next.
Still there is a part of me that really does want another child (but let’s hope #3 is not currently floating down a fallopian tube as I write this) and not just because I am a masochist. Now that I am a parent of two, I have started to get in touch with my inner-sadist as well. Seriously, there is no better instrument of torture than a child. For example if you want to cause great mental anguish to any older lady carrying a Chanel bag on the upper east side, allow her to see your children’s bare feet. If I had a nickel for every posh lip that quivered, “But they’re not wearing SHOES!” I’d be able to have a Chanel bag myself.
As it was, though, I just on a plane with two kids, all of us wearing Crocs for the moment, and me wondering why no one had yet invented a time-release Swedish Fish dispenser. I couldn’t help but notice how, since I started travelling with my kids, that I have been miraculously cured of my fear of flying. I used to spend every minute on a plane in a state of profound anxiety, convinced even while taxiing, that we were about to burst into flame. Now, on the other hand, I am only afraid that the grumpy guy in the row ahead of us might jump over his seat and strangle me. Fortunately, the disgruntled passengers usually confine their murderous intent to the ol’ “Glare of Contempt and Feigned Bewilderment” reserved for the likes of me. They look around as if to say, “What could possibly be making that awful noise?” And I respond, “Becha’d never guess! … It’s my kid! And don’t be fooled by the DVD player, donuts, crayons, and assorted candy wrappers. As you probably realize, I am not trying to “keep that child quiet” because I wouldn’t want to interfere with her effort to open and close her tray table while simultaneously kicking your seat.