rabbit blog


Thursday, May 24, 2012

LOVELY AND AMAZING

Dear Rabbit,

Should I have another child? Is there ever a good time? My son is now just over 2 years old. He's beautiful and brilliant and amazing and healthy and everything I could have hoped for. He's wonderful with other children, older and younger. If I were a wealthy woman of leisure, I would surely dedicate myself to immediately producing several more just like him.

The problem is that I am not wealthy, and my relationship with my husband is strained by our lack of financial resources (I think we're doing fine; he worries about his ability to Provide...and it's true that our current outflow is a tad above our income because he has made much less this year than he did last year) and our lack of time (we both work and then take turns with Toddler Patrol) and our lack of family support (much as they'd be happy to help, our parents and siblings live many hours away and we have ZERO local relatives to share the joy and exhaustion).

Thing is, though, if we'd let fear of poverty overtake us, we wouldn't have had our son. And our son is AWESOME.

It may be worth noting that I adore my brother and am very grateful to have grown up with a sibling close in age, even though he drove me nuts when we were kids. My husband was an only child until his divorced parents started new families when he was 12. It would be nice to think we have that much time to think about potential child #2, but due to our ages the window is 3 years, tops.

What do you think?

C

Dear C,

Before I could weigh in on this matter, I needed to verify the accuracy of your claims concerning your firstborn. So I hired a private detective to investigate whether or not your 2-year-old is indeed "beautiful," "brilliant," "amazing," "healthy," "wonderful with other children," and "awesome."

He informed me that your son is average-looking, relatively sane, and shows signs of above average intelligence, despite the fact that he still shits his pants regularly. His peers report that he is, indeed, quite tolerant of their various quirks, despite his recurring tendency to screech like a mynock and insert dirty fingers into his nose. The investigator found your claims of brilliance and amazingness far-fetched at best. He confided that personally, he found your kid pretty irritating, but he admitted that he hates most kids and just quit smoking to boot.

Anyway, now that I've established that you're not threatening to populate the planet with enraged miscreants who've never heard the words "no" and "not now" and "do you need a time out to remind you to listen to your beautiful, brilliant, amazing mother?" before, I say: Go ahead. Have another kid.

Little known fact: Two kids are way better than one. This isn't a popular sentiment against a backdrop of gigantic carbon footprints and world overpopulation, but fuck it. Two kids good, one kid bad.

First of all, have you ever dated an only child? I sure as fuck haven't. But you're married to one, so you know. They're not team players. Everyone knows this. Never, ever date an only child (hothouse flower, whiny, compulsive, lonely, weird in a bad way) or a middle child of three (inferiority complex, no-fair-ness syndrome). Oldest and youngest children are best. Youngest children should always date other youngest (who understand them, who feel actual emotions, who are artistic and sensitive and thoughtful and depressive, too) or oldest (who tolerate youngest children well), but never middle children (competitive, angry). Actually, oldest children are sort of bossy and condescending and withholding and weird in a bad way, too, aren't they?

Which brings us to another reason to have another kid: Since your first kid will turn into the oldest kid, and your new kid will be the youngest kid, the younger kid is bound to be way more beautiful and amazing than even the older one is (through your eyes, anyway). Imagine, the slightly above average looking, well above average intelligence, potty-trained, non-nose-picking child of your dreams!

Now, to be clear, the first six months of having two children will make your life so torturous and intolerable that you'll find yourself daydreaming about being drawn and quartered, or trampled to death by wild steer. You will gather your entire family in a circle and lecture them on why they should stop making you miserable at once, preferably by allowing you to set them all on fire so you can hibernate for the next six years. Even when the small ones weep and the big one begs you to be quiet, you will persist, through tears, admitting that you're insane and laughing and also screaming. It'll be just like the last scene of Aguirre: The Wrath of God, when everyone else is dead and Kinski is on the raft asking the monkeys, "Who's with me? Who's with me?" Except it'll go on for way longer than that.

But then, after that part, the two kids start to actually play together, and talk to each other, freeing up your time to drink more heavily. Instead of talking directly to your one child, over and over and over again, sometimes you'll find yourself observing your two children as they amuse you without actually interrupting you or invading your personal space. I know, it sounds too good to be true. One will make the other one laugh. I'm serious. They'll look adorable and special holding hands, when you force them to. And damn it, it's just more fun, much much much much more fun that just one kid. It's less intense and dreary, somehow. It's more light and weird and goofy. I just can't describe it, except to say that it's way better. After the younger one is potty-trained, it's not harder, it's easier.

You're not wealthy. So what? Who is? That's not even relevant. You just scale back and work more and shit. Same as anyone. You have no relatives to watch your kid(s). Cry me a river! My mom spends half her time providing free care for my (wealthy) sister's kids, 3,000 miles away, while I sink into debt funding the once-in-a-blue-moon babysitter. I always thought my mom would be begging to move across the country and move in with me when I had kids, but it turns out she doesn't like me all that much, maybe because I'm one of those narcissistic, oversensitive, shrill, exasperating youngest children I just described, and my far calmer more mature older sister (middle child!) doesn't push her buttons the way I do. Oh well.

Trust me on this: even if you are just flattened by the second baby, even if you're poor and stressed out and freaking out and your marriage gets a little frayed by all of it, you will still (I promise!) never, ever regret having a second kid, and you will many, many times look at your two kids and say to yourself, "Wow, this is just the fucking best life EVER." Can I qualify this by saying "Get an amnio" without sounding like an asshole? No? OK, then I won't.

One last thing that I think is important: In my family of origin, my sister and brother and I were really close, but we fought a lot. No one ever told us that we should love each other, say nice things to each other, that we would be depending on each other for the rest of our lives. That's not really how people like my parents talked in the '70s, plus they were really young. But my belief is that the more you say positive, loving things to your kids about each other, and build up the romance of siblings between the two of them, the better they'll get along. You know, try to sound like a Christian and shit. Kids really love to have stuff to believe in, and what better thing to believe in than the idea that you live with another person who loves you and will have your back forever, no matter what? Even if two kids are like oil and water with each other, they can still be told this over and over. Even if they fight a lot, you have them make up and then say I love you and I always will. I know that's a little much (and they think it's a little much, too). But fuck it. It's working pretty well for us over here, so far, and I strongly recommend it.

What's this about you ONLY have three more years, anyway? You should have a kid right now. Don't stretch it out. Bite the bullet, make it happen. In my personal experience getting pregnant at 36 was beyond easy. 38? Very difficult, took almost a year. 2.5-3 years apart is the perfect gap between kids. More than three years and they may not play together as often or as well. Again, I don't fucking know that for a fact, and I know many will dispute it. But waiting for the perfect time to have a kid is not a good plan, IMHO. Do it when you're younger. Poverty is no excuse. Eat more beans and rice. Make another baby, dummies. Do it now.

Love and squeezes to your little genius,

Rabbit

p.s. That only-child husband of yours should consider anti-anxiety medication. Putting off having a second because you're slightly underpaid at the moment? Come on, man. There's no pot of gold around the corner, and even if you're on easy street now things could be scrappy tomorrow. That guy needs another kid, then he'll calm the fuck down. See, with one kid, you stay neurotic forever. But somehow after the purgatory of that second baby, you learn to chill the fuck out. Odd, but true. Try it and see. Three years from now, he'll wake up and he'll go, "I'll be damned if that old Rabbit wasn't right about the kid thing, too. Motherfuck!"


4:21 PM

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


CHILDLESS WHORES IN THE NEWS

"How has [Obama] stayed so competitive?" David Brooks asks in The New York Times. "First, the Democrats’ demographic advantages are kicking in. The population segments that are solidly Democratic, like single women and the unchurched, are expanding."

That's right! Childless, godless whores are keeping Obama's approval rating high. Because the Godless have no morals, and support the immoral in their reelection bids. Only an authoritative patriarchal figure can bestow some sense of right and wrong on his infantile flock. And God knows (and tells His flock often) that single women have no morals. Just look at how those vulgar heathens on HBO's "Girls" behave, pulling their skirts up and humping every Tom, Dick and Harry that wanders through their slovenly bedchambers!

Goddamn it, I adore those heathens. No one takes aim at the entitled, delusional denizens of Manhattan's urban elite romper room quite like Lena Dunham. This episode where Dunham offers to have sex with her demented boomer boss, then threatens to sue him, then threatens to quit, and he can't stop laughing the whole time? Eerie, hilarious and also somehow totally realistic. How the fuck do they do it?

Anyway, just feeling proud of the unchurched at the moment.


11:42 AM



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me
new york times magazine contributor, new york magazine and bookforum columnist, author of the memoir disaster preparedness (riverhead 2011), former salon.com tv critic, co-creator of filler for the late, great suck.com


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