On Considering Having A Second Child
I find myself completely without a voice…which is really irritating when you work in a place where a voice is pretty much essential. On top of that my throat is obviously fairly painful, and what worries me is that it’s not that sharp, scratchy pain that you get with your bog-standard cold…nope, this is that dull, deep, bone-aching THROB that spells only one thing for me: TONSILLITIS.
The need for medicine and caffeine has driven me from my bed to my nearest coffee shop where a frappé is cooling my throat and I can chill out away from the demands of TD who is thankfully being looked after by our nanny today. So what if the shop around me is swimming slightly? So nothing, that’s what.
Last night, poor little TD woke up crying and coughing at some unknown hour (it was still dark, that’s all I know). I could tell from his cough that he was starting to suffer with the same ailment that I’ve had for the last few days. His dad went in to try and soothe him, but he wasn’t having it – all he wanted was mummy. I slipped from bed, pulled him into my arms, and he was instantly quiet apart from the horrible coughs. I took him back to bed with me and he sprawled on top of me, his head resting on my shoulder, his arms wrapped around my neck. And there he fell asleep, as if it were two years ago and he was only a tiny little six month old baby.
It’s impossible to put into perspective my all-encompassing love for this little boy when measuring against the rest of the world prior to his appearance. I’m the first to admit that I am not the most “mummy” mum in the world – I moan about losing my freedom, I laugh at him when he falls over rather than fussing and cooing, and the only time I’ve ever had the jitters about his safety was when he climbed onto the seat at the edge of the pier in Clevedon two weeks ago. But, but, I AM a mother now, and that does mean that all of a sudden the entire world rotates around him. This little cheeky monster is the centre of the universe, for me.
How do you get over that? As in, if you have another child, how does that work? Does there become two centres to the universe, and it spins on a wobbly axis pulled in two different directions at once? Or does the love for the first magically expand to encompass the second and your entire life and heart does the same? How the hell does that work?!
I realise that obviously this must sound as though I’m pregnant, or considering becoming so… Well, the answer to that is not just yet. I had the contraceptive injection at the beginning of the year which fucked me up royally (horrific mood swings, HORRIFIC weight gain, hormonal bodyfuckery left right & centre) and I think because of that it may well take a while to get to a place where I can get pregnant. But…I’m now in a space in my life, and in my head, where I feel ready for number two. For a little brother, or sister, for my gorgeous TD. A little playmate who he can play hide & seek with, most likely torment mentally and physically, and hopefully find that magical sibling love with that I see amongst my friends.
For you see, I am an only child. I’ve been told that I don’t come across as one – what is the typical only child like? Independent? Selfish? Entitled? Spoiled? I often feel as though I’m all of those things. However, what’s missing from that list? Lonely? Isolated? Lacking social skills? I have no idea – but those are all of the things that I constantly either felt whilst growing up, or know that I was when I look back on myself. I was so lonely as a child. My toes curl when I imagine TD feeling as lonely as I did.
Having a child means that considering having another isn’t all about whether it fits with your life, but whether it fits with their life too. If TD was a super shy, sensitive, needy, and emotionally fragile little boy I would have serious doubts over whether to introduce a possible “competitor” for the title of “Centre Of Mummy’s Universe” into his life until such a time as he seemed stronger. Because, being that only child, the only experience I’ve had of another “child” being introduced was when my parents got a second kitten when I was 13, and the first beloved kitten turned into a pissed off hissing spitting ball of hatred who didn’t let us even touch him again for another four years.
Yes, children are different to cats (well, sometimes). But still, the fact that TD is just SO sunny, outgoing, friendly, and affectionate to all and sundry makes me confident that he should cope ok with a sibling. With another person who will also have to be the centre of mummy’s universe.
And I’m also confident that while I figure out how to factor the two of them into my universe, he will be right there beside me helping me all the way. My clever, caring, funny, brilliant little boy. Here’s to hoping he gets to be all of that and more as a brother.