For the record, I am NOT against large families. CareerMom comes from a large family (7 kids), my pets come from large families…heck, even most of my parents (yes, you read that right) come from large families.
I, did not. And this is most likely what skews my views.
Despite being mostly an only child growing up, to say I was spoiled would be like saying Richard Simmons is a heterosexual. It just ain’t so.
But I did have my own room, and my own bathroom and generally speaking, I had my space. This is something relatively new here in America I think. If you listen to our parents talk about life growing up, they all slept one on top of the other in a one-room farmhouse and they shared a half-bath and fought over who got to be the first to take a “Shower” using the sun-warmed water in the outside hose. Our kids, on the other hand, are spoiled brats. They have their own rooms, and in many cases, their own bathrooms. They do this and that and they want for nothing.
Not true! (somewhat)
But one child or um…five children, it’s your prerogative right? Heck, if you want to move to Utah and live like the Duggers, that’s fine by me as long as you can afford them and can give them the attention each of them deserve.
This past weekend, I was able to see just how important that “give them the attention each of them deserves” is. I took MLI up to my mom’s house in Tennessee…just we fellers. My mom has a house on the banks of Little River. Where her place is, the river is about 30 yards across and for the most part you can wade out in it and jump from rocks, throw rocks, fish, swim, and get in a kayak without flipping. It’s just about perfect.
I picked him up after Summer Camp on Friday and deposited him in his booster seat in the back of my truck and his eyes lit up when he saw that Daddy has magically installed his Wii. Seeing it, he looked at me and said, “I can play it the whole way to Grammy’s?” Proudly, I said, “Yes you can.”
And he did. The whole 3.5 hours. It was magical. He played the Wii and I drove, enjoying the feel of that big V8 engine under my fingertips. I passed bumpkins, I pointed out cows and I listened to endlessly blissful music on my satellite radio. And there was no whining.
When we got to Grammy’s, we played in the river until it was too cool to stand it and then went in and had dinner. On Saturday we kayak’ed, caught more small-mouth Bass than I’ve ever caught in my whole life, and we generally had a good time…just the two of us.
And I learned something this weekend: Kids are different away from their siblings. There is no competition for toys, time or affection. They “converse” instead of whining and screaming. In short, they are a pleasure to be with and only during these “alone” times, do you really get to see what kind of person your little ones are becoming.
And this is where my preference for a smaller family comes into play. Already, I’m wondering where I’m going to find the time to do this “x 3” when we have a little girl. I guess it’s just something you have to MAKE time for. CareerMom has a brother who has eight kids and is working on number nine and though he is the consummate family man, I’m sure there are times he wishes he could just grab one and take off like I did for the weekend.
Babies and toddlers are great, but let’s be honest, once the shine wears off, it’s just a lot of work. MLI is five now and I can honestly say that I really enjoy being with him now – with or without the Wii!