We went through this a while ago, when Cookies was about two. Her brother complained that we needed a new baby because ours was getting too big.
I wonder what he thinks now that his baby sister is a 4-year-old who’s probably already getting scouted by the school basketball team. A “tiny giant,” she calls herself.
Both of them have babies on the brain right now. Their biological sibling clocks are ticking.
“What if we had another baby?”
“What if we had FIVE babies?”
“What if we had TEN babies?”
My stock answer is to hit them where they’ll feel it most. “You’d have to share your toys. Think about what a baby would do to all your Lego creations.”
They mostly ignore me before dancing off into a make-believe world where they’re the presidents of a small baby army that exists only to drive John and me nuts.
I get it. I went through this whole thing when I was a kid. I’m the elder of two children. It’s just me and my brother. And we weren’t super close when we were younger. We’re very close now, but he’s three-and-a-half years younger than I am, and that’s a big gap when you’re a small human.
I made up an extended family. I really did. I was one of the middle kids of twenty. TWENTY. All of these siblings had names, and I could rattle them off in a flash.
Therese, Tina, Tori, Jimmy, Danny, Denise, Neelie, Tia, Delia…Ugh, I don’t remember the rest.
How do you like those hot late ’80s names?
We lived inside my grade school because that was the biggest building I knew of that could house all of us. My mom still worked in my fantasy, probably because she had to. Probably because she’d go beyond insane if she had to stay home with twenty kids all day. In my fantasy, we all kind of raised ourselves, Lord of the Flies-style, Duggar-style.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses with my made up siblings. Denise, particularly, was a huge bitch. Huge. So was Delia. Therese, Tina, and Tori were triplets with curly auburn hair. Tina wore her hair in a short, angular ‘do with a braided rattail, because OF COURSE.
Over time, my family faded away. The triplets grew up and moved out. Who the hell knows what happened to Jimmy and Danny because I never paid them much attention anyway, EW BOYS. The rest of my siblings got lost in the folds of my memory.
I’m sure my kids will feel the same way, eventually. They’ll grow up with each other, just the two of them, not having to fight for space or their parents’ attention, making up fake families when it suits them.
In the meantime, if anyone has a baby for my kids to borrow…?
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