I read somewhere, a long time ago, that having three kids is the most trying number, because once that third one comes, suddenly now you’ve got more kids than you’ve got hands. You can no longer hold them all back, unless you’ve got really long arms (or a kid leash, and don’t get me started on those). You have to adjust to either three carseats that don’t quite fit right in your car’s backseat, or you get a minivan, and we all know how stylish those are. And then, once you have four you’re already set because you have gone through the expansion of two to three. Anything above three is just gravy because you feel like you’ve already conquered the world.
I read it somewhere, because I don’t personally know how it is. I have two children, and it’s a miracle I have those two. I cannot even imagine three. We’re done having children so I might eventually be able to imagine what three might be like, but I’ll never know the reality of it. Which is just fine by me. I have friends who have three, four, and five children, and they all tell me the same thing:
You have absolutely no privacy anymore.
It’s hard enough with two, but the third kid can just come out of nowhere when you’re trying to focus on the first two. No wonder there’s that third child syndrome, because the first kid is special for being the first, and the parents have been trained by having two, so the third one has the gift/curse of the parents relaxing just a little bit. “Hey, we’re now experts!” Once they adjust to how three further complicates their lives, they are now just looking out for the kamikaze surprises that put an end to anything private.
Then, of course, there’s the single mother/father who is dealing with three children, who is already tearing her/his hair out over just trying to make ends meet. The third child is another reminder that they have to make things stretch even further. It’s tough all the way around.
My mother had two children, and she worked hard to provide for us. She would have done the same for a third, but I have to say I’m glad it was just the two of us. Now I have these two, and I’m glad it’s just the two of them. And they’re growing like weeds. For a long time I wanted a third. I wanted to add one more to make the number odd, but even’s good enough.
Even’s good enough.