Having that Third Kid: Are You Crazy?

There is a line in Sarah Jio’s book The Violets of March that stuck with me. Well, the gist of it stuck with me, because I can’t find it again (I guess this is a time when an e-copy comes in handy, to search out phrases). The main character knows somebody who had three kids and thinks, You’d have to be crazy to have three. Which I found funny because Jio herself has three kids, and so do I.

If you have more than 2 kids, a lot of people do think you’re crazy. (Except Catholics or Mormons. Many of those families are a lot larger, so three is quite small in comparison).

After our third child was born, I schlepped her along in her infant seat to a farm field trip for Son’s preschool. Another mother, who had two older kids, looked her over, commented on her cuteness, then shook her head.

“Man, you guys are crazy!” she said, in a not-terribly-joking tone. “Three kids.”

The truth is, we are kind of crazy, aren’t we? We had two kids, a boy and a girl. They were out of diapers. They were almost all out of preschool. I had lost all the baby weight and was very healthy again. My body hates pregnancy– I gain a ton of weight, my joints loosen for like 5 years, and I had ulnar nerve problems (in my elbows).

So why did we have another?

I couldn’t sit at the dinner table without looking around for who was missing. Then I realized all four of us were there.

And I couldn’t shake the feeling.

Little Girl is different than her older siblings. She is more physically daring, more like Cadillac than like me. She’s a blondie.

I guess there’s also this: you never regret having another, but you might regret not having one.

But I wouldn’t go all judge-y on you if you had two. Or three. Or six. Or one. Or none.

Before Number 3, Cadillac used to say if we needed to have four, so nobody would have to ride alone at Disneyland. But that’s gone out the window.

Three is our magic number. We are done. Cooked.

It’s easier to just bring a friend to Disneyland.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

3 thoughts on “Having that Third Kid: Are You Crazy?

  1. “I guess there’s also this: you never regret having another, but you might regret not having one. ”

    This totally resonates with me. If I could drive, we’d have had another. 3 just wasn’t logical. I’m a Libra, what can I say? But I sorta have that pang of regret sometimes. I don’t think 3 is crazy, not AT ALL! I’m one of 3. To me a family of 4 is slightly unnatural. But it’s what I have. :-)))

  2. I went to the farmers’ market when my third child was in a stroller. One old farmer looked at the kids, looked at me, and asked, “Three boys?”

    I nodded. He nodded slowly, and said, “You will be well taken care of.”

    Now we have four boys. He’d better be right.

  3. Lets do this: I’ll bring your third with my one and then all of our kids will have a ride buddy at Disneyland. I think this is a much better solution than either of us having another kid.

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