Who ever said that parenting gets easier with each additional kid was out of their frakin’ minds. Prior to the arrival of each kid, some well meaning but delusional1 acquittance would slap my back and tell me that this one would be easier. If anything, I have found that managing each new bundle of unbearable joy has in fact been harder and harder. I think the fallacy is thinking that now that we’re experienced parents we won’t go through the same mistakes that noob parents do, but that’s not true.2
With each new kid, you again remember at three in the morning that one trick you had forgotten that suddenly shunts the baby back down into a quiet bliss. Whether its swaddling or rhythmically ‘shh-ing’3 or reading them excerpts from Lacan’s le stade du miroir, these epiphanies will come back, but aren’t instantly recalled until sleep deprivation kicks in.
I try to discuss this with Jennifer but these days she is bone tired and all she hears is “wah-wah, Jennifer, wah wah wah,” like the Peanuts’ trombone sound effect4 of adults speaking to Charlie and the gang. But in her moments of lucidity, she tells me that she has been told it’s tough to go from one to two kids, but that each additional one thereafter really doesn’t matter; she agrees that these same fountains of wisdom had run dry some time ago and forgotten some of the siege-like trappings of parenthood.
- Would “deluded” be the right adjective here, instead? [↩]
- You go through whole news ones too! [↩]
- which is supped to reproduce mom’s beating heart they heard in the womb [↩]
- to listen, click here [↩]