15 June 2012
Some conversations can be tricky, but not always in the way you may think.
4yo: Where do babies come from?
Me (only pausing for half a beat): Mummy and Daddy have a special cuddle, then a baby grows in Mummy's tummy.
3yo: Is there a baby growing in your tummy, Mummy?
Me: No, darling.
4yo and 3yo (sadly): Oh.
3yo: Can you grow a baby, Mummy?
Me: No, love, Mummy is too old.
4yo: You're not, Mummy. Please can you have a baby girl. I haven't got a sister.
3yo: I'd like a sister, Mummy.
4yo: I'd like a sister, Mummy.
Me: Sorry, boys, and (changing the subject) we need to made Daddy and Grandad some Father's Day cards.
I was fine with the sex education for pre-schoolers aspect to this conversation. I guess I'd already thought about my answer before I gave it. I was honest, but not graphic.
What rattled me was how I feel now. I'm 42 and won't be having any more children.
I had it in my head that 40 is the cut-off for having babies. I made up this life rule years ago, based on 'the risks'. I'm generally risk averse, but having children isn't like saving money for a rainy day or deciding not to do a bungy jump.
Andy and I found having two children within a year was Quite Hard Work. We decided then that we would stick at two children. It's not quite so demanding now. They go to the toilet themselves, they dress themselves, they feed themselves, they play, they sleep. In September they start school.
If I was a few years younger... If I had met Andy a few years earlier... If I wasn't so fat... If I didn't have a slipped disc... In an ideal world I'd be pregnant now. I'd have a baby in September.
I can't tell you how much I wish I lived in an ideal world.
I wonder if the longing for another child ever goes away?