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Abigail Green

I Love Babies, but I Don’t Want Another One

A friend of mine just had a baby. Her third. You might think at my age and stage, when just about everyone I know has had at least one or two kids, that the new-baby excitement may have worn off. Not so. I waited breathlessly for my friend’s Facebook updates, checked email and voicemail, eagerly awaiting the news. Would it be another girl, as expected? What would they name her? When would they send out a picture?

One of the cool things about babies, in my opinion, is that they are the great equalizer. I’ve seen big, burly construction-worker types go all googly in the presence of a baby. I’ve seen too-cool-for-school teenagers, grumpy old ladies, and buttoned-up businessmen go gaga for babies. How can you look at a tiny bundle of cuteness and not melt a little?

One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen is when my own three-year-old son, who is more a rough-and-tumble kid than the sentimental type, was saying good-bye to some friends of ours who’d stopped by with their two-year-old son and new daughter. The toddler boys played with trucks the whole time and seemed oblivious of the newborn. But then my son shouted out the door as they were leaving, “Bye! I like your baby!”

People often assume that because I go cuckoo for cutie-pies, I must want another baby of my own. That is not the case. The two kids I’ve got are plenty, thanks. I will hold your baby till the cows come home, rock her, snuggle him, sniff that fuzzy little head, but I have no problem handing them back and going home for a full night of uninterrupted sleep. I’m done with midnight feedings, colic, spit-up, teething — diapers, even! No going back now. But that doesn’t keep me from being thrilled when someone else is having another one. Mazel tov!

Though little ones do grow up fast, as any mom ever has been told a thousand times, the excitement of welcoming a new person into the world never gets old. Now pass me your baby, would you?

Do you know how many kids you want to have?

Photo: Yuko Hirao