Twice so far this week I have had to call another parent to apologize for the dental imprint Benjamin left behind in his attempt to eat his classmate. And it’s only Thursday. I do not know what to do with a child who thinks it is funny to slam doors in people’s faces and spends the majority of his day trying to devise new and ingenious ways to get the adults to say “no.” Last night, as the boy lay on his bedroom floor naked and wailed, J looked at me and said, “maybe this is what the terrible twos look like with him.”
Not that four is all that fantastic, let me tell you. Zachary ranges from cruel with his brother to bratty with his mother to angelic with his teachers to shy with his karate instructor. But, mostly I get to see the cruel and the bratty.
It would all be a little easier to take if I had gotten perhaps one complete night of sleep in the last four months. Lilah is a delightful baby, really she is, but would it kill her to sleep through the night every couple of weeks? (edited to add: I wrote this yesterday, so of course last night she finally did. Nine-and-a-half straight hours.)
I have a husband who makes a solid living and is devoted to time with his kids. I have a wonderful preschool to bring my kids to. I have a part-time nanny. All told, I am only alone with all three kids about a third of the time. And I wanted children. We planned the first two, and the third was a welcome but unplanned surprise. We wanted kids so badly that we got a little help along the way. I am raising kids in the best possible circumstances, a fact that does almost nothing to mitigate my thrice-daily urge to climb into the linen closet and hide under the chaos of unfolded towels.
I cannot imagine how much worse it would be if I had not desired these children. If I had been forced to bear them instead of choosing it. If I was doing it on my own or without support or in poverty or as a teenager. Or any of a million other scenarios. Like in a country that does not counsel abortion as an option because it fears losing US aid.
On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I ask my brand-spanking-new President to protect children everywhere by allowing women to choose whether or not to bear them. It is in no child’s best interest to be born to a woman who is not ready to either raise him or put him up for adoption. I Blog for Choice because I know how freaking frustrating kids can be.
No one should be forced to face a two-year-old each morning. That just has to be a choice.