Be Careful What You Wish For

Youngest Son is going to be 8 years old on October 5th.  So exciting.  Our little guy is turning out to be pretty funny.  He’s got a keen eye and is constantly reporting the state of the world as he sees it.

He’s also turned his keen eye to his sibling situation and is not happy about it.  Not at all.  In fact, he’s pretty disgruntled, particularly with his sister, and would like some answers as to why things have turned out the way that they have.

On more than one occasion he’s asked me why I didn’t have more children.  He’s actually more specific than that.

YS: “Mom, why didn’t you have a twin brother for me?”
Me: “Well, sweetie, that’s not something that a person can plan for”.
YS: “Why not?  I could have had someone to play with all the time.”
Me: “Your twin could have been a sister.  Would you have wanted that?”
YS: (After a long pause) “Well, it would be better than what I have now.”
Me: “Sorry, honey, I just couldn’t have any more kids and you can’t order twins like fast food.”
YS: “Why couldn’t you have more kids?”

How to answer this question?  I had flashbacks of sitting in the hospital and gestating for a month before his brother was born, taking medication to stop my pre-term labor with his sister and being rushed to the hospital five weeks before my due date with Youngest Son.  Even though YS was only there for a day, the sights and sounds of the neonatal intensive care unit still haunt me.  Should I share any of this with him? 

Just like those Expedia commercials where people imagine the very worst case scenario on their vacation and then change their itinerary, I simply say, “I just couldn’t do it, buddy.  You’ll have to appreciate our dog.  Someday, you and your sister will love each other and become great friends.” 

He just gives me a withering look and says, “Yeah, right.  That’ll happen.”

I have a feeling that if I had indeed had another child, Youngest Son, who would be Second to Youngest Son, would find a reason to complain about him or her too.  There would still be trouble in paradise.  It’s just the nature of being a sibling.

Normally, I would tell Youngest Son to be careful what you wish for, but in this case, there’s no need.  He’s not going to get it.


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