Reflections of a New Parent of Two, Part 5

| February 27, 2013 | 4 Comments

6. A family of four feels way bigger than a family of three.

To me it does, anyway. Four is not a big family, but the addition of one makes us feel like an official  “crew” now.

When we had just one child, it felt more like ‘us’– the couple– as always, plus our son. Now we have kids. KIDS. It feels way different to say “I have kids“; it’s a whole new category for me as a parent.

A baby, sure, but am I adult enough to be one of those people who have ‘KIDS’?

We can use phrases like “I’m gonna teach THE KIDS to play Settlers” or “That’d be a good place to take THE KIDS” or “c’mon, not in front of the KIDS” and actually be referring to real humans right now, not hypothetical-one-day people as when we’d reference them in bygone days. They’re here, ready for raising and big adventures.

Plus, there are now as many of THEM as there are of US.

Our boys, and their humungous car seats, take up the entire back seat (gone are the days when my own family of five all fit in a K-car). In fact, it now takes some strategy when we run an errand or eventually attempt a road trip as toute la gang, because once you have both parents in the car, it is assumed you have both kids, and then you only have room for either the stroller OR what you want to get/bring.

It is is reminiscent of that riddle about the farmer who has to cross the river with the chicken, the chicken feed and the fox, but he can only carry one at a time. Except the farmer is a suburbanite trying to get en EXPEDIT shelving unit at IKEA.

So it’s not a huge deal– we put the kids in a shopping cart or just don’t do certain errands together — but having to consider it can sure make you feel like you have a big entourage. Even the rare times when I’m in the car alone, I can’t give more than one friend a ride because of the car seats. Partymobile it ain’t.

But we won’t be going for the minivan or SUV anytime soon. We just got our car less than three years ago…when we were still DINKs… when our family was half the size it is now… when our townhouse still had unused bedrooms… and ‘the kids’ were still justhypothetical-one-daypeople.

And now here they are. And here WE are. Me and my three guys. Crazy how going from 3 to 4 can seem like a big difference (especially when trying to get out the door!);  A carful, a housefull, sometimes a handful, but most certainly… (wait for it)…wonderful.



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Category: Babies and Toddlers, Family, Kids

About the Author ()

I am a lifelong (award-winning!) cartoonist and mother of two delightful boys, aged 7 and 5. I like to view today's adventures in parenting as material for tomorrow's cartoon. Looking at family life through "cartoon-coloured glasses" helps me keep the all-important sense of humour required for raising kids... even for the events that don't seem so funny at the time.

Comments (4)

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  1. Love it! Well written and I agree 100%

  2. Rene says:

    Totally! Great post!

  3. kathy downey says:

    This is so true !

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