Follow by Email

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quantum Angst

"I can't decide what I want. Will you split these two things with me?"

I can't tell you how many times I've asked this of a fellow diner at a restaurant. Always someone I'm with, swear! I become infinitely more fond of anyone who says yes. My husband used to say yes regularly till he had me hooked; now I really have to beg.

Entrees are divisible. Circumstances are not. 

I can have half an omelet and half a French Toast.

My daughter cannot simultaneously have her shoes on and have her shoes off. Yet, time after time lately, this seems to be exactly what she wants. Or, to simultaneously have her sandals on and her boots on.

I cannot, just for example, have half an only child and half a family of four.
(Disclaimer: for the purposes of this discussion, it matters not at all that said husband wants an only child. So, if he happens to read this, we need not have that discussion again ... right now.)

I am quite sure that many parents have the same internal debate after their first child that I am having now.

Me: "She should have a little brother/sister."
Myself: "She's great just the way she is, and we're all happy."
I: "But maybe down the road, you & she will wish you had."
Me: "Well, maybe if we do, we'll wish we hadn't."
Myself: "You're not getting any younger, maybe you should just consider yourself lucky that you had one wildly healthy child."
I: "40's the new 30, and I'm ONLY THIRTY-FIVE!!!!"
And so on. ad nauseum.

Here's the thing. What I want. What I really want. Is both. At the same time.

This is not unique to the only child v. second child debate. This is my life.

I do not actually understand quantum mechanics. What I sort of get is that a subatomic particle cannot simultaneously be in two physical states at one time.

I'm just a Sci-Fi nerd with some angst. I see it beginning in my daughter on a smaller scale. I call it quantum angst.

We can't be the only ones who wants it both ways? Or can we?


  1. I'm pretty sure I would have been diagnosed with quantum angst, too, but I couldn't quite get myself to go get it checked out. I mean, I wanted to, almost as bad as I didn't. I feel your pain...

  2. Ahh, the only child conundrum. I've had it over and over again. For me the factors include:

    But who will watch the kids when they're sick at different times and Adam and I run out of vacation?

    What is the next one is a rotten sleeper and I am a zombie for another 18 months?

    Do I really want to return to using the breast pump and milk storage bags and baby monitors and the drool, my god the drool?!?

    Am I cheating Adam out of the multiple children he's always wanted? (I'd have 3 or 4 if I agreed).

    And...the biggest, ultimate reason for stopping it at my one precious Lily...WHAT IF I HAVE A BOY?! That would be unthinkable. Shudder at the thought.

    Yet sometimes, just sometimes when little Miss Priss is being a little spoiled rotten rat I think "we should have had another so that she didn't rule the roost." but that's quickly followed by "dear god, could I deal with another sassy 4 year old going on 14 again and sassing me?" Definite quantum angst.

    1. Ha! I wouldn't have expected you to share my angst! It's funny about boys/girls. I thought I wanted a boy, but now I'm with you - unthinkable! If I could be guaranteed another girl, I'd be much more on the side of another!

  3. You may know that I've got seven kids, so we obviously decided on more than one! I always envied only children when I was growing up as my brother and I didn't always get along. I will say one thing - when we tell people we have so many kids, about 90 percent of people will tell me - "I wish we had had more." Maybe it's because most of their kids are grown.

    1. Thanks, Diane. That's actually really interesting. I've been doing some reading here and there about why people decide on on lies, if they have regrets, and whether the kids are happy. It's funny that I even think about it now. I don't want another now for sure! I suppose it's triggered by many of my friends having the 2nds within the past year! Plus, it seems someone is ALWAYS pregnant at my work! :)

  4. I know exactly what you mean! We recently added to the family, and I had all of those feelings. But you know what? Now I'm so happy we did it. She's amazing.

    But neither answer is wrong. Or rather, both are right.