I Want A Lot of Children

I want a lot of children.

I want their little grubby hands all over me--pulling my hair, squeezing my face, pulling at the bottom of my dresses. I want to dip them in the tub before bedtime and snuggle with their soft bodies when they cry in the night. I want their baby breaths, their toddler tantrums and whatever comes after that. I want to make early morning pancake breakfasts in my fuzzy robe, bed head flapping, children waiting--flipping so many pancakes my wrists are sore.

I want so many children that I call them seven wrong names before I get the right one.

I want a house so full of children that when I open a door or a window, bodies pour out.

I want more children than Chup can remember--

Is this one ours, or the neighbor's?

Here is the problem--mainly--with that wanting:

My ego.

My ego insists on wrapping itself around everything I can't control. Like The Chief at church. I can't control The Chief's disinterest in reverence and it's making me feel like a lackluster mother.

Plus, the Sabbath Day Chase is making my love of wearing sexy shoes to church next to impossible. Asking my ego to forgo fashion is devastating (and I wish I were using that word lightly) did I sign up for this part?

But then, Sister Newly Married from the nursery says to me, "You dress him so cute every week," and my ego inflates to an uncontrollable blimp. Because it is true, my ego dresses him and I think he's one smartly dressed
. . . irreverent human chimpanzee. Sometimes I can't help but swoon myself.

Oh and I can't control Ever's love of snuggling--not that I'd want to--but that little girly likes to burrow herself into my being until we both are skins of sweat. Then! Then I can't control my desire to snuggle her more. Damp babies are like adorable amphibians--there is a compulsion to touch. And ok, lick. Just a little.

Problematically, children come equipped with an irresistible attraction--a severe sphere of undeniable lure. I can't go one hour without asking The Chief for a hug and a kiss and a hug and another kiss. And maybe, just one more hug. And one more kiss. (Two more.)

Sometimes I trade affection for Popsicles.
It makes me feel so vulnerable and . . . cheap.

They will make you love them, these entities called children, they will. It's sick how well they do it too. Just when you want to lock yourself away for the next forty years they do something like apologize "sworry" and you are back to where you started. And my ego, my tender ego, can't handle such intense manipulation.

And maybe worst of all, I let them control my brain power until I can barely finish a sentence. What was I saying?

Oh brain power, right. I am a maternal zombie. I wander the world with once-lukewarm, white regurgitation crusted on my clothes, draped with extra pounds on my body and postpartum hair that has started falling out. In three months I'll try--but fail--to control patches of wispy baby hairs popping out all over my skull. And I do it all for the love of little teeny tiny people who will grow up to be not so teeny tiny and not so dependent and probably not so much in love with me as they are today. Is that so wrong?

What is my ego going to do with all this . . . this . . . overwhelming loss of control? Learn to be humble? Learn to appreciate the uncontrollable elements? Learn to lose myself in this cause with the hope that I will find myself someday? And what will more children create in my life? More chaos, more blessings, more hugs and kisses hugs and kisses hugs and kisses? I am bursting at the seams, it seems.

No more! I can't take it!

I want so many children I'd have to buy an entire laundromat to keep up with the washings, but my ego tells me to shoot for three.

Maybe . . . four.

Probably three.

I am c jane and maybe four. Chup says.
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