Two and a Half

I (we) could have more kids. Technically. But the door is closing, almost shut.

And I am mostly okay with that. I know how lucky I am. And I love being Mom to two incredible sons. But lately I’ve had an intermittent pang, a feeling that was missing a few years back, when decisions about two or three were more plausible. 
So when my sister asked if her 3 year old daughter, Rayme, could come hang out for February vacation while she attended an out-of-state wedding, my response was simple and swift, “Yes!”

The first thing I noticed upon Rayme's arrival was how absolutely wonderful it was to have a girl in the house. 

Day one we got manicures. What else does a girl deprived aunt do? 

She sat on my lap while my nails were being painted asking, “Auntie Olly does it hurt?”

“No, tickles,” I said, five maybe ten times. When it was her turn, my normally verbose energetic niece sat statue-still speechless.

But she was proud as purple punch when she joined me at the nail drying station. “My Mommy’s favorite color is purple,” she said. She had, of course, chosen purple for her nails.

“Do you know who your Mom is?” I asked.

“My mommy,” she said.

“She’s my little sister,” I said.

“She’s not little,” Ray said, in a you are a silly goose tone.

Almost immediately we settled into a routine and I quickly discovered something that my friends with many kids already know. 

It’s much easier to have a little one around, when you have a bigger little one to help.

My oldest is a natural caretaker who found his new “responsibility” liberating in a I just turned 10 kind of way. John made Ray’s breakfast, helped brush her teeth, even DVRed the latest episodes of My Little Pony

He was so involved that on day three he asked, “Do you think she’ll take a nap today?”

“Why?” I asked. The truth was the no nap approach was boding well for a workable bed time, why mess with success? 

“I just need one hour to myself,” John said.

My smile was uncontainable. 

The next day we were mostly out and about. As I scooped our little bundle out of her car seat to retrieve my youngest son and his friends from baseball camp, she covered her nose and said, “Auntie Olly you forgot to brush your teeth!”

I was two cups of coffee in and apparently my breath wasn’t smelling so good.

An hour later after we’d dropped a car full of boys off at their respective homes, and had lunch with a friend, she asked, “Are there any more boys in the trunk?”

She brought such smiles to us the entire stay. So much so that when it was time for my sister to return, I found myself wishing for a cataclysmic snowstorm, in hopes of just a few more days.

No such luck. As quick as our pinky purple whirlwind arrived, she departed. 

Years ago a friend made an astute observation about how difficult it is to decide what the right number is, when it comes to having kids.

“Two isn’t enough but three is too many,” she said. We had a good laugh.

Having our little Ray of sunshine around made me realize I may have found the answer, to the how many riddle. 

Two is enough, but two and a half is just perfect.


  1. When my younger child was six years old she begged me to have a baby for her to play with her and gave many logical arguments as to why we needed a third child in the family (a strong indicator of the lawyer she was to become). Around the same time one of my friends had a third child and was feeling overwhelmed. So we struck up a deal. We would borrow the baby every Thursday afternoon as long as my daughter would stay engaged with the baby for the entire time. My daughter learned how to feed the baby, change diapers, play with an infant, and also discovered how hard it is to comfort a screaming baby. After many, many sessions she came to the conclusion that babies were a lot of work, boring most of the time, and she liked our family the way it was. Whew!

    1. It is amazing how it all works out. We've opted for a puppy this spring which may be as much work as a third child, we'll see!

  2. Ah,two and a half! If that were really possible. My husband being the oldest of 5, and me being the youngest of 6, just didn't feel like there were quite enough people in the house after our second was born. Being of an advancing age, I didn't have a lot of time to hem and haw, so we just went for it. Only after my third was conceived did my oldest develop a version of the terrible two's that rivaled her early colic phase, and my second decided that being held by mommy or screaming were the only two options available to her. We went from man-to-man to zone defense. Even when all adults are called in to help, there are not enough drivers or cars to get everyone where they need to go. Although I now have the beauty of baseballs and potty humor to go with the mini-me manicures.

  3. Your "don't think too much about it" approach is the way to go. No time to weigh the pros and cons, let's face it those lists can be skewed either way when it comes to this topic! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Holly, I think we all ponder "the number of children" question, however, I love the way you've done this with humor and style, as usual. Hmmm, now the puppy question that is another blog post, I think:)

  5. Thanks Jill. It wasn't until I wrote this post that I realized the dog decision may have been related to the closing door...seems fairly obvious now!