In high school, a couple of my buddies invented a card game called “Schnoog.” We usually played it on Friday after school before we headed out for the night. When someone proposes to play the game, he picks up the deck and makes an inhaling snort noise through the nose. If others want to join the game, they echo the original snort of the dealer with a snort of their own. It’s a simple game that I could explain to you if we were sitting at a table drinking beers, but the rules are irrelevant for the purposes of this post.
One of my favorite parts of the game, though, is when we are down to just two players left and each of them flips a card over. If they both got the same card, everyone in the room immediately starts to yell “Tiebreak-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”until the two players flip over a new card. It sounds mundane perhaps, but this is the highlight of any Schnoog game – trust me.
So, imagine that THE WIFE and I are playing a game of Schnoog. I pick up the deck and snort. THE WIFE comes over to the table and snorts back. We sit down. We are down to our last card. Each of us flips a card. One card is Gigi. The other card is G-man. That makes two ladies in the house, and two dudes in the house.
Now hold that last syllable until January 2012 because that is the date when our next baby arrives. (Waiting a couple beats.) Yes. You read that correctly. Baby Tiebreaker is due to arrive in the last week of January next year. Here we go again!
What possessed us to have Irish triplets, you may ask? Where do I start?
Before we married, we didn’t have a fixed number in mind as to the number of children we would have. We knew we would have kids, but the plan was basically one at a time. We figured the amount would just kind of work itself out.
So there we were earlier this year with two bambinos. We had our one girl and our one boy. We were very happy with our family of four. Our transition from the 2 v. 1 zone to 2 v. 2 man D had adjusted pretty smoothly. We were in a good rhythm. With every passing week, we were that much closer to emancipation from all the many accessories associated with a baby: diapers, cribs, formula, bottles, bibs, onesies, the list goes on. We were also that much closer to sleeping late and our kids being able to feed/dress/bathe themselves.
Plus, the prospect of adding another kid to the mix is – frankly – an expensive decision. A bigger family truckster is the most immediate cost increase. (The minivan is a foregone conclusion at this point – don’t get me started.) And eventually, baby three is another athlete/musician/artist with summer camps and equipment. Another college tuition. Another wedding. Why not just stand put? What else did we need?
You name a material possession, an experience, or even just bare necessities, and I’ll name a way that it could be upgraded and costs more money. Would we prefer to eat organic at every meal and snack? Yeah. Would we love to own a vacation home someday? Sure. Do we want to travel with the kids to foreign countries every once in a while instead of Santa’s Village? Obv.
But now, a word from the devil’s advocate. Could we survive by eating food with high fructose corn syrup? Yeah, at least in moderation. Could we get by from freeloading off others with beach and lake houses? I’ve been doing it for 36 years, so what’s another 36? As for traveling outside the states, there’s always studying abroad when they go to UMass or whatever other short list of colleges we’ll be able to afford.
If money was really the only reluctance I had towards fathering a third child, I didn’t think it was a good enough reason. There is never enough money to do everything one wants.
The consideration of whether to expand the population, therefore, shifted to one of more important analysis. Did we have that loving feeling for a third? After Greta was born, I was almost concerned I couldn’t love another child as much as I loved her already. And yet when Gus arrived, my heart felt as though it doubled in size. I had more than enough room to share in there between the two kids. This time around, my parental spidey sense tells me a dad’s love can be felt equally as strong three ways.
In the end, for me at least, what pushed me into the “yes” category for having a third, was something that just kind of itched inside my core. It didn’t quite feel like we were done. I don’t know how else to explain it. A family of five just felt right for us.
So will Baby Tiebreaker push our balance into an estrogen-dominated household? Or will testosterone rule the roost? We had our second ultrasound a few weeks ago (THE WIFE is 17 weeks along now) and the tech gave us a 60/40 prediction, so we have an educated suspicion of where the pendulum will swing. But we’ll wait to tell you all until the next ultrasound, when we will supposedly have 99% accurate reading.
With that being said, our population expansion will stop at three. Honestly. That’s it. End of story. (How crazy do you think we are?) And of course, we hope it’s a story that concludes with the words “happily ever after.”
Baby Tiebreaker, we can’t wait to have you along for the ride, even if part of that ride involves multiple years in a Honda Odyssey…