I would just like to mention that sometimes I wish I only had one child (as opposed to the other sometimeses when I wish I had none, of course). Easy there tiger, don't get all roar-y on me, I'm not wishing away my beloved girls, not at all.
But sometimes I imagine what it must be like to have the one kid to... focus on. All the loving, all the attention, all the time you've possibly got to give, you get to lavish on that one kid. It must feel bloody good (and I'm pretty sure the kid loves it too).
More than that, there would be no tag teaming. Around here, my kids get together at the beginning of January each year and plot out the year ahead. The AGM goes something like this...
"You take January, Cappers," Max directs. "Fall off the trampoline and sprain your ankle so mum has to carry you everywhere for two weeks... no, wait, you'll need to stretch that to three weeks because -"
"-because I can't implement the morning tears-and-skirt-hanging routine until preschool goes back in February," chimes in The Badoo.
"Great," agrees Cappers. "So you take February, but make sure you throw in at least three weekly up-all-night episodes, mum's looking a bit too well-rested lately - she copes with us all so much better on sleep so keep her up, won't you?"
"I'll do the school-meltdown-anxiety-attacks March through to June," Max says generously. "I could probably stretch them to July if there's any sign that mum is getting over them."
"Or if I can't get a nobody-at-school-will-play-with-me festival up and running by then," agrees Cappers.
And so it goes. Each with their own little idiosyncrasies and foibles, all guaranteed to make you think you're both the most unfortunate and the worst parent currently working the beat. There is just so much going on that you'd swear you had 27 children (something I often mention to the kids - "It's hard having 27 children you know", to which the reply is always the same "aw muuuuum".)
Every child has patches of sheer golden delight, of course, but the presence of their siblings means their parents can't bask in the light. You might even hope that they would all get their big problems over and done with at the same time so you could have a little break every now and then, but every parent of any child knows that there's no way you could survive that lot. So you are sadly even a little bit pleased that they work their annual schedule so well. It's rather considerate of them, really.
I just can't help think that one child couldn't possibly be all the trouble of three. That one, sweet, lovely child, giving off a golden glow every now and then, uninterrupted. That one child with one set of problems and one random phobia (probably even a 'normal' phobia about dogs or the dark or something... bliss!). That golden, sunny, delightful one child who doesn't even have that many problems because their parents actually have time to sit down and talk to them about their troubles before they escalate into full-blown anxiety issues requiring $280 visits to the psychologist, speech therapist and occupational therapist weekly for, oh, about three years.
One child - whoever you are, wherever you are - I miss you.
Do you sometimes wish you could focus on the one?