Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Here we have two spoiled brats, and I don't mean the children

At first I thought this piece was written by an angry feminist harridan, but on second look it was indeed written by a man:

To say we're excited [about expecting twins] would be an exaggeration. More truthfully, we're pissed. And terrified, and angry, and guilty, and regretful. Why regretful? Because we brought this on ourselves. This is what we wanted, so to speak.
Dad and his post-wall wife were trying to conceive another child. Dad complained about how fertility treatments are expensive and how they engaged in passionless, purely functional sex. Truly the heart bleeds for them.

Thankfully, we nailed it on the first try. But while we were hoping for one girl, instead we got two boys. My initial reaction was full of disappointment, anger, fear, and guilt. My wife, who had been dreading the possibility of twins for weeks, took it worse. In her mind, this was her fault, since she'd encouraged the fertility doctors to put in two embryos to stack the deck.
As horrible as this might sound, we found ourselves wishing these twins away.
We considered a reduction for about 30 seconds. (That's essentially an abortion of one twin, not both.) If you thought that IVF involved playing God, a reduction felt beyond brazen -- Machiavellian, even. Give us a reason, we thought, as we had the twins tested for genetic anomalies. None came.
Dear Lord, please give us permission to kill one or both of these kids. Taking care of them is going to put a crimp in our 401K's and vacation plans.

Our fear is not the new parent fear of the unknown. It's the smart, informed fear of the known. Our biggest nightmare is that we'll have colic again, or double colic. This time around, we're counting down -- not like expecting parents but like cancer patients with only months to live. Enjoy life while you can, for soon it's double the diapers, double the feedings. Half of zero sleep is ... less than zero?
So tell me how this isn't going to suck. (Did I mention we live in a one-bedroom apartment?) Sure, in 10 years I could have close to a starting five of super-athletic, NBA-hopeful alpha males living under my roof smelling up the joint. But right now it's hard for us to see twins as good news. 
The dad is writing under a pseudonym. It's hard not to think this is a straw man article designed to make left-liberals and pro-abortionistas look bad. Any parent will tell you that raising children isn't all sunshine and lollipops, but it takes a certain kind of man-child to whine about it to the Huffington Post's comfortable upper middle class SWPL audience.

I'm trying not to be so bitter and to embrace what's ahead of us. It's possible these kids will sleep at some point, I suppose. In the meantime, I've promised to stop referring to one of the boys as "extra" and have told my wife I will try to refrain from calling my first-born son "the free one."
With four months left to go, I'm not sure what stage we're in at the moment -- but it's not acceptance. My wife and I even both privately admitted that we don't like the new children, which is of course insane. Excited? We're not there yet. Terrified? Yes, when we're not practicing denial.
They say the most important thing is the kids' health -- but what about ours?
Right, because children are supposed to make parents feel good about themselves. If they don't then they're extras. They're punishments. The real punishment will be suffered by those boys. I pray for the dad's sake that he has a change of heart when he's actually holding the newborn twins. I also pray for his sake that he has some male friends who care about him enough to bust his chops or kick his ass for publishing that whiny drivel. Forceful fraternal correction is good for the soul once in a while.

H/T Dreher

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