There are some sure-fire ways to guarantee the growth of your family. None are medically proven; none are rational – but all fall under the accord of Murphy’s Law.
- First and foremost, tell everyone who asks – even those who don’t – that you are done having children. Your family is complete.
- Further this point by passing along all your baby paraphernalia, with the caveat that you never want to see it again. They can do with it whatever they like when they’re done with it, but you don’t want it back.
- Sweep maternity clothes out of your home with great aplomb. Plunk the rubber tote you’ve been storing them in on your neighbor/co-worker/friend’s front step with great and resounding authority.
- Start to enjoy the long-forgotten freedom you and your spouse can reclaim at parties and cook-outs, even when the children are present. You can sit for 2.5 seconds without rushing to pluck them from the jaws of salmonella, see-saws, or swinging bats. Up the ante by enjoying a refreshing adult beverage.
- Dream of a day in the not-so-distant future where you may actually be able to take a family vacation. All the kids are potty-trained, done with naps, and significantly less likely to throw a tantrum. The rosy glow on the horizon – and substantial sums of money no longer going toward diapers and pull-ups – even make you consider opening a dedicated savings account.
- Send your youngest off to her first full day at school. Look at the seemingly endless hours that stretch before you and marvel at how you’ll fill them. Begin to dream and scheme for something soul-fulfilling, personal, even professional.
- Most importantly – and the penultimate step – is to engage in quality intimate time with your spouse. Have actual conversations, canoodle, and connect in ways you haven’t since you conceived your last child – wait, what?
- Too late. Murphy strikes again.