In Praise Of The Only Child

These well-meaning souls tell me my 2-year-old “needs” a sibling. No, she doesn't. Image: Thinkstock.

I didn't want my time with my parents divided either, not by anyone….

Only children are awesome.

You know why? Because they are mature, self-sufficient, assertive, and independent. They're also witty, sassy and opinionated.

I know because I am one myself, but also because my toddler isn't going to have any siblings.

Contrary to popular opinion, I wasn't lonely growing up. I had everything I wanted and more. Books I didn't “have” to share with anyone, a bed I could sprawl on however I wanted. Toys I could give away to friends because my parents thought I needed them for self-entertainment, when I clearly didn't.

I also had all my parents' attention, all the time.

Yes, it felt a little much at times, but it also made me a great conversationalist. Hanging out around adults was calming. They didn't pull my hair or push me over to grab a toy. They didn't spit on me or break my things. They had self-restraint. (And they responded well to stares.)

I had lots of friends with whom I could choose to hang out whenever. Of course, I also had the option of shutting the door and spending leisurely evenings with my books if I so desired. There were no unwanted interruptions. A poster outside my door kept my parents out. It politely asked them to give me space. And they respected it.

Life was good. So why wouldn't I want my child to experience that?

I'm so tired of everyone asking me when I'm going to have a second baby. Not if — when! Like it's any of their business.


 

She obviously doesn't want anyone to intrude upon her time with mommy and daddy.


 

These people chide me for being “selfish.” (Umm... Which parent isn't selfish?)

To them, I want to say: If you have some fairy-tale notion that you're in this whole parenting gig because you are oh-so-selfless and sacrificing, you need a reality check.

You're in it because you want it — because you love being loved.

These well-meaning souls tell me my 2-year-old “needs” a sibling. No, she doesn't. I don't have memories of things as much as moments spent with my parents.

They laughed and played with me. They read books to me. They joined me on my explorations. They let me be.

My so-called friends reprimand me for having a kid “so late” into my marriage. Well, I think they're just jealous that I enjoyed every bit of my 15 years of child-free married life. So boo-hoo!

My kid is outgoing, intelligent, empathetic — way ahead of her peers on the emotional and social development scales. We make twig castles, read a variety of old-school paper books, play with wild abandon outdoors. She's my sous chef, and while we cook, we've started engaging in lively discussions about unicorns and excavator trucks, and many other things that make childhood special.

She obviously doesn't want anyone to intrude upon her time with mommy and daddy.

I know that feeling; I didn't want my time with my parents divided either, not by anyone let alone a boisterous little baby threatening to take over what was rightfully mine and only mine.

So, all of you pro-sibling-people telling me to add to my stretch marks and sleepless nights: I ask you to look carefully at my pursed lips and middle finger.

I refuse to debate or reason with you. Because I'm mature like that.

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