I thought I was finished with my "if and when to have more kids" series. We had guest posts from someone one and done, someone pregnant with their second and someone about to have their third. But then I got an email from Nicole aka The Ninja Mom. You might know her as "the one who leaves comments funnier than my posts". Nicole's got FOUR, count them FOUR children (ages 6, 4, 4 and 2) and she'd like moms considering a similar-sized brood to know exactly what they are getting themselves into.
If we're being honest, four is not even in my consideration set. I can only imagine that the severe lack of space would drive me out of my apartment and possibly out of New York altogether. Maybe I'd buy a farm somewhere out west. Put the kids to work to make the whole endeavor financially sound.
Although, according to Nicole, monetary issues would be the least of my concerns. Nicole says with four kids the problems get A LOT worse. Nasty even. DISGUSTING might be the best way to describe it.
Basically, if you have four children, you better own a dump truck, a closet full of Clorox and a less than stellar olfactory system...
WARNING: Content below should not be read before lunch.
Having four children is a little like being Alice in Wonderland. Which is to say— like a really bad trip. Sure, the colors are pretty and you get to eat things off plates that aren't yours, but I am the walrus, koo-koo-kachoo, and let me tell you, it's the flashbacks in the form of lingering smells and dirty little reminders that get to you.
Seven Reasons Having Four Kids is Just Plain Stupid by Someone with Four Kids
1. Filth. Ever have a small bathroom trashcan that's overflowing with some toilet paper tubes and a Q-tip? I have 39,293 industrial-sized trashcans full of unidentified clumps of health code violations. Metaphorically speaking, one kid = one bathroom trashcan. Four kids = landfill.
2. Laundry. I've been doing a correctional facility's worth of ratty laundry for about three years now. It's heady with reek and covered with crusty unidentifiables. One child cannot match this level of dirty clothing output. One laundress cannot scale the mountain. I hope you like your laundry pile Everest-sized because you have four dirty sherpas bringing da funk.
3. Fecal Matter. One child leaves poo in one place. Two children leave it in two or three places (one stealth-squats in a corner while you're busy cleaning up the first's mess in the crib; both drag the corner scat to a third location because, hey!, nature's Play-Doh). Three or more children breed crap like Perdue breeds chickens; one turd atop another.
Editor's Note: I will spare you a diagram.
4. Stench. Do you like the smell of coffee brewing in the morning? Me too, but I don't notice it anymore because I have four olfactory offense makers. I want to stop and smell the roses, but invariably there's an offspring of mine in front of the rosebush spreading the gospel of farts, bad breath, curdled milk and a secret food stash that went bad when Clinton was still schtupping in the Oval Office.
5. Urine. Nothing smells worse than old diapers choked with pee except lots of old diapers choked with pee. I've had as many as three children in diapers at a given time and nothing infuriates me like the elusive stink of "What the hell is that? Did the kids load roadkill in the minivan?" Fun fact: Poo power fades over time, but pee spawns and its children smell like cheese and ammonia.
6. Food waste. Do you smell something? Is it that new dinner recipe gone awry or did Junior leave a cup of milk in your Tupperware cabinet? You know what? Imagine four juniors, each armed with food scraps more terrifying than the last. Salmon from last night's dinner in the bed sheets. A full Go-Gurt oozing silently under the couch. A strip of half-chewed steak tips from last week's crockpot surprise wrapped in your washcloth. When feeling optimistic I see this as a diet plan.
7. Noise. When we get hungry enough, all parents learn to eat with a poopy-diapered toddler on our lap. We all realize that moist grubby things will dry up eventually and become stiff grubby things that we can pile in a corner and ignore. But it's all the noise, noise, noise, noise that got to the Grinch, you'll remember. His heart may have grown in the magical land of Suess, but he didn't have four kids living under one roof. If I don't get some quiet around here I'm stealing Christmas.
CAUTIONARY FOLLOW-UP: You think this is as bad as it gets? It's only gonna get worse. Imagine four pubescent teens who've yet to embrace the joys of deodorant but learned to carry full plates of food to their bedrooms to rot for eternity, and who think the "volume" button is an invitation to increase the noise level on their Death-Punk-Techno Vanilla Ice cover.
I AM SCREWED.
Editor's Note: Still think four kids might be for you? Head on over to Ninja Mom to take this highly scientific quiz so you can know for sure.