I'm looking at Max lying in the bathtub, lying on his belly, his cute little arse cheeks nipped together like an angry muffin.
"Drink water," he says as he takes a gulp and grins, his upper lip sporting a thick bubble-stash.
"Drink water, drink water..."
He repeats it again and again until I warn, "Now Max, you know you're not supposed to drink the bath water. It's dirty."
He looks at me for a long time, his orange eyebrows entwining to form a question mark. One day soon he will ask: But mom, if the water is dirty, why am I in it?
Touché, little dude, touché.
He is growing so fast. He's the full length of the bathtub. He has a moustache for God sake! Holy crap, it must be time to have another baby.
I feel a sudden ache in my uterus and a burning in my loins. Desire? Hells no. That's just the lifelong repercussion of squeezing a human out of my magic muckle. Oh the horror.
So... It's 2012. A new year. Do I spit out a new youngster or not? I am torn. And oh how I wish that was not a play on words.
This calls for one of the things that my husband dreads more than penis-kabobs: A LIST. Don't worry, honey. It's not a honey-do list... unless it concludes with "do me," in which case I'm confident you'll have no problem following orders. It's a list of pros and cons. To breed or not to breed: that is the question.
PRO: Max gets a brother or a sister.
CON: I have to grow said brother or sister inside my body and get it here via the Va-Jay-Jay Express.
PRO: The Bearded Oyster is already a dive, so why not close shop altogether and go home with a nice souvenir?
CON: I am well-healed and back to my pre-prego weight and pretty pleased with it, despite the extra stomach skin that makes me look like an accordion when I sit down. (Crop tops prohibited.) Why mang all that merchandise up again?
PRO: I get an extra human to produce grandchildren for me.
CON: I have to worry that said human will produce grandchildren at age 13. Coming up next on TLC... 13 and Pregnant! Followed at 10:30 by Nanny Nightmares: My Kid is a Little Tramp.
PRO: We get a baby to love and cuddle.
CON: The baby is a demon who keeps me up all night and ruins my shirts with puke and poop.
PRO: If it's a boy, I get to reuse all Max's perfectly unsoiled clothes.
CON: If it's a girl, I have to buy a bunch of pink clothes so our daughter doesn't look like k.d. lang.
PRO: We get to make another living, breathing masterpiece. Max is way too cute to have just one of him. Exhibit A...
CON: Maybe Max used up all the good DNA and this one is doomed to get the leftovers: big nose, big ears, third nipple, and eye of Cyclops.
CON: Every time I do a jumping jack at the gym, I pee a little.
PRO: Once I'm pregnant, I can eat what I want because I'm going to get fat anyways. My pet saying as a prego? "Quarter Pounder with Cheese Combo, six nuggets on the side and an apple pie, si vous NOWWWW."
CON: My ass will resemble the broad side of a barn for at least six to nine months, with the possibility of permanent barnliness; even the barn will mistake me for one of the livestock.
Need proof? This was a full-size Clydesdale...
CON: Bye-bye, MILF T-shirt. Hello, saddle. My career as a swimsuit model is so over.
PRO: Cha-ching! Another kid, another $1,000 from the Newfoundland and Labrador Government.
CON: Cha-shit! The average cost of raising a child in Canada: $14 zillion. And that's just the Goldfish crackers.
PRO: Wayne and Rosena Murphy get grandbaby number 10 for a nice even number. Shirley Combden gets grandkid number four... maybe a girl this time?
CON: Not gonna happen, sister. The walls of my uterus are painted blue. Last Thursday, I pooped a dump truck decal and a handful of gravel.
PRO: I get a year off.
CON: I get a year trapped in a time warp, relying on EI which doesn't cover shit, not even shit catchers. Yesterday, I noticed the price of diapers has gone up: $41.99 for a box of 100. Shooooooot. Today, Max is wearing a dishcloth.
PRO: Andrew could take paternity leave, so I could go on working.
CON: I may be inclined to strangle Andrew with my rope-like boobs.
CON: Yes, breastfeeding deflated my boobs and now I have to wear a super-duper push-up bra just to keep the suckers out of my pockets. This can only get worse.
PRO: I get to go to mommy and baby movies at Empire Theatres on Thursday mornings.
CON: No I don't, because I have another kid at home ruining my life.
PRO: I can get one of those kickass double strollers.
CON: I need one of these damn double strollers. Can I borrow 20 bucks? How much can I get for this MILF T-shirt?
PRO: Max can use the baby as a pillow in the stroller. Bonus.
CON: Andrew and I will be so busy being parents, we'll forget about being a couple.
PRO: We'll be so busy being parents, we'll forget about our relationship problems.
CON: I set my career back a notch or two. Come on people, you know it's true. One of the reasons there'll never be a female president: We're breeders.
CON: I'll never find the time to write a book. *POUT*
CON: Andrew is not the doting type. So when I start getting fat and uncomfortable, I can look forward to NOT getting my feet massaged.
CON: My dad was sick when I was pregnant. He died when Max was nine months old. So I associate pregnancy with impending doom. Textbook psychiatry. I can diagnose myself because I am a doctor part-time.
CON: First trimester nausea. Once, on my way to work, I threw up in my hat.
CON: Second trimester semi-chubbiness when people aren't sure if you are having a baby or if you just had a big lunch. Awkward.
CON: Third trimester bulbousness when people mistake you for the Penguin from Batman, followed by the awesome sensation of carrying a bowling ball in your underwear.
CON: Vagination Ruination: the Sequel.
CON: The Meat Curtain Massacre, Part Deux.
CON: Hotdogs in Hallways: The Final Poke.
CON: Wow, that's a lot of cons. To top it off, maybe one of my kids will be a con. Max is already terrible at sharing, and goes ape-shit for toys at the store. Just steps away from kleptomania, I reckon.
PRO: Kids keep us young as they see the magic of the world and discover it for the first time. My boobs may sag, but my spirit will soar.
CON: "Whatever, Trevor!" Yours truly, Broken Twat.
PRO: Max will have someone to help pick out my casket.
PRO: Max won't be the only one humiliated by his mother's maniacal musings.
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