Friday, December 08, 2006

Just Terrible

Her: Don't stop at one. If you only have one, you'll spoil him, you just won't be able to help it. I would have spoiled my child if I'd only had one; as it was, I just didn't have time, I was too busy with the next one.

Me: Mmmmm...

Her: My daughter-in-law is an only child and she is terrible, just terrible.

Me: You know, I'm an only child. Do you think I'm terrible?

Her: I don't really know you that well.


ann said...

You've gotta be joking!
I hope we have more than 1 (heck, I hope we have 1!), but there are plenty of circumstances that produce or warrant 1-child households, many of which are intensely private.

Some "only" children are differently socialized that kids with a lot of sibs, but it needn't necessarily be the case, and of course, it needn't be negative.

We got so many comments from German relatives about having children and how many, etc., when we got married. It was difficult not to answer, "Hey, I am the one who comes from a country where we actuallly reproduce at the replacement rate - so back off."

At least your little encounter makes for a good story.

Maria said...

You have to decide for yourself if one is the right number for you, and just because someone else would "spoil" an only child, does not mean that you will.

Our stance (even at two days past my due date) is that we are going to see how the first one goes before deciding to have a second. Who knows? One might be the right number. More might be overwhelming (especially with as much as we move around).

EuroTrippen said...

Ah, so you're an only child too? At times I wish I'd had siblings growing up, other times I'm not so sure I missed out by not having them.

Besides, what's so wrong with spoiling a child?? Especially when the 'spoiling' comes in the form of lots & lots of undivided 1-on-1 attention...

Ahnawake said...

Isn't it funny how people feel they can comment on your personal decisions once you are pregnant?? But here I am doing the same!

I actually enjoyed being an only child except in rare circumstances, like when my dad was dying, for example. Most of the time, it sure was nice never to hear 'we can only afford for one of you to go on exchange' or 'you need to share the car' or worse yet, the bathroom! I think your little man is going to have enough cousins to learn all of the good things that come from being part of a big family without really having to be from one!!

ann said...

I mentioned this at our Christmas party later that day. Everyone was rolling laughing about the exchange.

The issue of caring for elderly parents came up a lot. A co-worker's husband had what initially looked like a stroke this summer, and she said she didn't know what she would have done without her siblings, although growing up with them was not "unblutig".

Doesn't change the fact that the initial conversation was apalling. I hope it's a bit comforting that Germans saw it the same way you did.

Blythe said...

I've always found this kind of conversation interesting and amusing. I was especially entertained by her honest answer to my question. Maybe I'll ask her again in a year or so, when she knows me better.