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Thursday, December 28, 2006

submitted without comment ... and a little comment

i, mr nice guy, submit this to you without comment. as some people i know -- who are definitely not me, nor are they my wife, except on the occasions that they are -- have this very topic weighing on heavy the brain at this current moment in our lives. so this comes as a little bit of a downer to them, but not to us, except on the occasions that it comes as a downer to us too. especially considering that they/we (but mostly just they) are considering this path at this exact moment:

First-born children get more quality time with parents than subsequent children, a Cornell study shows. Using data from the American Time Use Survey, Joseph Price, a graduate student in economics at Cornell, found that a first-born child receives 20-30 more minutes of quality time each day with a parent than a second-born child of the same age from a similar family.
ok, this is not all that surprising. i know some psychotic people who not only contemplated having multiple children but actually acted upon the impulse. i mean, can you imagine? here one is sleeping through the night, arriving at the precipice of bold language breakthroughs and starting to achieve some sort of stabilized lifestyle when POW a new person is supposed to come along? i mean, i personally have taken 2,496,565 pictures of my baby every month. how would a "number two" possibly ever compare? the wife and i have earnest brow-knitted discussions wherein we wonder how we could possibly love another child as much as the first one and how we could possibly spend as much time bonding. let me tell you: these crazy friends of mine who have had child number two, well, they are crazy. they readily admit to me that this cornell grad student is on to something -- not only do they spend less time with number two, but they spend less time with both kids. it's not just number two! number one misses out on full-frontal parenting action as well! oh, and the parents sleep less. and they go crazy. and yet! everyone lives. number two survives and thrives on neglect and DVDs. number one survives and thrives on sibling abuse and parent-defying. the parents survive and thrive on scotch and merciful hallucinations. and the earth continues to revolve around the sun.

my humble theory: there is only less time to spend with kid number two because there are still the same number of hours in the day. i call it the procreator's paradox.*

if and when the missus and i ever "go there," as the kids like to say, i hereby pledge to you, gentle wonders, that i will be taking EIGHT TIMES as many pictures of my second. i will start FOURTEEN new blogs. i will personally neglect my foulmouthed firstborn for hours--nay, days--at time! i am a trend-bucker! i go against the grain! what do those clowns at cornell know about me and my (hypothetical) kids?

oh, and don't even get me started on how much more i'm going to love my third child.

*that phrase is copyrighted as of this instant so if you use it without giving me a million dollars, or at least linking to me, i will sue you and every living and future relative of yours into dirt-eating poverty.


Blogger Shalini said...

You are an undiscovered national treasure. I too will follow your trendbucking trendiness.

12/28/2006 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

My first-born gets exactly 20-30 minutes more quality time with parents, because that's exactly how long he deems it necessary to read him bedtime stories. The baby, not so much.

12/29/2006 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Nikeroo said...

Ahhh, so there is some wisdom in China's one child policy after all.

12/30/2006 5:34 AM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Scotch! That's what I'm missing. I knew something was off.

12/31/2006 11:43 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Eh, screw the studies. We had 3 kids in under 4 years (after that, the hubby had to get neutered b/c his potency was scaring me). Sure, the first got the motherload of, um, mother, but the other ones have done just fine with just a small increase in bumps and bruises due to my inability to be in all places at one time. Plus, they can, (and this is magic), PLAY TOGETHER. Trust me, having a built-in playmate is a big deal and helps save parental sanity.

12/31/2006 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm. what if we like eating dirt?


1/01/2007 4:48 PM  
Anonymous heather said...

Yes, but what they fail to mention is that the second born gets quality time (a.k.a. beatings) from the older sibling, who didn't get any quality sibling time.

Now, doesn't that make you feel better?

1/01/2007 10:07 PM  
Anonymous samantha jo campen said...

I'm an only child and let me just say, overall, it rocks. Pictures? All of me! Toys? All mine!

I'm just sayin'. . . .

1/01/2007 11:22 PM  
Blogger The other me said...

I got me six kids, I never give any of them any time at all, I just had that many so they could do all the chores around the house ( and they will tell you that they do EVERYTHING)Strangely, I think we take more pictures of the last one....he has the funniest face I grant you that.
It's amazing though that you always have enough ove, it isn't limited it grows and stretches and really, I love number 6 as much as number 1....incredible, yet true.

1/02/2007 8:14 PM  

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