Is four a crowd?
January 7, 2010 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Should we have another kid?

We are trying to decide whether to have a second child, and are ambivalent about doing so.

Pros:
Our 18-month-old would have a sibling, which would last her the rest of her life. We aren't close to our extended families, so that would give her someone be connected to.
It would give her someone to play with, and help her develop social skills, etc.
We are having a lot of fun with her at this point.
There's a part of me that wants to.
I read an earlier thread about only children on AskMe that included a quote from someone who said that they didn't know a single only child that didn't wish they had a sibling. That made me really want to give Baby Anon a sibling.

Cons:
I (mom) will be 41 or older when we do this. I am not particularly worried about getting pregnant -- the women in my family have had babies in their forties fairly routinely, and if we didn't succeed, I would be all right with that. But being a parent in your forties is a pretty tiring business.
Neither one of us really wants to. I don't want people to harp too much on that -- plenty of people have ambivalent feelings about having babies but do so anyway and wind up overjoyed, but it is a fact that we're kind of meh on it.
We're both kind of introverted. Kids take you out of that, and we've adjusted, but it sort of seems like with two, we'd never have a minute to ourselves. We're excellent parenting sharers, everything's been divided up evenly up to now so that we both get some down time. With two, kind of seems like that would go whooooosh and not be seen again for years.
It's a lot of work.
We really like hanging out with each other and kids eat away at that.
And we sort of feel like the first one is perfect.

In particular, I would like to hear from people who have struggled with this themselves and what they arrived at and how they now feel about their decision.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (75 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
memail me, anonymous - I am in a very similar position.
posted by pinky at 8:12 AM on January 7, 2010


I'm an only child who doesn't wish I had a sibling. I'm also a mom to an only child. Not wanting your child to be an only child is in my opinion not enough of a reason to have another child if you don't otherwise want to.
posted by Daily Alice at 8:12 AM on January 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


Our 18-month-old would have a sibling, which would last her the rest of her life. We aren't close to our extended families, so that would give her someone be connected to.
It would give her someone to play with, and help her develop social skills, etc.


Even with another healthy baby, you can't guarantee either of these outcomes, in the short or long term. (Check out the archives here to illustrate.)

Happy parents are good parents.
posted by availablelight at 8:14 AM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Based upon your pros and cons list, I wouldn't do it. Your cons seem way more substantial than the pros. Having another kid will change your life in innumerable ways, as I'm sure you already know, and it seems like you don't really want it changed.
posted by something something at 8:16 AM on January 7, 2010


I am an only child with a family that isn't particularly close to extended relatives. I wish I had a sibling - always have - I remember from age 5 to now, at 25.
posted by quodlibet at 8:18 AM on January 7, 2010


We're both kind of introverted. Kids take you out of that, and we've adjusted, but it sort of seems like with two, we'd never have a minute to ourselves.

On the flip, the kids will often have someone else to play with besides you. This also means if they get into trouble, it can be twice as much (keep matches hidden, trust me on this).

I am an only child and would have enjoyed having a brother and sister to grow up with, so maybe shoot for three?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:20 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everything on your Pro list is pretty much about your current child and not really about this new child. To me, that is not a good reason to have a second baby. Ideally it should be something like "We had so much fun with our first we can't wait to do it all over again with our second" and not "we're going to have a second because we think it's what's best for our first."

Plus, you know, having a sibling doesn't guarantee anything in the future. Everyone who wishes for a sibling wishes for a perfect sibling, which isn't always the way it works out. Having a second child does not mean your first will have a close relationship as an adult. I have two sisters; I like them just fine but speak to them about once a year.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:27 AM on January 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


help her develop social skills, etc.

This is a good point but it can also go the other way. Sometimes siblings get along so poorly that it actually has a bad effect on their social skills. Conversely, an only child might be especially intrigued by his/her peers (since being around them is less pervasive, more of a special treat) and make extra efforts to socialize. I'm basically describing a close friend of mine who's an only child -- I've specifically asked her about it, and she didn't seem to think it impeded her social development. (She wants to have kids and would not feel, based on her own experience, that it would be problematic to have just one.)

Your cons seem to outweigh the pros. I know you said you don't want people to emphasize the fact that neither of you actually wants a second child, but, uh, that's kind of important. While I'm sure it's true that some parents reluctantly find themselves being parents and later come to enjoy it, that doesn't mean you should consciously plan to act against your own wishes.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:28 AM on January 7, 2010


"Neither one of us really wants to." Therefore "no" is your answer.
I was an only child for 12 years. It was awesome.
posted by Area Control at 8:28 AM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Your baby might hate being an older brother or sister. Does he/she have any cousins to be close to?
posted by anniecat at 8:31 AM on January 7, 2010


Jn my view, "Neither one of us really wants to" is your answer right there. I'd be afraid that you'd end up regretting the decision to have another child and resent the child for it, and that's not good for anybody.

FWIW, I am an only child and never wished for a sibling. I watch sibling dynamics between my stepchildren and am mystified by it--the petty squabbling and jockeying for position is unbelievable, even between pretty "good kids!", and I would have hated to live with that on a daily level as a child. I think that can possibly be minimized if the siblings are farther apart in age (I personally believe that no one should have kids less than five years apart because of the murderous cost of college education, but that's me!)--but given that you're already 41, that probably isn't an option for you.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:33 AM on January 7, 2010


Another only child here. People often ask me. "Gosh weren't you lonely as an only child?" and honestly my answer is "No". Because I don't know what it's like to have a sibling, I don't know what I'm missing, if that makes sense.

On the other hand, I know that I would appreciate knowing that I am wanted by loving, happy parents.
posted by like_neon at 8:35 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am the mother of an only child (girl) who is now 13.
There are and were many times that I wish/wished that we had had two but I think that I can boil it down to two issues that may not be obvious.

One: I wish that she had a sibling because it is less work for the parent. That's counter-intuitive but I found it really true. You will be Baby Anon's only live-in playmate. Some children are good at occupying themselves for hours by themselves but they all need some sort of play guidance and sharing with another person. So imagine yourself down on the floor day after day playing and engaging and stimulating your child as, not only the parent (which you will and should anyway), but also their only playmate. You can get around this by arranging play dates but that takes work and diligence and play dates are not downtime. If you are looking for downtime, the time when the siblings play can be downtime, maybe not as much when they're toddlers, but when they are older for sure.

Two: I wish that my daughter had had a sibling to kick her ass just a bit. Not physically. But I think you know what I mean. She has had a hard time figuring out how to set her needs aside in a group situation. But maybe we're the ones who should have kicked her ass a bit more... so if you stick with one, I would recommend that you guard against coddling and indulging all of Baby Anon's needs/desires for his/her sake ........ But that opens a whole other issue.
posted by Toto_tot at 8:35 AM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


My girlfriend wishes she never had siblings. Hates her sisters. Both of my best friends are only children and they love it.

Plus, you say you both don't want to. Despite what you think you may be giving your 18 month-old, it's not worth it even if it were a sure thing. Which it isn't. Don't contribute to our over-stuffed world any more, please.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:38 AM on January 7, 2010


Neither one of us really wants to.

You have answered the question yourself. Please don't have a kid unless you really, really, really want to. There are already so many kids with no one to care for them; you should be more than ambivalent if you're going to make more.

And this decision should not be about you; it should be about your kid—who will grow up to be a human being with an entire life independent from you.

YOU'RE MAKING A PERSON!
posted by k. at 8:44 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just for the record, I'm an only child and never once did I seriously want a sibling. There was a brief moment where I thought it'd be neat around 7, but then I saw all my friends with sibs and the drama they went through and I realized it would suck. I think the idea that all onlies would want a sibling is crap. Some of us love it dearly, and really the only drawback is that in adulthood, I'm the only one to take care of my parents as they get older. But with a sibling, there's no guarantee that he or she would be capable or willing to do so either.

My current boyfriend is an only as well, and like me, he never entertained the idea of a brother or sister. Neither of us suffered in making friends, in fact we are far more outgoing than our friends with siblings. We are also blindingly independent, and very capable of solving our own problems.

Of course, my mom, when I ask her why she didn't have a second child, her response was always, "We were afraid of getting another one like you."

I think this blog entry puts it perfectly.
posted by teleri025 at 8:44 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am an only child, and in the abstract I really wish I had siblings, but I also really don't think people should have kids if they don't want them/more kids than they want to have. It sounds like you're pretty happy with your current life, having another kid could change that, and you aren't personally invested in having two kids. I can't fully know your own feelings, but don't do it for baby Anon.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:45 AM on January 7, 2010


...plenty of people have ambivalent feelings about having babies but do so anyway and wind up overjoyed.

Have you ever, ever met someone who would admit to regretting having the children they are still raising? People tend to keep schtum about that sort of thing; in the words of XKCD, you've encountered the biggest sampling bias ever. Don't have kids if you don't absolutely want to.
posted by griphus at 8:45 AM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


I am a younger sibling and I cannot imagine my life without my sister. She is my best friend and I can always count on her. Even though she lives halfway across the world, I am a stronger, better person knowing she is out there and on my side. We're lucky, we're close. And as we age and, my parents age I am glad that there is someone else who can help take care of them.

Also regarding extra work, when they are a bit older, two kids end up playing with each other instead of with the parents so the parents can even ease off a bit!
posted by typewriter at 8:45 AM on January 7, 2010


Being 41 or older means your chances of having a baby with Down syndrome are getting pretty high.

Also I'm having trouble seeing past "Neither one of us really wants to".
posted by fritley at 8:45 AM on January 7, 2010


I think that the fact that neither of you want another child is a pretty convincing reason not to have one. You can raise a happy child without siblings, and go the extra mile to make sure that she's not selfish.

One factor which you haven't mentioned, and which is unlikely to be relevant, but is maybe worth thinking about because it's one of those low-probability high-impact things: if you have only one child, and that child were to die tragically, it might make your remaning years unbearably sad, whereas having a second child who you could see grow up, succeed and have grandchildren might make the loss of one child bearable. I know it's morbid and sort of awful to think about such things, but for me it would actually be a factor. I've known families who've lost a child, and I can't think how much worse it would have been for the parents had it been their only child. Apologies if this consideration is a little on the dark side, but I thought it was worth putting out there.

Also: Don't contribute to our over-stuffed world any more, please.

What a misanthropic thing to say. People make this world great to live in. More brains=more progress. Ignore this kind of sentiment.
posted by Dasein at 8:50 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


And this decision should not be about you

Of course the decision is about the parents. Having a kid changes the parents' lives. They should consider this fact. If they don't want to do it, that's an overriding reason not to do it. I don't understand why questions about major personal/family decisions receive the response that "It's not about you." It is about other people, but it's about you too.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:51 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Have you ever, ever met someone who would admit to regretting having the children they are still raising?

It's not an easy binary answer, as in yes or no. I know plenty of parents who didn't kids exactly when or on the terms they wanted and they all recognize that the kid diverted time and resources from other things they wanted to do or spend money on. It's more of a "I wish x or y had happened differently, but all things considered, I love my kid(s) deeply and couldn't imagine my life without them, even if I occasionally want to throttle them."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:52 AM on January 7, 2010


Don't contribute to our over-stuffed world any more, please.

That's no reason not to raise a second child; at most, it's a reason to adopt.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:52 AM on January 7, 2010


yeah, if you are interested, feel free to memail me too.
posted by Richat at 8:57 AM on January 7, 2010


I agree with typewriter. Looking at my friends who are only children, the burden of having to deal with ageing parents alone is really hard. That alone would make me glad I have a sister. As an introvert I've also found it useful to have a more outgoing sister to keep me in touch with "normality" and to be someone I can be somewhat open with even when I'm not feeling that close to others. If your toddler is an introvert, it could be helpful to her to have a brother or sister.

Also, although I'm not a parent, I spend a day a week looking after my nieces and I've noticed now that the younger one (nearly 3) is verbal they play well together (the older one is five and a half) and this relieves the parent or childminder.
posted by paduasoy at 8:59 AM on January 7, 2010


I struggled with this. I always figured that I would have two kids, between three and four years apart. (That is the age difference between my sister and me.)

However, when my son got to be three years old and if I wanted to keep with my plan, we'd have to start trying....I didn't really want to. Part of it was purely selfish (I didn't want to go through the diaper thing and the waking up eleventy billion times in the night again), part of it was economical (our house was too small, two kids in daycare, etc) and part of it was that we had a nice life going and adding another kid into the mix would rock the boat.

So we have an only child, who is 8 and a half. From what I have seen, he doesn't seem to be destroyed because he doesn't have a sibling. (A few weeks ago, he asked if he would ever have a brother or sister. I said "at this point, I'd have to say 'no'" and he said "okay" and we went back to eating dinner.) Like has been said above, he doesn't know what it's like to have a sibling, so how can he miss it?

The only time I have questioned our choice was when my grandmother died. My mom has three sisters and watching them interact at the funeral home, reminiscing about Grandma, I thought my son won't have that. But you know what? Even if he did have a brother or a sister, he may not have it.

So that's my experience.
posted by Lucinda at 9:02 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a parent of an only child and I've wondered if my daughter would be happier with a sibling. (Our reasons for not having another child are similar to yours.) But I'm also very introverted, and growing up I never had much in common with with my own sister. Even though we got along fine and sometimes did fun things together, we were each pretty self-contained. So I guess my conclusion is that having a sibling is not necessarily life-changing. I feel like my life was not radically different from my friends who were happy only-children.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:05 AM on January 7, 2010


Just another data point. I'm an only child who has never wanted a sibling. In my 30s, still feel the same way. I was at a dinner party over New Years where there were two other only children - this subject came up. Both of them also stated that they are happy to not have siblings.

If neither of you really wants to have another one, I really think you've already answered your question.
posted by meerkatty at 9:07 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, please disregard everyone's "I wish I had a sibling"/"I wish my siblings were never born" anecdata. That's just incredibly stupid to use as evidence. Your daughter is an individual, and the potential second baby would be an individual, and it's absolutely no use to tally up how everyone else feels about their family structure. Some people have everlasting bonds with their siblings, some people see them once a year during the holidays, some people can't believe they're even related to each other.

Also regarding extra work, when they are a bit older, two kids end up playing with each other instead of with the parents so the parents can even ease off a bit!

Babies aren't cats: having a second one means twice as much work, not half. The brief alleviation a second child will offer in terms of play time will be significantly overshadowed by everything from 4AM feedings to a second college fund.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:10 AM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have a sister. She's 17 and I'm 22. We basically hated each other until about four years ago, when I moved away for college. Until then we pretty much avoided each other most of the time. I'm not saying I wish she wasn't my sister, because we have a good relationship NOW, but... my parents actually WANTED two kids. They wanted HER, they didn't want 'a sibling for me,' so it was ok that we didn't get along. But if they'd had her FOR ME and then we hated each other, they probably would have resented her very existence. That's gotta suck.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:12 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Generally speaking, I don't think it's a great idea to have a kid unless you really want one, and your list of reasons not to rather makes me wonder why you're bothering to consider it, even after reading the list of reasons to do it...

I read an earlier thread about only children on AskMe that included a quote from someone who said that they didn't know a single only child that didn't wish they had a sibling.

That's completely absurd. I'm an only child and I'm SO glad I never had siblings. I had to learn from an early age how to entertain myself, and as an adult I'm never bored. I'm comfortable being alone or in groups. My three closest friends in middle school were all only children and none of us wanted a sibling, and all of us had cultivated solitary creative talents. (Not that you can't be creative with a sibling; plenty of people are. It's just necessary for most only children.) I don't know a single only child that I was close to, now or from middle or high school, who wishes they did have a sibling; everyone talked about how they were glad they didn't. Which is anecdotal, but since you were taking one person's anecdote as a reason to have a kid...

When I was very young, like five years old or younger, I wanted a sibling but I had no real idea what it meant. I just knew that I saw people with brothers and sisters on TV. When I'd bring it up, my mom would always tell me she was considering it. I think she ultimately changed her mind because she knew better than to listen to a five year old.

Also, keep in mind that some siblings very much hate each other and just become a source of stress in each other's lives. I don't think it's a good idea to have another sibling with the expectation that they be your first child's playmate, because they might have very different ideas. You say you don't really want to do it, so my advice is don't.
posted by Nattie at 9:17 AM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


My mother took time off from work after my little brother was born, but being a stay-at-home mom actually made her really stressed out. My brother was a good baby but a terrible toddler, my parents fought a lot during that time, and my brother's outbursts put a lot of stress on all of us. In short, having a second child can really add a lot of strain to the family dynamic.

I love my brother and we get along really well now that we're all grown up but I do think that raising him was really hard on my parents.
posted by mai at 9:17 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, please disregard everyone's "I wish I had a sibling"/"I wish my siblings were never born" anecdata. That's just incredibly stupid to use as evidence.

It's not "stupid" to use this as evidence. The fact that (as you said) people's experienced are wildly different and based on their individual quirks suggests that this might be a wash; therefore, the parents should focus on other factors. They shouldn't feel obligated to have a second child based on the premise that it's some kind of open secret that every only child regrets not having siblings. Just because some of the answers are ancedotal and have an implied "YMMV" doesn't mean they can't be useful to the OP.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:19 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, I really wasn't interested in trying to get pregnant again until my daughter was 2...and then suddenly, having another baby became really really attractive. So part of it may just be that raising a baby is really tiring, and it would be easier if there was a little more separation. (but I know this is tricky with the age thing.)
posted by leahwrenn at 9:20 AM on January 7, 2010


It would give her someone to play with, and help her develop social skills, etc.

Only children aren't necessarily socially-inept and spoiled just because they don't have siblings. Kids learn social skills far more from parents and coevals than from younger kids.

Check out this article that refers to the perks of being only children. They apparently score slightly higher than sibling'd children in terms of achievement, prestigious education, verbal ability and self-esteem. The study also shows that they were no different from their peers when it came to socialization and development.

Jaltcoh, there's hardly any mileage in the fact that poster #1 loved having a sister while poster #14 pined for a brother and poster #32 hated her parents for never having more kids. It seems exponentially more useful to look at concrete evidence of family dynamic as well as what parents (the logical adults who have actually do have control over this decision) ultimately did.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:32 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Neither one of us really wants to

This.

Look, if you want another child by all means, go ahead-but the experience of having more than one is quantitatively different than having just one in terms of freedom and lifestyle.

I had three, do not regret any of them but the transition between one and two was just as difficult as the transition between 0 and one. So what I am trying to say is that if you are really on the fence about this, please think long and hard about it. Because while worthwhile to parent two children it is HARD WORK. I did it in my twenties-I don't think I would have wanted to do it in my forties.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:32 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


PS. I am an only child. It's not fatal and at this point I do not regret not having siblings. I just nominate friends as honorary sisters and brothers (Yay! I pick my own!)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:33 AM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I had some of your same concerns--our third child was born when I was 42 and being a mom of small children in your 40s is tiring. We also were concerned that we liked and loved #1 so much that any additional child would get the short end of the stick, but that turned out to be bunk.

Still, based on your own list, I'd say no. What you want for your first child to get from having a sibling is not guaranteed, as others have said. I had one sibling, and he made my life hell until he left for college when I was 14. Only now, at 44 and 47, are we beginning, tentatively, to have a relationship beyond seeing each other twice a year at our parents' for their sake. On the other hand, my partner was an only child, and growing up watching his friends and their sibs, he could never see the benefit of siblings. Someone said these anecdotes are bunk, but I think it's useful to point out that "I want my kid to have a sibling so he'll have a friend" or whatever is setting up an expectation that may not be met by the actual sibling in question.

My partner experienced the bad outcome you'd like your child to avoid: his parents both died when he was in his mid-20s, leaving him with no siblings, no aunts or uncles, no extended family he was in contact with at all. But he is not alone in the world: he has me, he has close friends. It's good.

Additional kids in your 40s is something to be done only if you're really enthusiastic about the new baby, because it is hard and tiring, and one thing I have learned in the last couple of years is that your health and energy are much less predictable than they were earlier in life--at least that's been true for me. Perimenopause hit me like a freight train not long ago, and it's made things harder. I am totally enthusiastic about my kids and I still sometimes think, 'What the hell was I thinking?"

You sound like a happy family. Unless you get badly bitten by the new-baby bug, I'd just keep being the happy family you are.
posted by not that girl at 9:35 AM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am an only child with a family that isn't particularly close to extended relatives. I wish I had a sibling - always have - I remember from age 5 to now, at 25.

I am an only child in a family that is not particularly close to extended relatives. I never wanted a sibling, and even in the midst of some rather demanding turmoil in my immediate family in the past few years, the most I have wished is occasionally that someone was here to help shoulder some of the practical burden. However, seeing my mother's siblings interact regarding the practicalities of caring for their mother, and then dealing with (or failing to deal with) their own sister's significant problems, pretty much cured me of thinking that extra hands would actually help the situation. And these are all people who ostensibly get along and don't have a particularly horrible history together.

I am in my mid-thirties and can count on one hand the people I know and have known that have wholly supportive and positive relationships with their siblings. Far more common seems to be an awkward tying together of two or more people who have little in common and radically different interpretations of their childhoods. Occasionally, but more often than one would think, the relationship borders on actually toxic. This is not to say that wonderful, close, and supportive relationships cannot exist between siblings -- just that you shouldn't assume that that's what you're going to get, that that is the guaranteed norm unless something goes terribly awry, and that failing to provide your existing child with a sibling is deliberately denying them such a joy. Have a second child if you believe it will add to your familial joy, but don't do it because you fear that to do otherwise would be to harm your (current) only.
posted by tigerbelly at 9:45 AM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am an only child and not having had a brother or sister is the one thing I really wish I would have had. I think a large part of my character flaws stem from being an only child.
posted by kaizen at 9:52 AM on January 7, 2010


Having a second child exponentially increases your workload, and at 41, are you sure you have the energy for that?

At your age, there is a higher chance of giving birth to a baby with DS, and some people would regard that as a negative. Can you live with the stress during your pregnancy of waiting to figure out if your child will be "normal"? Can you undergo the series of tests for DS during pregnancy?

It sounds like you are fairly ambivalent about having another child. While deciding to have children is never a rational process, how much is emotion playing into things?
posted by KokuRyu at 10:00 AM on January 7, 2010


Neither one of us really wants to. I don't want people to harp too much on that -- plenty of people have ambivalent feelings about having babies but do so anyway and wind up overjoyed, but it is a fact that we're kind of meh on it.

Plenty of people end up thinking "Fuck. Now I'm stuck. I really did prefer things they way they were before, I'm now not happy, and I'm stuck" when they have a child.

Plenty of people end up resenting their kids and the happier life they gave up to sacrifice for them, and wish they could have a do-over.

Not a popular attitude to express, and quite often on that gets shouted down by the "Parenthood makes you happy/How dare you suggest otherwise" crowd. But it's the reality.

What happens if you have another child and they grow up like Cain and Abel? There's no rule that says siblings have to get along, and I'll bet a MeFi tag search on "Family" will pull up a horror catalog of dysfunction along with the cheerful, happy stuff.

Trust your "meh".

Best wishes.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:04 AM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


But on the other hand, a large part of my character strength come from being an only as well. The thing is, the reason only's like being only's is because they are only's. You don't have to share, scrap, get knocked down and get up. Sure, you encounter this on the playground, but if you want, you can take your ball, go home, and live in your ivory tower. As much as I am sure having a sibling can suck at the time, I would guess that it makes you a better person.

And to point to zoomorphic's math, I would say that having additional children is not twice the work. It isn't that simple. Sure, you have to dress two kids, but you don't have to assemble two cribs, read 2 books, go to the grocery store twice, or go through 'training' twice. I would say its about 30% more work. By the time the second one comes, the first one doesn't need much hands on attention. It's a sunk cost.
posted by kaizen at 10:09 AM on January 7, 2010


Background: I have a younger brother. My wife is an only child. We have one little boy, and I want another. My wife is open to the idea of a second, but not as enthusiastic about the idea as I am.

I would be a fundamentally different person if I didn't have my little brother. Yes, I understand some siblings don't get along all that well, but of my parents and my in-laws, only my mother-in-law was an only child. The other three had one, four, and six or seven (I forget) other siblings, and their lives have been much, much richer because of those bonds, in both good and bad ways. My only child MIL is close to her cousins, but it's not the same.

As for our own thinking - I KNOW going through the baby stage again is going to suck. People have described it to me as the difference between double-teaming on defense vs. playing man to man. Three or more kids would of course mean playing zone. That's not why I want another. I want another because if we're lucky enough for things to progress as they should, I won't always be around for my son. In fact, even if I were, there will be some times where the person who should be there for him should not be a parent, but someone more his age - and yeah, there will always be friends. But they're not siblings. Cousins aren't the same either, and I say that as someone who's really close to his cousins. Just as an example, when my own father was diagnosed and dying from cancer, my parents were too wrapped up in their own thing to really give my brother what he needed - so I did it. And he did it for me.

Brass tacks: I want my son to have at least a part of the 3 generation, 50+, even 70+ people holiday experiences that both my family and my wife's family have given us. Worse case, junior doesn't get along w/his sibling - then they're effectively two only children. Fine - it happens. Everything above and beyond that is gravy in the form of bonds and relationships that really can't be had in any other way. If it doesn't happen, that's ok, too - but I see additional children as more life, and more life to live, more experience for me and them - just more, good or bad. I would consider myself very lucky to draw those cards. Of course, I say this as someone who's beyond surprised at how much I love being a dad.

Good luck w/your decision.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 10:23 AM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


You don't have to share, scrap, get knocked down and get up. Sure, you encounter this on the playground, but if you want, you can take your ball, go home, and live in your ivory tower. As much as I am sure having a sibling can suck at the time, I would guess that it makes you a better person.

I completely disagree with this. Only children need friends as much as any other children, and if all the kids at school give them crap they don't just roll over and take it because they can go home and be alone. Only children feel just as much pain when other people don't like them; I don't see what having siblings has to do with it. They deal with it by learning the appropriate social skills just like children with siblings must learn the appropriate social skills to handle people their own age. If a child doesn't learn those skills, regardless of whether they're an only child or have siblings, then they're going to have problems. Me and most of my only children friends learned those skills fine just by going to school every day; it's unavoidable. Some were worse at it than others, but I also knew plenty of people with siblings that had no social skills, were incapable of sharing or cooperating with others, etc.

You could make the same sort of argument by saying that people with siblings probably don't care when other children mess with them, because they can go home and play with their siblings who are stuck with them whether they like it or not. I'm not making that argument, I'm just saying the whole idea doesn't mean anything either way. Only children have to go to school just like other children and it's ample opportunity for socialization. If a child doesn't learn those skills, it has nothing to do with their not having siblings.
posted by Nattie at 10:23 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


My anecdata: I have a sister. For large chunks of my life, we fought. There were times that I hated her. There were times when I'm sure she hated me.

I wouldn't trade her for anything, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:24 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am in my mid-thirties and can count on one hand the people I know and have known that have wholly supportive and positive relationships with their siblings. Far more common seems to be an awkward tying together of two or more people who have little in common and radically different interpretations of their childhoods.

Hmm. That's strange. I haven't met many people with this experience at all. A few weeks ago, I had a long conversation with my sister about our mother, about our childhood. She understood it in a way no one else ever has, not even psychologists, not even my husband. My husband's had similar conversations with his brother. For all our differences from our siblings (there are many), it's a huge comfort to know that there's someone else out there who gets it, someone else who was there.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:29 AM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


You wrote "Neither of us really wants to." THAT'S YOUR ANSWER.

If you want your child to bond more with other children, create opportunities for her to bond with other children who already exist, rather than creating another child.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:43 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Neither one of us really wants to. I don't want people to harp too much on that -- plenty of people have ambivalent feelings about having babies but do so anyway and wind up overjoyed, but it is a fact that we're kind of meh on it.

If you don't really want to, don't do it. Parenting is tough and as an older parent, it'll be seriously exhausting.

I'm a nanny and I mean it sincerely when I say that 2 kids isn't twice the work of one kid - it's ten times the work. I grew up as an only child and survived fine, if you're not 100% sold on a second, there's no need to have one.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:47 AM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Many parents find that kids who are quite agreeable and lovely at 18 months change quite dramatically into crazed, attention-hungry Tasmanian Devils around, oh, 18+9 months. Or so. YMMV, but it don't get easier. I'm just saying.
posted by iscatter at 10:49 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm late to this and didn't read all the answers, we were in a very similar spot except our first was 7 and we knew that we would have to do infertility treatments. We decided to go ahead and try (we could only afford to try once or twice) but if it didn't work, we would be complete as a family and wouldn't stress. I honestly didn't expect it to work. We had gotten very lucky the first time and I thought that wouldn't happen again, so I was not expecting to have another child. We got pregnant on the first try. He is now almost three, in full, crazy toddler mode, completely wild like boys can be, bouncing off the walls and almost killing my 40-yr old self trying to keep up with him. But, I'm so glad we tried. I honestly think I would have been fine if he didn't come because I wouldn't have known the difference and sometimes I do cringe when I think about how long it will be until our nest is empty. But he just adores me, knows how to charm me into anything and will cuddle with me for hours. And, he and his sister ADORE each other. You will make the right decision for your family, just wanted to share our story.
posted by pearlybob at 11:00 AM on January 7, 2010


One thing to take into consideration: Having a second child is not just twice as much work. It is easily 10 times as much. When I had my first and pregnant with my second I thought I had things down. Now I laugh at that person. Once the second kid came things were so much harder. Think it's tough when your child is sick all night, try having two kids puking faster than you can clean it up. Think it's exhausting staying up with a newborn, try having said newborn wake up the older child who then will not go back to bed. My husband and I call them the tag team. Just when we get one taken care of, one of the other ones starts up. This doesn't happen every day, or even every week, but often enough.

I have three kids, and I love them all and would not go back to only the first for anything, but I was 23 when my second was born and 28 with the third. I'm 29 now and totally exhausted, I can't imagine having a toddler to chase when I'm into my 40's.
posted by TooFewShoes at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2010


I'm not going to answer your question, I'm just going to tell you my experience. I'm an only child (who was always a lonely child who wished she had siblings). My partner is one of two boys and loved having a brother. I came to parenthood late (35), after swearing up and down I would never have any kids, but ended up really enjoying it. When I realised how much I was enjoying it, we decided to have a second, because he liked having a sibling and I always wished for one. Also, I dread my parents getting much older and either passing on or needing significant support from me, and trying to handle that alone.

I had boy#2 seven months ago, and it has been a LOT of hard work, but I'm loving it. I work full-time as does he, so both kids are in daycare. I wish I could spend more time with them, but they interact in daycare with each other and their peers, and seem very happy. Boy#1 absolutely LOVES his little brother, they are almost exactly 2 years apart. We decided to try and keep the age gap between them as small as we could because a) I'm getting older, so the sooner the better and b) to get the sleep-deprivation, diapering stage over with as soon as possible. As they get older they get easier, and its a bit of a shock to go back to all the baby care! Right now I think its the hardest because I have an active toddler and a baby to care for, and as you say, less rest time for the parents because you can't as easily trade off. But as #2 gets bigger and is able to entertain himself more, it is getting easier. I am enjoying my experience as a parent of two so far.
posted by Joh at 11:26 AM on January 7, 2010


Your con list is much more significant than your pro list. It would be unfair to your second child.
posted by Neekee at 11:37 AM on January 7, 2010


I have a brother and in so many ways, including caring for our parents, he is and has been a tremendous positive force in my life and I'm grateful for him all the time.

I still don't think you should have a second child.

Even if parents do everything right, the inborn personalities of kids can mean that they grow up distant (at best). Introduce parental ambivalence about one of the children, or any slightly messy emotions and circumstances and things just get more complicated.

That's with regard to the sibling thing. But this isn't just about a sibling for your child, it's about a new person, a new baby, period. I think that unless you can say honestly in your heart that the new baby you're planning for is wanted and desired for itself, whoever it is or will be, including all the potential disabilities, disorders, accidents, etc, it's better to let it go.

Finally, I do think that the best present a parent can give to a child, far better than even a sibling, is the example of living your life with integrity and pursuing your own happiness with kindness and morals, but also conviction.
posted by Salamandrous at 11:56 AM on January 7, 2010


When our son was born my wife had a life-threatening (hers and the baby's) medical condition that also resulted in his being 10 weeks premature and spending his first month and a half in the NICU. This had a substantial risk of recurring with a second pregnancy (higher than the baseline risk). We thought long and hard about whether we would try for another. We are both in our late 30s. We considered adoption as well. Thinking hard about adoption helped with perspective on this for me - it shone a light on how much of the impetus to have another child was, not to put too fine a point on it, basically just the biological drive to reproduce. If you feel just as much positivity about the idea of adopting as you do about the idea of getting pregnant again, it seems much more likely to me that you really do want another member of your family. If the prospects of adopting seem really not as interesting or compelling, you maybe want to take a closer look at that. That's how I felt, anyway.

My frank opinion is that the idea that you "owe" your child a sibling or that you are depriving them in some sense by not producing one is bunk. Of course the majority of people coming in here from the multiple child perspective are going to say they have no regrets about their second or third children. The majority of siblings are going to come in and say they can't imagine life without their siblings. Guess what? Ask a person who came from a HUGE family and chances are they will say they can't imagine not growing up in a huge family. That's the nature of kinship. Does that mean you have to seriously consider having 6 more kids, or that those of us who only had one or two siblings missed out on a complete life? Of course not.

The idea that all only children wish they had siblings - and by extension they all had less than happy, less than ideal childhoods - is just not true. One person's experience of their friends and probably not accurate even in that tiny data set (which do you think is more likely, confirmation bias or that they actually set out to query every only child they knew and made a careful record of their exact responses?). I can think of a couple very specific only children who explicitly stated to me they view their childhood as idyllic. Seriously. And I don't recall a single only child ever telling me they wished they'd had siblings. That doesn't mean anything either, except that that contrasting experience is out there. I wished I had a dog when I was a child. Ask whether people have good memories of having a dog as a child and guess what sorts of answers you're going to get? Therefore every parent on AskMe is obligated to buy their child a dog, right?

I'm honestly not lobbying against you having another child, maybe in the end it is what you really want, but I am saying I think your justifications for why it is desirable need careful looking at. It bothers me that most of your pro argument involves "giving" someone to your existing child.

For me the major basis of the final decision to stick at one was that our family felt complete. Of course our specific situation presented major complications and that is a part of it, but this conclusion - that the three of us were a complete family - has never felt forced or contrived to me. At this point, given the dynamics of how much work one is and how well we manage to leverage our personal and couple time around him, I feel very glad that we made this decision, despite the fact that there is no doubt in my mind that if we'd successfully brought another child into our family we would love that child like crazy and not feel regretful about it. That may seem contradictory but honestly I think it is just the nature of the thing. But I really think you should try to take the benefits of siblings issue and the biological clock voice out of the equation and look at it from that perspective as much as you can to see that (as it did with us) that "don't really want to" voice turns out to be considerably louder and firmer than you first accounted for.
posted by nanojath at 11:58 AM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I struggle with having more children or not, but not for the same reasons as you.

The way I approach this question, and the answer wavers and changes, is rather than ask, "Do I want another child?," I ask, "Do I want another child enough?"

To elaborate: Baby Zizzle's birth was a horrible experience for me, and I still to this day and probably always will have issues surrounding it. Before Baby Zizzle, though, I wanted loads of kids. Five or six. But because of my particular experience, that's completely changed. And I don't know yet if I will ever have another child, but I know as I think, meditate, and approach the idea of it, I have to ask,

Do I want another child enough
*to go through morning sickness again?
*to go through being exhausted in the first trimester again?
*to go through a prolonged labor again?
*to fight for a VBAC with tooth, claw, nail, hammers, lawyers, and whatever other resources will be needed to do so?
*to risk having another c-section ---- and another c-section with failed anesthesia at that?
*to risk grieving Baby Zizzle's birth again if the other child's birth is just what I want?

This is how I look at this question. And I have a lot more added to that "Do I want another child enough?" prefix. The answers for me aren't definite. I don't know anything for sure, though some days it seems a definite one way and the next in the other. I do believe, though, that over time, asking the question this way will help provide me with some clarity. I think you may need to approach this question in the same way, but with your own circumstances.

The way your question is currently phrased and judging by the Pros and Cons lists, it doesn't seem you do at the moment. But that you're even asking this question at all suggests that some part of you might want to consider it at least a little bit further. And there's nothing wrong with a decision either way once you're in a place where you're comfortable making it.
posted by zizzle at 12:00 PM on January 7, 2010


I am an only child, and loved it. My husband is the eldest of four children. When I see them interact and talk about their childhoods, sometimes I am jealous, but mostly I think, whew, still glad that I was an only child.
posted by candyland at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2010


There's really no way to predict how it will turn out for your children. To throw a pile of mixed anecdotes on board: my sister and I get along okay, she's given me a lot of insecurities but I know I can count on her; my good friend's sister was the only way she survived a rough adolescence; my mother's sisters have been the most constant source of pain in her life for the past twenty years; my grandfather and his sister didn't speak for the last few decades of his life, and she didn't come to his funeral.

My point - don't do this for your daughter. It's a wash. Take it out of the equation. That leaves you with the pros that a part of you wants to, and that you're having a lot of fun with your first child. Weighed against your list of cons, that doesn't seem like a lot, but they deserve to be considered on their own, not overshadowed by the idea that this is a gift you're giving to your daughter.
posted by shaun uh at 12:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Probably not. Some families are just perfect at 3 - it sounds like yours may be one. Don't feel bad about that it, it's great that you know yourself so well. Besdies, it would be worse to have another and then regret it.
posted by MiffyCLB at 12:27 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always wanted one kid - I figured you don't need more than one to have the experience of parenting. Eventually, my wife convinced me to have a second one - my main reason was to avoid having my oldest daughter turn into a narcissist, which seems like the inevitable fate of kids these days.

I'm glad that she changed my mind. I'm enjoying the baby stage a whole lot more the second time around, that now I find myself wondering if maybe we should go for 3. I think the reason is that my mind is less preoccupied by logistics and worrying about adjusting to having a baby around.

But then, I'm not someone who believes that you always know exactly what you want before you get it. Sometimes I have friends order for me at restaurants and I think I often have a better, more interesting, more enjoyable meal because of it. This is hard to comprehend in this age that prizes autonomy and self-expression, but in a lot of ways, parenting is outside of that space.

You choose your career, your mate, your wardrobe, your lifestyle and whether to become a parent, but you don't choose the person you end up raising. That's forced on you, and that's often the best part about being a parent - you're stuck with a major part of your world being something that resists being a narcissistic projection of yourself.
posted by AlsoMike at 1:15 PM on January 7, 2010


In my experience only children tend to have much closer relationships with their parents. I can think of at least three different friends who are only children and whose connections to their parents have always seemed enviable to me - more mature, more friend-like... maybe from never having competition.

Sibling relationships are complicated - sometimes they are close, but often they are full of misunderstanding, especially during childhood and adolescence. It can be great but siblings are not chosen, and may be very different from one another. Unless you're lucky or naturally extroverted / a "people person", sibling relationships can take a long time to reach a stage that is definitely beneficial, and can go through lots of semi-abusive periods.
posted by mdn at 1:21 PM on January 7, 2010


On complete non-preview, I'd say the only deciding factors should be whether you and your spouse wants another kid, as well as if you can handle another kid (physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, etc; I noticed you said nothing about your financial state). Your kiddo's feelings about being a sibling and/or having someone to play with should not factor into the decision much, if at all. There are kids who just don't want to play with their siblings or don't get along, in probably as equal amounts as the ones who stick to their sibs like glue and are best friends forever.

Datapoint: when I lived with my brother under the same roof, I rarely acknowledged him at all past a hello in the hall, "Bro, what'd you do with my Lego?!", and a nod at the dinner table. This was during and after the volatile teenager years, by the way (and hell, once we were past said volatile years and gained a bit more independence, I could easily not even see him for days at a time). I don't hate my brother, we don't clash and fight, but I just don't connect to him in any real meaningful way. So...we have our existences largely independent of each other.

Kiddo's potential playmate is irrelevant. That's what friends are for (and you can give them back after the playdate!) Do you want another kid? From the sounds of your post, I'd say the answer's no.
posted by Hakaisha at 1:28 PM on January 7, 2010


I am an only child with a family that isn't particularly close to extended relatives, and I have NEVER EVER wished for a sibling.

(Just adding to your only-child-count; don't let this be a huge pro or con in your decision-making. As you can see, we and our families come in all stripes.)
posted by whatzit at 1:39 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm an only child who never wanted a sibling. My SO is also an only child who didn't pine after brothers or sisters.

It seems as though the major reasons you're thinking about having another is for your current child. Really, she'll be fine without a sibling. Friends and playgroups will help with socialization.

Having a brother or sister doesn't mean that she'll have a lifelong connection. My SO's mom has a brother--the only reason I know is because I asked my guy about aunts and uncles. I've never heard either of them mention the man and don't think that sister and brother have any contact at all (I don't ask, though).

Also remember that siblings fight. They're just as likely to hit each other over the head with blocks as they are to engage in happy fun playtime.

Ultimately, it's your choice (of course); best of luck to you no matter what you decide.
posted by Aleen at 1:46 PM on January 7, 2010


follow-up from the OP
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

I know people find the ambivalence to be a huge red flag, but for me, I really don't. We planned the first one, and were still pretty ambivalent through the whole thing, and it's only in our second year with her that we're really finding ourselves in the swing of it and being excited to hang out and do things with her. Not like we stuck her in a room for the first year or anything, but it takes them a while to be less like larvae.

I'm not a really maternal person, and although there were a lot of circumstances that led to my having my first kid at 38, I think it's safe to say that if I were really gung ho about the idea I would have had one long before. And I think parents are good at different stages -- like the mom who's great with infants might be awful with teenagers, or with adult children. People's lives are very long, and just because something sucks for a few years doesn't mean it'll suck forever, and just because it's great for a few years doesn't mean it will be great forever.

I know lots of people charge into parenthood with the fervor of the converted, but I have a certain ambivalence about lots of things, so sometimes I have to take a longer view of decision making.

Right now I'm leaning against having another. That could change, for instance if Mr. Anon suddenly gets thrilled with the idea, but for now, I'll let it rest.

At any rate, I thank you all for responding.
posted by jessamyn at 2:03 PM on January 7, 2010


I have one more thing to add to this that hasn't been covered: having a sibling does NOT guarantee/mean that you will have help with your aging parents. I say this as someone who sat through years of eldercare support groups. I only ever met ONE person (who was a farm girl and over 65) who had her siblings help her out. In every single other case, only one sibling (usually the girl who lives closest to her parents, statistically speaking) ends up doing all the work and the other ones got off pretty much scot-free. So don't have another kid for THAT reason!
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:14 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, I always wished I'd been an only child. But I suspect that's because my baby sister was the favorite. (She was the "good" one...and I was the willful "evil" one. Hey, everyone had a role to play; mine involved a lot of black eyeliner and running away to Europe.)
posted by dejah420 at 5:56 PM on January 7, 2010


Lot's of only children wish they had siblings. There are also probably a lot of kids with siblings who wish they had been only children. It's not a big deal.

My interpretation of your cons list led me to believe that there is a possibility of winding up resenting the fact that you and your partner have less time to spend together, which is a bad, bad situation for the whole family - much worse than your child being occasionally lonely because they don't have a little brother or sister to play with.

There's also the global population growth to consider.
posted by easy_being_green at 7:17 PM on January 7, 2010


Once you have one kid your life is already pretty much fucked so you might as well have a bunch of them. Diminishing marginal costs to freedom, social life, etc.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:16 PM on January 7, 2010


I have one more thing to add to this that hasn't been covered: having a sibling does NOT guarantee/mean that you will have help with your aging parents. I say this as someone who sat through years of eldercare support groups. I only ever met ONE person (who was a farm girl and over 65) who had her siblings help her out. In every single other case, only one sibling (usually the girl who lives closest to her parents, statistically speaking) ends up doing all the work and the other ones got off pretty much scot-free. So don't have another kid for THAT reason!

Seriously, you would be better putting the money you would've spent on another kid in a savings account for your care when you need it than having multiple kids to guarantee support doesn't fall unduly on one.
posted by ch1x0r at 8:22 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know there are 72 answers before me....

From what I've witnessed from other families like yours, and my own growing up - PLEASE DON'T.

In your heart, if you know it will go well - GREAT! DO IT!!

However, I've seen too many small families over-stressed by the second and third child. Often it is the first child who suffers the most from the choice to expand the family born of BEST intentions. I honor your best intentions, and I honor the child you have.

Things are going well now because you and your partner have all the time in the world to devote to your little one. I've seen parent's who both work half-time (in order to be mostly stay-at-home parents!) neglect, by default, their first child. These folks were your age, did it right the first time, had the best intentions, and screwed it up.

Sometimes expanding happiness doesn't mean expanding biologically. Sometimes.

Best to you, whatever you decide. You know better than me! Just telling you what I've experienced via my peers in similar situations. I live in an affluent area. I am your age.

FWIW.
posted by jbenben at 10:21 PM on January 7, 2010


I have one more thing to add to this that hasn't been covered: having a sibling does NOT guarantee/mean that you will have help with your aging parents.

Hear, hear. Not only that, you see a lot of families where the siblings all get along right up until their folks die and then end up estranged and loathing each other over the inheritance. My mom is seeing this with a lot of her friends and cousins right now...and the common refrain is "Wow, Mom and Dad would be rolling in their graves if they could see how we're fighting over their money now. They would wish they just spent it all or gave it to charity instead of letting it tear us apart like this."

One of my best friends growing up was an only child, and her parents did a lot to compensate - she always had way more and cooler pets than everyone else, and every summer they went on a trip or two and she always got to bring a friend along. In a way she had a great deal going - she essentially got to choose temporary sisters to share a tent with for a week, rather than having to go with the same dull sisters every time. I had so much fun going on trips with her family. We have been friends for 16 years, she was in my wedding, and I would totally be willing to hang out with her parents even if she weren't there because they have become like family to me - essentially, she is a third sister to me.

Also, my friend chose a career path (around the age of 8, which she never wavered from) that was definitely NOT a sure thing and she got her dream job right out of school. Her parents could devote resources to helping her make her dreams come true that parents with many children would not necessarily have been able to muster, and they didn't apply the intense pressure that some parents with many kids have to choose something more practical (sure, they nudged her in that direction, but never to the excesses I've seen with some other kids I knew). These were solidly middle class people, but because they knew they'd have max 1 kid to support if things didn't go well I think they were willing to give her more of a chance to prove herself. Think about that eventuality - what if your two kids end up wanting to go into bassoon performance? Are you going to be able to support two unemployed bassoonists in your dotage?

I have two sisters and I couldn't imagine life any other way. But I think you can be a wonderful parent to an only child, or a crap parent to a bunch of kids, or vice versa, and that's what really matters - NOT how many kids you have.
posted by crinklebat at 10:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just as another data point, I'm an only child who never wanted a sibling. My parents could barely handle me.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 7:41 AM on January 14, 2010


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