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The Last Kid

The Last Kid

It’s a moment we all have to go through. A moment that is profoundly sad. The moment that you realize you’ve had your last kid. My oldest started kindergarten this week. My youngest started pre-school. My babies are growing up. I cleaned out the garage last week and found a storage bin filled with bibs, tiny shoes and onesies. They had all been worn by my first born and been passed down to his baby brother three years later. I got a lump in my throat knowing as I put them away, they would not be worn by another child of mine. My wife and I have two beautiful children. We will not be having another…and I am soooo, so cool with that.

I’m done. I’m ready to move on. Don’t get me wrong. I really loved the baby stage and there are many things I miss and will always miss about it.  I hate that I can no longer carry my 5 year old because he’s getting too big. I hate that his cute baby cries have turned into a not so cute whining sound. I hate that my two year old is starting to climb out of his crib on his own and will soon need a bigger bed. But, man, I love the fact that I’m about 6 months away from never having to change another diaper. And that everybody’s baby teeth have already painfully popped though their gums. And that when I go to sleep at night I’m not going to be woken up every two hours until dawn. Yes, I grew very melancholy when I packed away the baby clothes, but I would have grown melancholy no matter how many kids I had. There always has to be a last kid. Might as well be now.

I can tell you for a fact that as my wife is reading this blog, she’s either welling up with tears or getting really angry. See she wants to leave open the possibility of a third kid (hopefully a daughter). In her head she knows that the family dynamic is perfect now, it’s not financially feasible to add another mouth at this point, and that we both have very busy lives and can’t handle the commitment it would take to care for another infant. But in her heart she is always hoping I’ll change my mind. I knew I was going to stop at two as soon as she sent me a picture of the pregnancy test confirming that another bundle of joy was on the way. By the way she sent that pic to me on my phone just before a callback for a major national commercial. No wonder I didn’t book the job. Plus I saw that commercial ad infinitum for about two years afterward. Never really forgave her for that one. Anyway I knew we were done during the her second pregnancy. We already had a three year old boy so obviously we were hoping for a baby girl to get that nice perfect sitcom family. When we were told we were having another boy, we shrugged and said “Oh well. Saves us money on clothes and toys and anxiety during the hormonal, “mother hating” teenage insanity years” Plus not having a daughter saved me the time and money spent on researching chastity belts and convents. At the time though, my wife didn’t want to close the door on a third child. I told her, “No, of course not, dear.” Meanwhile I had closed, locked, barred, and thrown a heavy bookcase against the door. A few years after the birth of our 2nd little boy, she began to realize that our family unit was perfect. She said, “By not having a daughter, I shall stay the most beautiful woman in the house.” That’s not an exaggeration by the way. She really said that. In fact she said it while standing in front of a magic mirror and holding a poison apple. But now the queen is beginning to change her tune a little and hinting that she may want a princess after all. Now I reminded her that in 7th grade health class they told us we don’t really have a say over if we get a princess or a 3rd prince, but she said it didn’t matter. She would be okay with another little boy. I then went on to remind her that raising two boys has so far nearly killed and divorced us (in that order) and it does in fact NOT get easier with a third. In fact a friend of mine said it best. She said raising another child is like adding a full point on the earthquake Richter Scale. Each point up the scale means the earthquake is exponentially worse. Going from 1 to 2 kids is like going from a Richter Scale 5 to a 6. Minimal destruction. Going from a 2nd to a 3rd (and another boy at that), well you’re talking a 6 to a 7. Now you’re looking at pretty extensive damage and injuries. Plus you should never let your kids outnumber you. Right now my wife and I can play a man to man defense. If we have another one, we’ll have to go to the zone and any basketball coach will tell you that’s a much tougher coverage. So I hate to tell my wife (and her mother), but I have now added another padlock, a couple of couches and an angry Doberman to that closed door.

I love my two boys. They’re my best friends. My 5 year old is watching sports with me and starting to understand satire and sarcasm. I’m starting to have conversations with my 2 year old. I am eager to continue on to the next phases of raising my wonderful family.  I want to look forward and not start over.  So barring any “accidents”, I’ve had my last kid. Oops. Shouldn’t have written that last sentence. I’ll bet my wife is putting the kids to bed, opening a bottle of wine and slipping into something more comfortable right now.

Chris Loprete, aka the father of Our Milk Money, began writing his experiences as a new father upon the launch of Our Milk Money, calling his work, appropriately, The Daddys Den. Chris is no stranger to comedy composition. He wrote and performed his one-man show You’re from Philly, Charlie Brown, having successful runs at Circle X Theatre, The Lonny Chapman Repertory Theatre and The Comedy Central Workspace in Hollywood, California as well the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Chris has performed all over the country in theatrical productions, television and film. He is an alumni of The Circle X Theatre Company and The Groundlings Sunday Company. Currently, he is a writer/producer for the Comedy and Reality Promo Team at ABC Television. Chris lives in Stevenson Ranch, California with his wife Ally, founder of OurMilkMoney.com and his two beautiful sons, Braden and Henry.

My Wife Thought I Was at Work, But I was at the Movies

My Wife Thought I Was at Work, But I was at the Movies

I know that doesn’t seem like a very provocative title or interesting subject of a blog so let me raise the stakes a little. My wife is reading this for the first time too. When my wife and I have some domestic dust up, I’ve always been pretty good at turning it into a humorous story or blog. Even she gets a kick out of it. Well, I’m taking a chance this time and flipping the scenario. I’m confessing something publicly and hoping she laughs it off BEFORE we fight about it. Will the gamble pay off? Well if it doesn’t…on the bright side I may already have next month’s blog.

So I’ve been ridiculously busy at my job this last month. Lots of late nights and weekends. My department is always busy this time of year because of a big annual presentation the president of our company gives to advertisers and media buyers in New York. Once the presentation is over, we can all breathe a sigh of relief on a job well done. Well, the presentation was given on a Tuesday morning and it’s tradition for our team to take the rest of the day off. Now my wife had an important meeting with her literary agent that night. She was going to take the kids to the supervised play at their preschool and I was going to pick them up. No problem. So I thought…”What would be the harm if I just went to a quick matinee? I haven’t seen a movie in so long. I don’t know when I’ll get to one. I’ve worked very hard at work as well as at home with the kids on the weekend (including giving my wife Mother’s Day weekend off)…why not just go to a movie and I’ll be home to take care of the kids tonight?” Now I’m pretty sure my wife would have preferred that I come home even earlier and help her with the kids. So why didn’t I call my wife and let her know that I was heading to the movies? Um…please save all questions until the end.

I drive to a movie theatre about 5 minutes away from our house. That way I can pick the kids up faster than if I went to a theatre near work. In fact I’ll still get them earlier than I would have if I worked the whole day. Am I a great Dad or what? I pay my ticket, grab my 3D glasses and head in. The movie begins and I’m usually vigilant about turning off my phone because I can’t stand when people talk or text during a film, but this time I kept it on vibrate…just in case. Good thing too. Sure enough because the Universe loves to screw with me, at about the half way point of the movie my phone begins to vibrate in my lap. It’s her. I started to perspire as I did something I would never dream of doing before. Pushed the “ignore” button. If it’s important I’m sure she’ll leave a voice mail and I’ll duck out of the theatre in a minute to check it. BZZZ. BZZZ. She’s calling back. Ooookay she’s looking for me. Duck out the theatre NOW. I scamper out of my seat. Luckily the theatre was mostly empty because most people were working or home with their families. I’m starting to hate myself as I write this. I hurry out to the lobby so she won’t hear the obscenely loud sounds of Thor saving the planet. “Hello?” “Hi” Oh God. She’s been crying. “Is everything okay?” “I’m sorry to bother you” she says. “You’re not bothering me at all” I say. (TELL HER!)”What’s up?” (YOU FOOL!) She then goes on to tell me about what a miserable day she’s been having and she’s thinking of calling off the meeting with her agent. I ask her if she wants me to come home. For the record I meant it. I would have left the theatre right then and hurried home.

Of course it would have confused my wife because I would have been home about 40 minutes before I usually get home from work. “No”, she said. “I just need a pep talk.” Now I’m REALLY good at breaking my wife out of her funks so I go into my best spiel. Please believe me when I say that I wasn’t b.s-ing her just to get back into the theatre. I really meant everything I was saying and I was telling her everything she needed to hear. I was even ignoring the curious glances from the people in the lobby. I’m sure they were impressed by this man who must be a motivational speaker. Not so much. Turns out they were looking at a lunatic having a very animated conversation on his cell phone…who had forgotten to take off his 3D glasses. I can imagine how many dinner conversations that night that started with “I saw the strangest thing in the lobby of the movie theatre today…” It worked though. My wife stopped crying, she said she felt better and she thanked me. I hung up walked back into the theatre glad that I had cheered her up, but feeling like pond scum. I watched and enjoyed the rest of the movie but I was obviously distracted. You gotta understand. My wife and I don’t lie to each other. We don’t know how. On the few occasions we have been deceptive it tears away at both of us like Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. In my case the heart beat under the floor boards was as loud as Thor’s hammer.

May I just interject here and say that last month Arnold Schwarzenegger confessed to fathering a child over a decade ago with his maid. I went to the movies. Just putting it in perspective. Okay back to the story. The movie ended, I picked up the kids, fed them, bathed them, and put them to bed. My wife got home from the meeting and told me it went well and she was glad she didn’t call it off. I considered telling her right then, but it seemed a little soon. No. Best to do the most cowardly thing imaginable and wait two weeks to tell her in a blog. So there it is.

This is my warped way of apologizing. I’m sure a therapist would have a field day. They say the truth will set you free. I am about to seriously put that theory to the test. You may not even be reading this. I have to send it to my editor first…who is also my wife.

So if you are reading this, one of two things has happened. Either I’m right and she is laughing this whole thing off…or I’m dead and she has posted this posthumously as a warning to other husbands out there. We shall see…