First, when you're single, it's - 'Eh, when you gonna get a girlfriend lah?'
And then when you're finally with someone - 'Eh, so when you going to get married lah?' (aka 'When your turn ah?' at all the weddings you've ever attended)
And then when you're married, it's - 'Eh, so when are you going to have children lah? First one coming yet or not?'
And then when the first one arrives - 'Eh, when the second one coming lah? The first one needs someone to play with, you know!'
And then when you've had your seventh one - 'Eh, horny bugger, you need a vasectomy is it? I know someone!'
One of the wonderful conversations you get embroiled in as a couple is the question 'So, how many kids do you want?'
Even as primary schoolchildren, there was this meme spreading around school which made complete sense to our seven-year-old minds - if you clenched both your fists, and counted the bits of flesh sticking out of the side of your palm, the ones on your right hand would represent the number of sons you'd have while the ones on your left hand would represent the number of daughters.
|In my case, a girl, and one and a half boys|
It is as if you could control that aspect of things - as if, if you'd only wish hard enough and put a number down, that's exactly what you're going to get.
The reality is so much more different than that - falling pregnant in this day and age isn't as easy as the movies portray it to be (ie. first sexual encounter = pregnant), and we all know what happens on the other side of the spectrum (ie. he was our happy unexpected little 'accident').
People want a certain number of kids for a variety of reasons - some want two or three because they were the only child in their family, and always thought how nice it would be to have a brother or a sister.
Some people want only one or two for practical financial reasons - kids cost money. Some want three, because that will fit into the back seat of a sedan nicely. Other couples want, and I quote - 'as many as she can produce' - *cue look of horror on poor wifey's face* because they came from large loving families themselves and wanted the same experience for their yet-to-be-born children.
I had a good think today about this question today, and my view is this - the number of children I have will be a reflection of my faith in humanity, my faith in the future of this world and my faith that we are leaving them a worthwhile inheritance and not a mess to clean up.
Currently, that number stands at