We waited a bit longer than some. I was 32. Seems so young now, looking back, but at the time it seemed I had waited till my life was half over to get started with marriage and kids.
Once we got married we didn’t wait long for kids and not only that, we had the first two, the girls, fourteen months apart. My wife worked part time so that she could spend a good amount of her time at home with the kids. Lean times back then. We really had to watch what we spent. I had no idea how expensive kids are. In the brief period of our marriage before the little ones arrived, we would go to a high end grocery store near us and buy all sorts of exotic goodies for a home made gourmet meal. Dining out was a regular habit.
Then things changed, drastically changed. The first thing to go is sleep, but that is a topic for another time. The second thing is money. Diapers wipes and formula were near the top of our list of monthly expenses. With one, it was a bit of an ouch, but of course as they grow, they eat more, hence, more formula and well, more diapers too and let’s not forget wipes, powder, zinc oxide and the clothes that last for 30-60 days. The worst of it was when we had two in diapers and drinking formula at the same time. The cost of diapers and formula for each was the equivalent of a four-pack-a-day smoker chuggin’ down a half a bottle of Black Jack a day. They grew, they ate more and more. It seemed as though you could almost hear the sucking sound as the money left my wallet each time I stepped into the infant aisle at Target to restock on formula and diapers. Let’s not forget you had to lug this stuff around with you all the time, everywhere you went. To the store, church, daycare, playdates. My life revolved around formula and diapers. Livin’ the dream man, livin’ the dream. As with all things, you adjust and become accustomed to circumstances and life goes on.
But then it happened, I knew it was coming, but I hadn’t thought about the impact, the import of this moment, this life changing event. Our first child weaned off formula! We had just gotten a raise! This was an epic moment and an epiphany all at the same time. Not only was this a sizeable raise (reduction of expense to be honest) but it was only the first of four. Remember, we had two on formula and in diapers at the same time. Two to wean off diapers, two to potty train! This drain on the budget, this devouring expense was going to end! I could see the light at the end of the tunnel! I didn’t hear choirs of angels but it was close. Sure enough, time passed and we got another raise, and another, and another. With these historic changes came other benefits. I no longer walked like a hunchback with two girls in my arms and a diaper bag over one shoulder. They walked, they talked, they ate the same food we ate. But alas, the raises were short lived. Soon we discovered sports, and dancing, and gymnastics. Sigh, it was good while it lasted but at least we were done with diapers and formula! Or so I thought. I’m Pregnant! She said. My fortieth birthday present.