A SHARP LIFE: Two is the loneliest number

Once my wife and I decided to have a third child we knew we would be outnumbered. We knew this for two reasons. First, because we both can count past two. Second, because at least once a day someone said, “Three kids, well you’ll be outnumbered.”

I can only assume people kept saying this because they didn’t know about our highly advanced mathematical skills. Or perhaps they had just learned the complex mathematical formula that three is larger than two and they were showing off. I can only speculate. Then we got pregnant with baby number four and suddenly everyone had a Ph.D. in math. The realization that four was indeed larger than two was something that people assumed we were unable to puzzle out on our own, so they continued to point out that four is a larger number than two.

Alas, we were able to deduce all on our own that we were outnumbered. What we were unaware of, and what no one seemed to be talking about, were the true implications of the numbers of children in a household exceeding the number of parents. Sure, it makes going out in public more difficult. We now each parent a zone as opposed to parenting a specific child or children. This is most inconvenient when the children overload your zone and you find yourself trying to keep up with three children while your spouse tracks a solitary small human. When this happens I always want to start yelling, “Overload! Overload! Overload!”

Zone defense, however, is not the most concerning part of being outnumbered. The biggest worry about being numbered is something we encountered this week – the possibility of a children’s coup. Tonight the 6-year-old zoologist announced that the kids were having a kids-only meeting. Immediately I was concerned. I had begun to suspect something was up. The 4-year-old Ballerina’s sudden interest in military strategy. The 2-year-old Demolitions Expert continually asking me to read to her about the Boston Tea Party. The seven-month-old Jedi’s first words being, “Viva la revolucion!” The signs were all there.

Fortunately for us it doesn’t seem that the revolutionaries are going to get much accomplished. Since I had to take the Jedi to the meeting I saw the whole thing breaking down before it even began. The Zoologist and the Demolitions Expert almost came to blows over the location of the meeting, and it was all downhill from there. I dropped off the Jedi for the meeting and made my way back to the living room confident that there would be no coup tonight.

But just to be safe I moved some snacks and bottles of water to the bedroom. We can’t be too safe. We are outnumbered after all.