Why the World Was Made for Families of Four

The other day I saw on Facebook that a friend, who has two kids already, updated her status stating that she feels like she wants to have a third child. I commented that if she feels that way still, after remembering the lack of sleep, gross greenish-yellow gooey diapers, sore boobs and bleeding nipples, outrageous weight gain, mind-numbingly painful contractions, etc, then she should go for it. This would grow her family to the size of five members, the same as I have. Honestly, I love having a five member family, maybe it's I because grew up in one. 

However, there are few things you must consider when upping the ante from 4 to 5. 

As my family has grown to the size of five people, I have noticed that the world wasn't created for an odd number of family members. To start, restaurant seating is an issue. In a booth, seating two people on each side is perfect, squeeze 3 in on one side and problems arise. Add a chair on the end instead and the waiter ends up spilling drinks on that unlucky person or he or she gets bumped in the back of the head every time another patron walks by. Other tables at restaurants are usually square and were clearly designed for one chair on each side, leaving no room for that 5th person to comfortably sit.

Family vacations are trickier to plan. This past year we ventured to Disney World. Truly amazing trip, but most of the amusement park rides seat 2 in a row. So for a family of 5, seated in two rows, that leaves someone out. Standard hotel rooms are made for four people so if you don't want to squeeze three people into a queen bed, you will have to pay more for a cot or shell out the cash for a suite or 2nd room. And what if you want to sit on a bench together after walking miles around the zoo? Four people fit nicely, but more than that and Kid 1 is screaming at Dad because Kid 2 is touching him and Kid 3 wants to sit by Mom but Kid 2 is taking up too much space... You see my point?

Can't forget the, "Win a free trip to wherever" drawings. It's great that you want to have a fundraiser or give a prize away for your cause or from your company, but I have yet to see a "Free tickets for 5" drawing anywhere. It's always, "Family 4-pack" deals, or win a "Family of Four" dream vacation. Well what happens if I win it? I have a family of five. Do we just have a survival of the fittest battle and whoever loses stays back? Or will I be able to have the option of purchasing seats, rooms, tickets (whatever) for a fifth if I win? And if so, it's not really "free" if I have to pay more simply because my family size doesn't fit into your description of the average sized family. Most the time I just walk by the drawing box and skip risking it.

Everything useful is sold in units that can be evenly divided by two or four. Eggs, juice boxes, fruit snacks, Lunchable 2-packs, cases of pop, Pop Tarts, granola bars, hot dogs... So many packages leave you with an odd item left over that after even distribution I have gotten really skilled at quickly slipping the extra out of sight and making it disappear before prying eyes can notice. I'm talking like magician-caliber skills. I will say now that I have a second grader who can read and do math, this trick is getting harder and harder to pull off.

Buy one get one free is similar. Need five? You either don't get the deal on the extra one or you do the deal and then end up with the additional "free" item that everyone fights over. Usually it's the oldest kid that tries to figure out the best solution. "Okay, since the Snack Pack comes with four pudding cups, us kids all get one, but since there are four cups, and I am the oldest, I get the other one." That makes pretty good sense to me I guess (but, like him, I was the oldest kid in my crew growing up too). The younger two never seem quite as convinced of his reasoning though.

I could go on, but you get my point.

Now I'm not saying that the world discriminating against families of three, five or any other odd number should be a deciding factor in determining how many kids you choose to have. That would be kind of crazy. I get that. And I truly wouldn't change a thing about my own perfectly-sized family.

But you can't say I didn't warn you.

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