"When I'm a big sister . . . "

Does anyone know where I can rent a child for a day? A temporary sibling, if you will. I need one with some basic Candyland and Chutes & Ladders skills. Play-Doh and dress-up abilities a plus. Salary commensurate with experience. Forward resume with references.

When I finally became a mom, I felt so blessed, so fortunate, that I dared not wish for anything more (i.e. another child). Even now, nearly four years after her birth, I still walk into my daughter's room and think, "It really happened!" I must confess, though, that there are days when keeping an only child entertained is a bit of a challenge.

You may wonder why, then, we have not taken steps to expand our clan from three to four. There are several reasons, including the fact that I'm getting older . . . and creakier. Also, the adoption was financially expensive and emotionally expensive. Do we regret a single second of it? Absolutely not. But, we knew from the outset that we'd only travel the infant path once. Even in those early days of getting up three times a night for feedings, I never complained (or at least I tried really, really hard not to) because I realized those days would pass all too quickly and I would never know them again. We were free to pour all of our love, our resources, our time into this one tiny human. Our computer's hard drive hosts more photos of our child than the number of days she's been on the planet. Obnoxious, I know.

We have left one door open, however. When A is older, we may consider adopting a child through the state. We feel it's important that our daughter is the oldest, so it would be a child younger than she but not so young that we'd be changing diapers again. We haven't given this scenario a lot of thought, probably because there is so much to consider that it's almost overwhelming (what do we do about bedrooms? can we handle a second college fund? childcare? ack!) Realistically, it's more likely that a second adoption won't happen. We are just leaving that door cracked open ever so slightly.

Lately, the kid has been making random comments like, "When I'm a big sister . . . " She has not, however, asked specifically about having a sibling. I think she may be under the impression that one automatically becomes a big sister as part of the growing up process. For now (and possibly right up until college), she has to make do with her dad and me. I played three rounds of Candyland with her on Sunday. I rigged the cards to let her win two out of three times. Sometimes, keeping her in a good mood is more important than "building her character."

I'm usually the one to take her out of the house to various activities and events. A's dad is the one who attends most of the tea parties and such. I'm good for a few rounds of Chutes & Ladders, but I have the attention span of a gnat. He, on the other hand, will sit on the floor with her and play with Diego's rescue center for eons. By the way, I regret to inform you that Diego is no longer able to run the rescue center because, thanks to our new dog Gretchen, Diego is now a triple amputee. Not to worry, though - Baby Jaguar is now running the center quite capably. Sometimes Dora comes over and pitches in. She's a'ight, that Dora.