Aside from the frequent questions about when I’m due, the other thing people seem most interested in these days is whether my toddler knows what’s coming. I usually respond, “Yes and no.
If you ask her questions about the baby, she answers them.
“What’s in mommy’s tummy?”
“When is Boo coming?”
“Soon, not right now.”
“Are you excited to meet Boo?”
“Yes! I big sister Boo! But Boo take my toys & make me sad."
She knows that I have to birth the baby and she knows how it’s going to happen. We have a really cool birth doll that was generously gifted to us and she loves pretending to be the midwife when we play with it. We watch homebirth videos together on YouTube and she cheers for the midwives and yells at the daddies to get out of the way when they block the camera. She knows that some mommies have babies in “swimming cools” and that they have to work really hard to get the babies out – but that the noises the mommies make are ok, so there’s no need to be scared.
We’re still not sure whether she’ll be present for the birth itself, and we’re not necessarily planning on it (would be nice if she slept through the whole thing, frankly). But we want her to know as much as she can, just in case.
If you ask her what’s going to happen when Boo comes, she’ll tell you that “midwifes catch Boo” and “mommy go unnnnnhhhhh and push Boo out.” The way she screws up her face while mimicking the pushing face kills me every single time.
But although she can tell me all of this clearly and coherently, I’m not convinced she truly gets it. Does she know a baby is coming? “Yes!” Does she realize that baby is going to live here forever? Maybe. Does she understand that the baby is going to change our family dynamics and that mommy is going to have to spend a lot of time caring for the baby and that we’re all going to have very good days together, and quite possibly, very very bad ones?
Not a chance. She is just 2, after all.
Like any family, we have some huge transitions ahead of us in coming weeks and months, but I’m really excited about it all nonetheless. I really think Poppy is going to be an amazing “Big Seeeser!” as soon as we are all able to settle in a bit and figure each other out.
How did your children transition to a new little one in the house? Did you have that moment that most families laugh about when an older sibling asked when the baby was leaving again? Were you surprised by how well they handled the transition or was it more difficult than you imagined?