(Note: This is second in the series of conversations between me and my four year old son about his getting a sibling.
For the first article, please click here.
I resisted telling Luc about the baby until I was five months pregnant. I didn't get into where the baby was right now with Luc; and for good reason. If you have ever spent more than five minutes with a four year old you would know that they can sling a question of "why's" at you until you feel that you truly have exhausted all possibilities of why we wear a belt with our pants. I was dreading the endless number of questions about the baby's whereabouts and figured that I'd jump off that bridge when I got to it. (Frankly, let him learn about the birds and the bees on the playground like the rest of us did.)
Everyone guaranteed me that Luc would never notice the protruding belly so I didn't have to tell him about the new brother for quite a while. It is just starting to become more obvious to adults that I'm pregnant; I never imagined Luc would notice. Four year olds are still self-involved and plus, he is a boy. I regularly come home with different hairstyles and he doesn't even raise an eyebrow.
Luc is a very indirect type of person. For example, in the mornings Luc will ask, "is today a regular day?" Which really means, "do I have to get dressed and go to school, or can I lay around in my pajamas for hours and watch Clifford on TV?" Luc cannot have chocolate milk (or any chocolate product for that matter) after four o'clock in the afternoon--it just makes bedtime so much more pleasant if he doesn't. When Luc asks, "What time is it Mommy?" He really just wants to make sure it's not past four so he can say "Aha! I CAN have chocolate milk!"
A couple of weeks ago, Luc called me to his room when he was supposed to be going to sleep. I went up to visit and see what the problem was. He was lying on his bed and he said, "Mommy, can you lay with me?" I am now in my fifth month and battling the daily heartburn so I said, "well, I can't lay down Luc. Mommy's belly hurts a bit and I'm going to have to go soon and get some Tums." He said, "I think I know why your tummy hurts." With my head in my hands I yawned and said, "yea?" He said, "Yea...see...there's something sticking out of your belly." Completely oblivious to what he was getting at, I said, "No, that's just my nightgown poofing out." He said, "No, it's not. See, it's all round right here" and he smoothed my nightgown across my belly. I snickered and said, "Yea, maybe that's the problem." I was exhausted and didn't want him dragging out bedtime any longer than he needed to so I just left it at that, kissed him on the forehead, and smiled my way back to the living room.
A week or so passed and we were on our way Upstate to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Luc decided to curl up on my lap while sitting on the early morning Ferry. We sat together and he said, "Mommy, see there's something sticking out here. It's all round right there." Unable to hide in the darkness of his room he saw me smile at him. I said, "Yea, you're right. So what do you think is in there?" He grew quiet and then a small smile came across his face. He brought his hands up to his mouth and whispered, "Maybe it's a puppy!" I laughed and called him a "kookamunga" (sesame street slang for "crazy.")
My husband told me that Luc asked him where his new brother Max was the other day. I find it interesting that my son would fish with me but be direct with his equally indirect father. (Mental note; ask a professional about that one). So while we were re-arranging the oodles of toys in the basement I said, "Daddy told me that you were wondering where Max is." He turned his head and quickly said, "Yea, where is he?" I said, "Well, he's in my belly." I pointed at my stomach and quickly explained that all babies start out in their Mother's belly and that my stomach will get bigger as Max gets bigger and eventually we'll go to the hospital and the Doctor will take him out. He said, "How does the doctor do that?" I said, "Oh, they have special tools" making sure to avoid his eyes.
I went back to my cleaning and Luc said, "I don't think that Max is in there." I said, "well, why do you think it's sticking out?" He said, "well, I think it's because you ate so many flat pancakes (crepes) this morning for breakfast."
2003 Claudine M. Jalajas