Siblings, Pregnancy and a Lesson in Expecting the Obvious

As we get closer to Bean’s imminent arrival, I’ve started to consider just how the heathens are going to adapt to the uncharted territory of a new baby. This is new ground for us, because when Bear was born, G-Man was only two-years old and our house had just burned down. We were too busy trying to get through the day-to-day to even focus on the usual introspection that a new baby brings. It was sink or swim back then, and we were in the midst of so much chaotic change that a new baby was barely a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Fast forward eight years, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a whole new ballgame.

When we told the boys that our family was about to expand by one, they both took it in stride. Sure, a new baby sounded epic, but with nine WHOLE months to wait, their goldfish-like attention spans soon dismissed the news as exciting, but not really any big deal. At least, not any more exciting than a new episode of Swamp People.

As we progress, the baby is still kind of an abstract concept to them, though we have experienced some moments of pure hilarity. The first occurred when Bear decided that the best way to talk to Bean would be to yell into my open mouth…after all, if food travels from our mouths to our stomachs, why not sound?

As my stomach balloons to cartoonish proportions, Bear constantly eyes it with suspicion, and frequently asks, “After you have the baby, you’re gonna to go back to normal, right?” Of course, I have to explain that my stomach will not shrink overnight, because I just know I have a “But you still LOOK pregnant!!” on the horizon, and no post-partum girl needs that kind of confidence booster. He also has a habit of referring to Bean as “your pregnancy,” as in he will ask “how is your pregnancy today?”

Yeah, he’s a strange one, that kid.

Meanwhile, G-man seems to take it all in stride, though he does laugh hysterically when random baby parts start protruding from my stomach. Other than that, he’s just laid back about the whole thing…perhaps deceptively so.

In all this pregnancy madness, my husband and I somehow missed the most OBVIOUS issue on the planet, because it sure didn’t come up when we announced the pregnancy to the kids. However, a couple of weeks ago, a conversation cropped up that I should have seen coming a mile away. Should’ve…Could’ve…Would’ve….

As we were eating dinner at the table, the kids and I were having our usual recap of everyone’s’ days. Out of left field, Bear looks at me and says, “So, Mom, how exactly did the pregnancy get into your tummy anyway?”

Cue the deer-in-headlights look from me. Seven dang months into my pregnancy, yet I am still blind-sided by this question.

Not only did I have NO answer for my inquiring 7 year-old, but my husband and I hadn’t even discussed what kind of approach we wanted to take with this topic should it ever come up. And the lucky man was still in Boston, so I couldn’t even throw him under the bus with the good, ol’, “Ask your Dad” response. You’d think that two reasonably intelligent adults could have anticipated this moment, but nooooo.

While my brain scrambled frantically for an answer, G-man looked up from his pasta, shrugged his shoulders and said, “stomach acid…duh!”

And I am such a dork that, before I could even stop myself, I muttered, “Yeah, what he said.”

About fifteen seconds later, I managed to collect myself enough to scrape together some nonsensical response about Dad and me discussing it, then God deciding to bless us and yada, yada, yada, but by then, they had already moved on to the Lego’s they wanted to buy with their allowance money.

Yeah, this is about to get very interesting.

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