My pregnancy is inescapable these days. I've even started to do 'the waddle', the weight of my belly coupled with loosening pelvic ligaments means it's easier for me to move forward by lurching from side to side while swinging my legs forward than it is to walk normally. I let out an involuntarily 'oof' noise whenever I bend. The other day I dropped my car keys, and sighed, looking around as if to say 'anybody, help? please don't make me pick these up by myself'.
I look like a bad actor portraying a pregnant woman.
Obviously all this has not gone unnoticed by Anna. So the question is, how is she coping with the idea of being bumped along the food chain?
For months, apart from sporting her own phantom pregnancy, she really couldn't have cared less. In fact she could hardly be engaged on the subject. The first I heard of it was when one of her little school friends went crying to her Mum saying that Anna's Mom was going to have a baby sister and that she wanted one too. I was completely gobsmacked that Anna was even thinking about creature #2 let alone bragging. Things have changed though, and her baby sister is literally in her face. Nose to distended navel. We like to talk about how much work baby #2 is going to be, and how Anna will be my 'big helper'. She is assisting me in 'decorating' the baby's room which is beginning to take shape (although as you can tell by the photos below - we still need to paint). We bought a lovely changing table/dresser on Craigslist last weekend which Anna covered liberally in sea glass. How baby friendly! We have also unearthed all of Anna's old baby toys.
Now, several people have told me that when a new baby arrives your older child will regress in some way. Some will revert to toddler-style temper tantrums, others will lose ground with potty training (please God, no). Anna is embracing her babyhood. The arrival of all her old baby toys means that's all she wants to play with. She's even started to demand we watch her old 'Baby Einstein' DVDs again. We draw the line when she starts 'pretending' to be a baby. Lying on her back waving her limbs in the air talking gibberish. It's laughably transparent. "Look! We don't need to introduce a new baby - I can be all the baby you'll ever need!".
We're trying to let her know that we loved her when she was an infant, but we love her even more now - now that she's a big girl and so accomplished. We try to emphasize all the things she's capable of that 'Fahan' won't be able to do, like helping to bake cookies, running through puddles, and drawing monsters - all the important stuff. It doesn't seem to be working though.
Anyone have any advice or suggestions in this area? So far we're humouring her, I assume it's a phase that she'll just work her way through, but right now I'm wondering just how far this regression is going to go.