I'm not going to talk about the toddler tantrums that are rampant in our house (especially this morning). Or the fact that I am about to actively start seeking out the gypsies (maybe they'd also take the cat). Instead, I'm going to focus on yesterday early evening when she (and I and Londo) was in a good mood.
The Pumpkin was happily climbing on the couch and then playing with her kitchen toys. I had been wanting to officially tell her about the pregnancy and her becoming a big sister, so Londo and I determined that then was as good a time as any.
We tried to get the Pumpkin's attention, but when she actually turned to us from her kitchen, it was to pass daddy a plate. Finally, Londo just said it.
Londo: Pumpkin, you are going to be a big sister!
Pumpkin doesn't even turn around and keeps playing with her kitchen.
caramama: Pumpkin, look! Mommy has a baby in her belly!
Pumpkin turns around and holds out a fork: Mommy fork!
That was of course just the response we were hoping for! ;-) We knew it was likely she wouldn't get it. She's almost 22 months and none of her friends or cousins have younger siblings (yet). We pretty much assumed it would sound like the Peanuts adults to her (waa waa waa waa), but we finished telling her about how she was going to be a big sister and that the baby in mommy's belly was growing. And I feel much better that we actually told her rather than talk about it around her and with other people in front of her.
Now, we will continue to talk about it around her and to her. In addition, we will buy some books and watch some shows about new babies and being a big sister. We've got five months (holy moley!!! Five months???) to get her ready for the new baby. I think it will also help when my stomach grows more and she can feel it move from the outside.
The one thing we have done at this point is to get her a few baby dolls with different accessories (other great gifts from Christmas) and start to mimic the care of a baby on her dolls. She was already really into putting diapers on her stuffed animals and pretending to feed them by putting them in her highchair. I'm hoping to continue this with her dolls and start to translate the thought to a real baby.
And in odd timing the past few months, the Pumpkin has been pointing to my nipples and saying "Mommy's nurse" which is her way of saying that those are my nipples (she started calling them nurse on her own). A couple days ago, she pointed to her belly button and said, "Pumpkin's nurse!" I corrected her by showing her where her nipples were and told her that they were also called nipples. The point of this paragraph is to say that I'm glad she remembers them and the term nurse, because I do plan to breastfeed the coming baby and I hope this helps her understand what I'm doing.
Finally, Londo and I are trying to stop referring to the Pumpkin as the baby. She will always be our baby, but we don't want to confuse her or cause undue jealousy of being replaced as the baby. So we are going to phase out calling her baby now before the next child comes.