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Nombril du monde.

2008-05-09 - 11:54 a.m.

Just so y’all know, yes, Grommet knows I’m pregnant. She knows there’s a baby in my belly that will be her little brother, what his name is, and that he will be here “soon”.

“I love [Biscuit]!” she’ll declare, kissing my belly at random times throughout the day. “Good morning [Biscuit]!”, she’ll say brightly as the sun peeks in the window at (God help me) 5:45 am, giving the Belly a snuggle and taking advantage of the opportunity to surreptitiously kiss and poke my belly button, with which she has an odd fascination.

But does she really grasp what’s going on? I kind of doubt it. She might look forward to her little brother’s arrival, but I am 99% certain she has no clue what that will actually mean, or how much attention he will take away from her, the current center of the universe. Let’s face it, when J and I get all overtly snuggly and kissy it’s usually only a matter of seconds before she’s up in our grills demanding to be let in on the lovefest. I tremble to think to what degree this will be magnified when I’m nibbling on some luscious newborn toes, or allowing him access to the beloved boobs, from which she clearly felt prematurely cut off at the tender age of 17 months.

I know the general wisdom is to let her “help” with the new baby as much as possible. And yes, she has a doll baby and a couple of books on new babies invading the house / becoming a big sister. And yes, I may be surprised at how well and quickly she adjusts to the situation. But at the back of my mind is a whisper I cannot squash, insinuating in my thoughts, “But what if, despite anything you do and everything that you use to try to prepare her and help her with the adjustment, she hates the pint-sized interloper?”

I try to tell her as often as I can how much I love her and always will, and I believe that she will be all the richer for having this sibling, who is a gift to her as much as he is to J and I. I even believe that her relationship with her poor dad will improve since I’ve always been the “favoured” parent and now she’ll be doing a bit more with him than with me and get used to the idea of him putting her to bed regularly, etc. And I look forward to having our little family expand to include this new tiny member who will change all our lives.

But woe am I that the near-nightly ritual of it being just me and my daughter reading and snuggling together before bed is likely going to have to give way, at least some of the time, and at least for awhile.

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