so, the other topic of interest brought up in the comments was about how we’re preparing jude for being a big sister.
i’ve talked a bit about the ongoing conversations here from time to time, but basically, it all goes like this:
every day, we discuss the baby. conversations usually begin after jude once again attempts to body slam my big belly, and i have to remind her to be gentle with mommy, because of the…? beebee, she says. yes! the baby! perfect icebreaker, right?
she loves to blow raspberries on my belly, to say hello to the beebee by speaking loudly into my belly button, and she’s now graduated to offering the beebee “big hugs” as well.
we ask jude if she is a baby. she usually says no, and backs it up with an emphatic head shake: she is a big kid. did she used to be a baby? yes, she concedes, she once was a baby. and so i bring up the topic of breastfeeding: how mommy used to nurse jude, but she’s a big kid now who drinks milk from a cup. sometimes she wants to check out the old restaurant, as it were. she asks to nurse. i remind her that i do not currently have milk (which isn’t entirely true; it’s colostrum time, folks!), and won’t till the baby comes. she understands, but pushes: try, mommy? jude try? so i let her try. and she doesn’t remember how to do it. (whew.) on most days, she’ll give up her attempt to nurse ask for a cup of milk. two days ago, however, she kind of lost her shit.
i gave her an ice cold cup o milk, and she threw it at me. and then she smacked me. then kicked me. then screamed, threw some toys and ran out of the room in what can only be described as a tizzy. i gave her a few minutes to calm down before approaching her. i asked, jude, are you angry? she nodded yes. i asked, are you angry because mommy doesn’t have any milk, and when she does again, it’ll be for the baby? yesh, she said out loud. then she broke eye contact from me and looked at my belly. sorry bebe, she said. big hug? and she gave my belly a big hug.
i was momentarily surprised that she was mad at the baby, and not me, but i also realized that she understands there is a person inside me with whom she can be angry. that makes me think she’s really getting it, as much as she can.
for the next half hour or so, jude pretended to be a baby, which she has never really done before. she developed a pretend baby cry; a perfect whah, whah. h and i shrugged our shoulders and played along. we asked aloud what we could do to comfort the baby, and she supplied us with several suggestions. we took turns cradling her like a newborn, burping her, singing to her, etc.
then her gabby and pop pop arrived at our house, and the game was over. she was jude the big kid again. she hasn’t reverted since.
so yeah, that is where we are with prepping jude for big sisterhood. we’re talking talking talking all the time, and letting jude do what she needs to do to communicate and cope with all this change.
[translation: we’re winging it. and wondering how she’ll actually be when ziggy is actually born.]