Wednesday, September 30, 2009

William the Big Brother

We recently bit the bullet and told William that he's going to be a big brother. Whew. What a relief to check that off the "to do" list.

It went surprisingly well, too. David told him that a little baby is growing in Mommy's tummy, and in a few more months, we'll have a new baby who will be born and who will belong to our family. And William will get to be the Big Brother. He clapped and said, "Yay!" and proceeded to ask dozens of questions. (Seriously, could he ask any more questions? At one point, he noted that there is no door on Mommy's tummy, and will a doctor have to do surgery on it?) He is pretty convinced it's going to be a Baby Brother, but he will tell you that it could still be a Baby Sister. We'll find out for sure on October 15, so stay tuned on that front.

The thing that has been really wonderful about this has been William's complete embrace of the whole idea. He's made a list of things that he's going to help the baby do (learn to clap, learn to stomp, etc.). He's taken to asking me, in a very serious voice, "What else should we do to get ready for the baby?" And then he will begin ticking off a list of things that we need to buy or procure, the things that he believes we will need. And perhaps most surprisingly, he's been pretty accurate. All on his own, he's determined that the new baby will need a crib, diapers, pajamas, binkies, toys, bottles, and (eventually) baby food. At one point, he ran to the bathroom and dug out some of his own old binkies and volunteered to give them to the baby. (Why do we still have those things, is really the question there.) I told him that it might be better if I took him to the store and let him pick out some new ones, and he readily agreed.

Even better, William has already, completely on his own accord, offered his crib and his old baby gear, like his bouncy seat and swing, for his new baby sibling to use. I acted like it had never occurred to me that we'd use that stuff again and wow, wasn't William so smart and generous to let the new baby have them? He beamed like he'd been given a major award. He's very proud of the fact that he's a big boy now and doesn't need that stuff--and that he can share it with his new baby brother (or sister). I had worried that he might be possessive of those things, since they did belong to him first, but he's been very excited about the prospect of passing them down. I realize that there may still be some reluctance that could crop up when it actually comes time for a new small person to use his old stuff, but at least for now, he's totally on board with it. Since he believes it all to be his Grand Idea, he's very happy to be so magnanimous.

Obviously we're planning on using as many hand-me-downs as possible, but there are some things that really do need to be brand new. A couple of nights ago, I noted that we'd probably need to get the new baby a lovey of some sort, like William's Natty. William immediately volunteered to give his other Natty (we call him Backup Natty, and he lives in the bureau drawer for emergencies) to the new baby. "I already have a Natty," he told me. For some reason, that really touched me. Natty is one of the few things that is fundamentally (and always will be) William's. I bought it for him when he was just a couple of months old, and Natty has gone everywhere with us. The backup has gone to school and on trips, too, just in case something happens to the original. William's not willing to give up his lovey but he is willing to give up the next best thing, which he also really likes, and I think that's kind of cool, coming from a three-year-old. Also, he seems to really care that his new sibling will need a Natty, and who better to meet that need than the Big Brother?

I know, I know, there will definitely be some adjustment in William's future when the new baby is born and comes home to live in William's house forever. But I'm just glad that for now, he's really excited about the whole prospect and isn't worried or anxious. I hope we can encourage that attitude as much as possible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Well, maybe they did talk

I've been meaning to post this little anecdote because it cracked me and David up so much.

So William and I had a rather vehement disagreement in the car on the way home from church the other day. He insisted that dinosaurs could talk. He knows that there are no dinosaurs living today, but he kept insisting that when they did live, they could talk.

I said, "No, I'm pretty sure that only humans can talk." (Too early to get into philosophical arguments about what makes us human, what separates us from the animals, etc.)

William loudly objected. He said, "No! I saw talking dinosaurs on TV. They talked! They talked!"

I said, "Well, they were just pretend dinosaurs. You know they're not real because the dinosaurs are extinct. Those were just made-up dinosaurs you saw on TV."

(I know. I'm a real buzz kill. The next thing you know, I'm going to be telling him the truth about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.)

But William stubbornly insisted, "They did too talk! The paweontowogist [that's William for 'paleontologist'] on TV said they did!"

You think he watches too much TV?

Also, how do I argue with a paleontologist? When I was a kid and learning about dinosaurs, we didn't even know that they were related to birds. People practically thought the earth was still flat.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jim Wehweh

Tonight, I was finishing up a phone interview and checking some things on the computer, when William wandered into the office.

"Mommy, do you know Jimawella?" he asked in a very serious tone.

I stared at him blankly. "Jimawella? Jim wella? Gymboree?" I guessed.

"No, Mommy, Jim Wehweh!" he insisted. "Jim Wehweh!"

Finally, I realized what he was asking me about so urgently. He doesn't say "r" or "l" particularly well in some words, so it took me a few seconds. Apparently, he had finished watching his kiddie shows on PBS when the news came on. He was interested in it enough to watch the first few minutes, but he wasn't familiar with this new character that he was seeing.

You know, Jim Wehweh. It was the Jim Lehrer show. Jim Lehrer may not have the panache of a Sid the Science Kid or the get-up-and-go of the Super Readers, but he's been around an awful long time and has outlasted a whole bunch of other characters. Plus, he has that nice soothing Southern accent. (Yeah, I like him, too.)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Pukefest 2009

Oh boy, today's turned out to be a Pukefest.

And no, it wasn't me puking, for a change.

William barfed all over the hallway this afternoon. Thank God for the Oxyclean spray stuff that gets stains out of carpet, even watermelon and strawberry yogurt. I prayed that it was just a weird, random chance thing. But 15 minutes or so later, I found out that it wasn't. Oh well.

Right now, he's resting in his bed. The floor next to his bed is covered in towels, and he has a towel draped over him. There's an emesis basin next to the bed, too. It was in heavy use this afternoon while he puked his way through a few episodes of "Sid the Science Kid" and "SuperWhy!" Mostly it was just the water and ginger ale I had coaxed him to sip.

Luckily for both of us, I am fairly immune to the grossness of puking. I do it regularly myself, after all. And I've been a parent long enough to have gotten used to dealing with it from my offspring. I know there are people who'd disagree but I'd rather deal with some puke than an explosion from the, er, other end.

David's due home any minute with supplies from Publix. Hopefully we can coax some Pedialyte into William.

Today's blog post was brought to you by the letters E and W. And W. And another W.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Today was William's first day of preschool!

Sniff. He's growing up so fast. Next thing I know, he'll be asking to borrow the car keys.

But seriously, I don't know which one of us was more excited. Or ready.

"Let's get in the car, Mommy."

It was so weird getting William ready for school this morning. I was so accustomed to making sure I packed a backpack full of all his stuff, plus his enormous puffy nap mat, and lugging it all with me. This year, he has a tote bag that he carries all by himself. An empty tote bag. And that's it. No extra outfit (or two); the teachers keep an extra set of clothes at school. No blankey. No extra Natty. No diapers. "No PullUps!" William cheered. Just a tote bag, waiting to be filled with art projects, newsletters from the school, and notes from the teachers.

I dropped him off in his brand new classroom at 9 a.m. The school was a zoo. They won't start using the carpool line for drop-offs and pick-ups for another week, so everyone was straggling into the building. We had to stop and say hello to people along the way, too. We arrived in the classroom, hung up his totebag, and he scampered off to play with the trucks on the floor with several other boys--and he didn't look back.

And that was it. It was sort of anticlimactic, actually. I did try to snap a few pictures (that didn't turn out very well) but decided to go ahead and leave when I saw him get upset over something (a disagreement over a truck, I believe). Um, yeah, your teachers have reassured me that they know exactly how to handle this sort of thing, been doing it for years. See ya, kid.

Because it was the first day--I feel that I should capitalize those words and make them into First Day--they asked the parents of the three-year-olds to arrive at 11:45 a.m. for pick-up. Another change from the past: the three-year-olds have music class as their last activity of the morning, so the parents pick them up in the music room, not their classroom. Last year, we picked the kids up from their classroom, where, more often than not, half of them were still quietly and adorably snoozing inside their enormous puffy nap mats. Occasionally, William was one of those kids, but sometimes, he would be running around the room like a champion sprinter.

The door opened, and teachers been escorting children out into the hall and depositing them in the arms of their moms. (Yes, it was all moms. However, I do have to give a shoutout to the husbands of two of my friends, who have kids in William's class. They came to school this morning for drop-off.) William was about the fifth or sixth child to emerge. His teacher pointed him in my direction and said to me, "He had a good day! He played with the trucks and in the sand." William beamed a huge William smile. Then he threw his arms around me and nearly pulled me over in the hallway. As we walked to the car, he told me that he ate graham crackers for snack and that they sang songs in music class. Not a bad report from a three-year-old.

So I guess it went pretty well!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Three plus one equals four

Isn't it hard to believe that this little guy...

...eventually became this not-so-little guy?

(for the record, those are David's shoes. He's not that big yet.)

And since David and I have had three years now to develop amnesia about what it's like to have a tiny little needy baby in the house all the time, we thought, "Hey! Why not do it again?"

That's right. The Three Peas in a Pod are going to become Four Peas in a Pod pretty soon. Well, not that soon. Not soon enough for this pregnant lady, at any rate. William's going to be a big brother, sometime around the beginning of March.

This, folks, is what you might call the ultimate leap of faith. It will probably feel more imminent, of course, once I get over the All Day and All Night Ugliness that characterizes pregnancy for me. Right now, I'm excited in theory....but sick in practice. But we're definitely glad.

Um, and can I ask you all for a big favor? Can you reassure me that I'm not, in fact, crazy to have another one? I mean, I remember the last one (sort of), and I know there are going to be sleepless nights and all that. But can you tell me the benefits outweigh them? Thx.