We've got a bit of situation on our hands. It seems that I am not the only one in this household who is with child. Bryn tells us that she is pregnant with twins and will be delivering them any day now.
This actually started back in July, when we traveled to Peoria for a friend's wedding. While we were there, Bryn announced to Grandma and Grandpa that she had a baby in her belly. We weren't sure where she got the idea at that time, since we hadn't told her that I was pregnant yet. We kind of assumed that she was just playing pretend and that the idea would pass soon enough.
In the weeks following the wedding, Bryn continued to talk about her baby. She decided that it was a boy, and she named him Clark. (Those remembering her Superman obsession will get this reference.)
I eventually decided to use "her" baby as a jumping-off point to discuss the one that I will be having. I was trying to explain to her that we don't always know if a baby is going to be a boy or a girl before it comes, and I asked her, "What if your baby is a girl?" She thought about this very seriously for a few minutes, and then announced, "Then I will name her Lois Lane." I laughed and told her that was just fine. But after this discussion, she apparently decided that she wanted both a boy baby AND a girl baby, and now she tells everyone that she has two babies in her belly, and their names are Clark and Lois Lane.
Cute, right? Yes, but it's getting out of hand.
When Bryn saw me taking my prenatal vitamins, she asked what they were, and I explained that they were medicine to help my baby grow big and strong. She then demanded that she be allowed to take medicine for HER babies. This was okay, as we'd been trying to get her started on vitamins anyway. What is not okay is that every single morning now, she announces, "I need my medicine for my babies!"
When she saw me getting out of the shower one day, she asked me why my stomach was growing. I told her it was because the baby was growing inside there. I went to get dressed, and when I came back to the bathroom, I found that she had stripped down and was examining her own belly in front of the full-length mirror. "Look, Mommy, my babies are making my belly grow too!"
When her preschool class did a lesson on families, they made these really cute little tree crafts with a leaf for each member of the family. At the end of class, though, her teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I was having twins. I said no, and she asked why, then, Bryn had wanted to put leaves on her tree for two babies. *Sigh.*
I tried to have a reasonable discussion with her about this a few weeks back, asking her who she thought was going to take care of her babies when they came. We talked about all the things that babies need, and after thinking about it, she said, "That is a lot of work. You will need to take care of my babies for me, Mom." (Please, please, please do not let her repeat this statement during her teen years!!!)
Now that she has had babies in her belly since July (after all, 3 months are a very long time when you're 3 1/2), she is getting very impatient for them to come out. She keeps telling me that they will come soon, and she is determined that hers will come before mine. Sometimes she even gets upset and cries and says that she wants them to hurry up and come out. And how will they be coming out? Through her belly button. Or at least that's what she tells me.
Recently she came and got me during naptime with a very panicked look on her face. Completely seriously, she said, "Mommy, I think my babies are about to come out!" I had no idea what to do with that, so I sent her back to bed. This incident was closely followed by a very serious pooping incident that I will avoid describing. Let it suffice to say that she seems to fully understand that babies make your belly feel pretty gross sometimes.
The other day, while eating breakfast, Bryn took a bite of cereal, chewed, swallowed, rubbed her belly, and said, "Yum-o! That is good to baby Clark!" Then she took another bite and said, "And that bite is to Lois Lane." So it seems that she does understand that babies live in their mommies' bellies and need their mommies' food to stay healthy. What she does NOT seem to understand is that she does not ACTUALLY have babies in HER belly.
While this was all super-cute at the beginning, and it actually has given me a springboard to discuss pregnancy with her, it's all getting rather out of hand. I sat her down and had a talk about how my baby is real and her baby is pretend. She agreed and went along with this for about two days, until I realized that she doesn't know what "pretend" means. I then told her that my baby is "real" and hers is "just for play," and she got very agitated with me, insisting that hers is real too.
Our contingency plan was to buy her some baby dolls when my baby comes and tell her that they were her babies. When I tried to talk to her about this, though, she got very upset and told me that hers would be real babies, that cry and need to be rocked and like to drink milk.
So, friends, short of running out and adopting two more babies (which I would love to do, by the way!), any ideas on how to resolve this? :)