I don’t think I pride myself on being odd, but probably couldn’t hurt to explore that with a therapist in the near future. Nevertheless the fact that my husband is a stay-at-home dad, we homeschool, and now this strange baby news has many people scratching their heads in our general direction. As she shook her head in delight/concern/disgust/confusion I joked “Actually, we just thought we’d hit the biology lesson right out of the ballpark with this one, the girls are getting a full 9 month crash course on fetal development and pregnancy!” She laughed and left, still shaking her head.
Of course we didn’t plan this pregnancy to be a glorified homeschool lesson (but it is surely a pin out in the Pinterverse somewhere!), though watching the girls learn and absorb all of the happenings has been nothing short of educational and highly entertaining.
I let Carolyn be the first to see the pregnancy test results, her eyes got wide and she stammered “M-M-Mom! There’s two... There’s TWO lines!” Since that night she has followed her Baby Development app religiously, able to quote current baby size whenever asked. The girls have accompanied me to each doctor’s appointment, ready with their questions when the doctor asks if I needed anything else? Julia asks me daily “how many more days until our sonogram” as they count down to find out if baby is a brother or sister. They have been planning a gender reveal party for weeks, with backup plans in the case we find out it is twins. And they argue over which days of the week will be each of their responsibility for full baby care.
After reading the description of the hospital’s “Sibling” class online I’ve decided I’m going to enroll them in the “Newborn Care” class instead. They would be offended to be told “not to poke the baby’s eyes”, after all, Julia has been serving in the nursery for nearly a year, and she’s practically ready to run her own daycare. Brandon and I will accompany them if for no other reason then to remind them to let someone else ask a question or have a turn with the diaper-changing-doll. I find I spend as much time daydreaming about what kind of big sisters they will be as I do wondering what this baby will be like. I catch myself thinking “7 and 9 are the BEST ages” but then I remember that I thought the same thing when they were 1 and 3, 2 and 4, 3 and 5... you get the idea.
And this is why we’re diving into parenthood for a round 3. Because when they are yours they drive you mad, both in love and insane. Carolyn gave me a glimpse of adolescents Saturday morning when she huffed “you never think of my needs!” because I had not planned a full day of pool play and macaroni-and-cheese eating. And then she returned to me within an hour to say “sorry” and climb up in my lap. It’s an adventure that brings all of the highs and lows that any good adventure should, and I’m incredibly grateful that these two girlies will be along for this one, as fantastic siblings to be sure, sideline entertainers when need-be, encouragers always, and just plain kids as their primary jobs should be for the time being.