My sister-in-law was over last night and she asked a question we’ve been receiving quite a bit lately…the question of whether or not Abigail understands that she’s going to be a big sister.
It’s a great question and over the past 8 months, I’ve revisited it many times because as time has passed, my answer has changed.
At the beginning of my pregnancy (months 0-4.5), there was no possible way she knew what was going on. First of all, she was only 12 months old and secondly, there was no physical evidence of a change (ie :: my belly hadn’t grown yet). How could she know?
But as the months flew by and as my belly started to expand, we were able to make it fun and ask her simple questions like, “Where’s the baby?!” It took her a few tries, but in no time her answer was clear – she’d pull up my shirt and point to my belly button (and yes, there were a few times where she’d pull up Daddy’s shirt and point to his belly button as well – kids are always good for a big laugh when you least expect it).
At this stage in my pregnancy and with the consistency of which we talk about Abigail’s baby sister, she seems to understand more and more every day what’s about to happen.
The best example came late last week when Daddy was out at a dinner and Abigail and I were relaxing on the couch watching a DVR’d episode of The Voice when she, without any prompts from Mommy, lifted up my sweatshirt and placed her beloved blankie on my belly. I was shocked. That act was swiftly followed by her carefully placing her milk bottle directly at my belly button. To Abigail, that must have meant she was not only sharing her blankie with her sister, but feeding her as well.
It was incredibly sweet and it made me smile from ear to ear.
Today she impressed me yet again after swim class. When we were walking back to the car, I asked her where Mac was and without a second of hesitation, she pointed to my belly. She even knows her name.
I can’t help but be surprised by her sometimes, but I guess that’s why you can never underestimate your kids no matter how young they are. They’re incredibly capable of learning and understanding, even when they’re only 19.5 months old.
Now the really big question is this :: when is she going to realize that the baby we bring home from the hospital in a month and a half isn’t going back anytime soon!?!
I’m sure I’ll have an answer to that question in the near future…