Brian: Helen, we've got some very important news for you that's going to change the rest of your life.
Helen: I've got Fruit Rollup tongue!
Not sure if the folks in my generation and/or their parents have seen Fruit Rollups lately, but these things have morphed into my mother's worst nightmare. They look and taste nothing like fruit anymore. Remember how they vaguely resembled flattened strawberries, complete with the seeds? Now they're dried up sheets of Kool-Aid. Plus, they have these edible bluish-greenish patterns printed on them that can create a tongue tattoo. Of course, at the tender age of almost 3, she doesn't have the patience to figure out how to make a tattoo stick to such a rapidly moving object. She just shoves a Fruit Rollup in her mouth in about 2 bites flat. So, now she's eaten a 6-inch square of flat red sugar, and her tongue and lips are slightly blue. I can't tell if she's unable to breathe, or if she's seconds away from bouncing off the walls - neither of which is a great prospect.
Anyway, I started all of that to mention that Helen is so excited about this baby. She tells me all the time, "Mom, I love your baby." She wants to name it after one of her daycare teachers, and she tells anyone who asks that her mommy has a baby in her tummy. She's thrilled to be a big sister, and she insists that she will share her toys with the baby. We've learned a little lesson in how to hold a baby with her new Cousin M., and after seeing her pregnant aunt at Christmas, then visiting in the hospital and hearing that the baby came out of her tummy and now we can hold the baby - EASY, BE EASY, VERY SOFT, THAT'S IT - she really, really gets it.
So, a special thanks to my sister for going through all of this ahead of me, and for being a perfect object lesson for Helen. You knew you did this for a reason, right? I'm sure you're thrilled you could help us out.
One of Helen's classmates at daycare will have a little sister next month, so they've been comparing notes in class, I think. The other girl wants to name her little sister "Tutti-Frutti." Wow. Not so bright at this age, are they?
Helen lifts up my shirt at the slightest whim and tries to "see" the baby through the belly button. I've put her hand on my belly to see if she can feel the baby kick, but of course the baby doesn't even try to kick once Helen's noise level approaches my torso. I should use her as a calming effect more often. I've noticed this baby kicks FAR more than Helen did. The ultrasound was a hoot - at one point it looked like the baby was riding a bicycle, she was kicking her legs so much.
Speaking of which, Helen was an unexpected guest at our second ultrasound. She was sick that day, banned from daycare for a fever, and I had no one who could stay with her. Nor did I have enough notice to change the appointment. I promise, I am not in the habit of bringing my toddler to a doctor's office that doesn't have a pediatrician in it. She was threatened within an inch of her life to be good that day, but I shouldn't have worried. She was fantastic, even if she didn't quite get what the ultrasound looked like. And I don't blame her - those things are notoriously hard to see for the uninitiated. The pictures ended up in her room, where she can look at them as much as she wants, and as I was putting her to bed tonight, I found them under the covers.
That girl is excited to have a sister on the way. I just hope she remembers to maintain this level of excitement later on.