My niece was full of wonder at my big ole pregnant belly when we visited on Boxing day a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, so am I but it’s a lot cuter coming from a three year old.
“What is that big belly for?” she asked, several times through the day.
Her mother and I would explain that there was a baby growing in there, just like she grew in her mommy’s belly. She would look at me funny but seemed to accept the explanation and went on to the next Christmas toy, only to have the same question pop up again an hour or so later.
Fast forward to bedtime, laying on her bed and reading a story.
“What is that big belly for?”, she asked again.
“Remember? I told you there’s a baby growing in there! A new cousin for you that you’ll be able to meet in about two months”.
“Well, the baby needs to grow in there a little bit more. You remember how big baby Lucy was [another cousin who recently visited]? The baby needs to grow almost that big before he comes out and meets you”.
She put my hand on my belly and I said, “Sometimes I can feel the baby move in there”.
“Well, because someitmes he needs to stretch and he pushes on my belly because there’s not a lot of room in there”, I responded.
She looked at my belly, the gears in her mind grinding away. “Poor baby”, she said, realizing how cramped the baby must be in there.
And back we went to the story book, me thinking that her curiosity was satisfied. A few moments later she abruptly pulled up my shirt and began looking at my belly again, putting her hand on it. I thought, “How cute! She wants to feel him move!”.
But then she put her arm up in the air and came down on my belly with a big ole slap that smacked out really loudly! I’m still not sure what was going through her mind to make her do that but her face wasn’t angry or upset so all I can imagine is that it was still curiousity and her way of saying hello. All I could do was laugh and then she laughed and we went back to the book.
A few minutes later she said, “How will the baby come out of there?”.
I said, “Well … ” and I looked at her and back at the book. Then I looked at her. And then back at the book.
All the while I was thinking that really the only two explanations were a) the bellybutton, which is freaky enough to give her alien-like nightmares (even to a 30-year-old) or b) the truth, which seemed a little deeper than I wanted to get with her over Dr. Seuss.
So I just ignored the question and we went back to the book. When I went back downstairs, I gave her mother a good warning of the questions she was going to get the next day. Apparently she didn’t but she DID go around all day sticking her belly out and saying she was me.
Too frigging cute.