My husband and I wondered for several weeks toward the end of the first trimester when and how we would tell the boys about baby number three.
I read articles about creating a comfortable environment in which my children would be able to express conflicting feelings, and I would tell them that I have felt happy and anxious at times, too. I would guide them through the complex emotional landscape known as Momma Is Having Another Baby.
We finally decided that we would tell them on a weekend. I did not want to tell them on a weeknight because I didn't want any anxiety about the news to affiliate itself with bedtime. I then read an article confirming that bedtime was the wrong time to reveal our big news. Good. So we were on track to be amazing parents.
And the best laid plans . . . confronted an bumped into an ordinary Thursday night, after dinner:
Bug, standing on the couch, looked down at my belly - which the third time around is noticeable even in the first trimester.
He said, "Why is your belly so big?!?"
I just looked at him and said, "What?" (A tactic I use whenever I am trying to avoid answering a question.)
Bug repeated, "Why is your belly SO big?!? Why is it so fat?!?"
I looked at my husband in the other room and said, "[Bug] wants to know why my belly is so big."
My husband smiled.
Bug kept staring at my belly, then up at my face, then back at the belly.
He smiled and asked in a whisper, "Is there a baby in there?"
"Yes," I replied.
"What baby?!?" he exclaimed.
"A new baby that will be here in the spring," I answered, wondering if I was about to find out how capable I would be as a guide through the complex emotional landscape known as Momma Is Having Another Baby.
Bug got pretty excited and jumped around saying a few nonsensical sentences.
Squish had been jumping around on the couch near Bug for most of this exchange. At some point, I heard my husband tell Squish that he was going to be a big brother.
Squish acknowledged the news by puffing out his three-year-old belly and proclaiming, "I have a baby in my belly, too!"
Then it was business as usual for both of them. Time for the bath. Pretty small emotional landscape, if we had journeyed across one at all. Apparently, we're ready. All four of us.