When we were expecting Elma Kitty was only a little older than Elma is now; she could just about get her head around the concept of a baby, I’m not certain she connected it in any meaningful way to my bump, although she used to come and lean her head against it and talk to it, and generally as long as there was still Mama and Daddy she didn’t really mind what was going on in her world.
It’s astonishing the difference that a couple of years can make, from a turning two year old to a rapidly approaching four year old.
This time, she’s really switched on about the baby in Mummy’s tummy, and I love that she’s so excited about it all, it makes it more of a shared experience somehow, rather than something that we’re just imposing on her again. She’s ready to tell anyone who listens about “when Baby Pinky comes …” though whether the reality of another newborn is quite what she’s expecting only time will tell.
So I was really pleased that this past weekend she successfully stalked Little Bump for a kick. She’d tried before but either the tiniest member of the family had been feeling a little snoozy, or she’d not really been sure what she was supposed to be waiting for and wandered off.
Most of my movement so far has been pretty low down which makes it difficult too, but at the weekend the kicks seemed to have moved up and out; little thumps setting my tummy jumping away that suggest to me that at least at that time Little Bump was trying out head down and doing a little stretching in the meantime (for the record I think he or she is back to feet down again but at 25 weeks it scarcely matters, there’s still plenty of time and plenty of room for that all important turn).
What all that up top kicking did mean was that it was much easier to find a place for Kitty to feel a kick, and then another one, and then another one, and then, well she comes up to me quite a lot now asking where Baby is, and whether she’s awake (not a Freudian slip on my part – she’s decided that it’s another sister and that’s that).
And when Little Bump isn’t performing on demand Kit will come up to me pushing her tummy out so that I can feel her baby kick (“but my baby is just pretend Mummy!), or running around with a hand under her skirt making pretend baby kicks for whoever can be persuaded to “feel the baby”.
She’s been recalculating the family too; telling anyone who will listen that when “Baby Pinky” arrives there will be five children in the family, and thereby fuelling my secret and very irrational fear that the bump might just contain Little Bump and just a couple of hidden twins; after all, this is the girl who drew two sisters on the family portrait she made at Nursery for Christmas, long before we let alone she knew that that might be a possibility!
But I think my favourite moment might just be the point at which she sat down next to me on her bed as I was folding the laundry, snuggled up to my side, put her hand on the bump and turned to me with earnest curiosity:
“Mummy? How does Baby Pinky get out of your tummy?”
We’re only one step away from “how did he or she get in there”, please send help – and chocolate!