I hoped to share this news months ago, but until recently have been feeling crummy, which caused me to procrastinate writing real letters to relatives who needed to hear first. You might notice the last third of this post has been sitting in my "drafts" since January!
Smiley will be a big brother in about a month. He's not sure if he's ready. He recently found out that the baby will not be big enough for him to help feed. Now he's not sure what a little baby does.
This afternoon, while Smiley napped, part of Shabbat involved my wife and I sitting on the sofa and laughing and hugging as we reviewed our "So You're About to Have a Baby" paperwork from three years ago.
We have some time to put together a suitcase to have ready to take to the hospital, and a cooler of food since we doubt they will be able to provide anything gluten-free enough for my wife to eat.
Happily, this pregnancy has been much easier on my wife than when she was expecting Smiley. But she is tired lately. She's round enough that she is not sleeping as well because she cannot easily turn over in bed during the night. A month of rainy, cold weather has not helped either. But she is doing well, going for a walk most evenings, still enjoying her work and gardening, and spending as much time with Smiley as she can even if playing on the floor is not a great option.
We have no idea what to name this new boy. The Jewish tradition is to use names of deceased relatives. Smiley was named after three of his great-grandfathers (he has two middle names). But two of my cousins had boys last year and now we're out of names of deceased male relatives that my wife or I knew.
Both sides of the family have Leonards, and her family has several Alfreds. But neither of us especially like those names, nor did we know those ancestors.
We briefly thought about names from literature that have been meaningful to family members, but then decided against Gandalf Tarzan Zorro Van Slyke.
My wife's family uses Welsh names, so perhaps we will eventually find a Welsh name we like that sounds very similar to a Hebrew name. So far our favorite name is both from Hebrew and Tolkein, which is close.
Smiley found out mommy was pregnant while at the doctor's office on January 5th. The nurse did not know that Smiley had not been told about it, so when using the heartbeat monitor she looked at Smiley with a big smile and said, "Do you hear the baby inside your Mommy?"
So Smiley is convinced that the heartbeat monitor put the baby inside Mommy. We found this out on January fifteenth, through this conversation:
My wife: Be careful climbing on my belly.(In Smiley's world, doctors work at doctor's office and nurses work at the allergy shot place. He has not caught on that some people working at doctor's offices are also nurses.)
Smiley: How did the baby get in your belly?
My wife: Daddy put it there.
Smiley: [Laughs] No, the doctor put it there.
Later that night, after brushing his teeth, Smiley was his room waiting for Mommy to arrive so we could pray before reading books before bedtime. When my wife came in the room she was chewing.
Smiley: What is in your mouth?Why didn't we tell Smiley about the pregnancy earlier? Because a friend from church was two months more pregnant, and for several months Smiley fixated on it whenever he saw her.
My wife: Chocolate.
Smiley: Do you share with the baby?
My wife: I always share with the baby.
Smiley: Did the baby catch it?
My wife: It will get it.
Smiley: You have a baby in your belly?We wanted to spare my wife such nearly constant pestering. Smiley is sometimes impatient, but our delay did avoid any fixation. (And our friend had a healthy baby girl, whom Smiley likes to look at.)
Smiley: Can I feel your tummy?
Smiley: Can I look in your mouth and see the baby?