Last weekend Robby woke up early on Sunday. He sleepily walked into the living room and, looking at me with drowsy eyes with his bed tangled hair, immediately began to tell me that we are going to need to get a stroller before the baby comes out of my tummy. I was delighted that he was thinking about bringing the baby home and, not wanting to miss this opportunity, I asked him if he would be willing to help me pick out the perfect stroller. He may not be enthusiastic about having a sibling, but he has certainly shown that he can get behind the shopping aspect of preparing for a baby.
After a quick breakfast, we piled into the SUV and headed to Toys R Us. Robby took his job as the family's official stroller test-driver with the seriousness I anticipated. He happily pushed each and every stroller (forcing Scott to heave each one off and on the top display rack) while providing valuable feedback. He was precise and particular about the features he was seeking. Thankfully, in the end we both agreed on the same stroller/ car seat combo. He wasn't eager to discuss the baby anymore that day, and we decided to not push our luck and were simply happy that he was willing and excited to test strollers.
The other night he handed me a half-eaten small bag of Cheetos, offering to share his beloved snack. Without thinking I took one of the little orange treats and popped it into my mouth. As soon as I swallowed Robby became highly vocal and animated. "Momom, stop! You didn't chew that Cheeto enough. The baby doesn't have teeth and probably has a tiny tiny small mouth. The baby is going to choke if you don't chew your food better!" With that declaration he grabbed the bag of Cheetos out of my hand and walked (quite dramatically) into the kitchen.
Taken aback by his sincere (albeit strong) reaction to my chewing, I heard him clanging around in the kitchen. He presented me with a cup of water, at which point I was directed to drink to try to help the baby chew the Cheetos. I obliged and tried to figure out how to address his concerns. Before I had a chance, he had returned to the kitchen and the commotion continued.
A few minutes later he returned to my side, this time holding out an opened can of Scooby Doo condensed chicken noodle soup. He had stuck a spoon in the center of the gelatinous, cold, yellow tinged liquid. At this point I realized his intent was for me to eat it. He explained, "Momom, I think that you should stick with soft food like pudding and soup until the baby is born. We don't want the baby to choke because you don't chew enough."
I put the soup on the side table and pulled him onto my lap. I explained that it was very sweet for him to be so concerned about the baby, and assured him that he was going to be a wonderful big brother. I also explained that the baby doesn't eat food but rather the vitamins and minerals are absorbed through the umbilical cord. (He has seen the umbilical cord because, on the latest sonogram picture, it is firmly wrapped around the baby's neck.) After some assurances from his Daddy that my chewing will not pose a choking risk, he seemed satisfied that all was well.
Between the stroller, and his concern about the baby choking, I think Robby is definitely coming to terms with a baby entering our family. I know that he will continue to adjust and have no illusions that the transition will always be smooth. However, I am hopeful that we are on the path towards acceptance, if not excitement, that he is going to be a big brother.