Throughout this pregnancy we've been explaining to Nora what is about to happen the best we can. I think she understands parts of it, like that baby brother is in my belly, and I think she understands - to some extent - that he is not going to be in my belly forever (I understand this to some extent, too...most days). She's seen the baby stuff around the house and we talk about that, we read books about being a big sister and we even took a "sibling tour" of Yale Hospital with a few other soon-to-be older siblings and their parents, which was one of the cutest experiences ever. We met a newborn baby and Nora got some graham crackers, so she had the time of her life.
One thing that J has been totally great about is explaining the timing of the new baby's arrival to her. Timing is something that two-and-a-half-year-old Nora is just starting to grasp. Like I can now say to her, "We're going to go to the library and see your friends after you take a nap," and she can handle this, although she really couldn't just a couple months ago. For a while I couldn't talk about anything until right before it was going to happen, and I still can't talk about the most exciting things except in this way, like going to a birthday party or to her grandparents' house. Or having ice cream, obviously.
What J has been doing for a while now is talking about what month it is in regards to the new baby. So in February, he'd say, "When's baby brother coming?" And Nora would say, "In April!" And he'd say, "Is it April yet?" And she'd say, "No, it's February!" In March, the same thing. I realize she doesn't truly get the timing of the calendar or anything like that, but I think this was the very best way to deal with the subject. My husband is brilliant at making things like this fun for a toddler and somehow has the patience to do so repeatedly while never growing tired of the game. Recently I've really seen the heights of what an awesome dad he is and will be. He pulls the most amazing energy out of nowhere, just when I'm about to pass out on the couch.
Whatever Nora gets out of it, watching this ongoing discussion has been wonderful for me, too. Particularly the other morning, when J hopped out of bed to get Nora dressed and ready for the day, allowing me some blissful extra minutes of rest. "When's baby brother coming?" I heard him ask, to which Nora promptly responded, "In April!" He followed up with the inevitable, "Is it April yet?" And Nora, because she didn't know of course, said, "No, it's March." So J replied with the beautiful truth that, "No! It's April NOW! Baby brother is coming soon!"