gracie is not so sure about all this baby in mommas belly business. all she can understand is that a baby in mommas belly makes her very sick a lot, and that momma now reads most of her books to her while cozied up in bed. not completely bad but still, things have suddenly changed for gracie and she is not quite understanding it all. that is until i showed her *this book:
this is a great pictorial of what goes on inside a momma when a 'baby grows in her belly.'
we have always been very honest with our children, but i gotta say, some of these pictures are a bit more detailed then her 3 year old mind needs to comprehend just yet. i want to keep the "little" in my little girl for as i long as i can. so while looking at the pictures i told her the "story" and answered her questions as best as i could, in 3 year old terms.
here are just some of the wonderful pictures in this book:
at first i really wasn't sure how much she was paying attention to the "story" and how much she really cared...until i turned on netflix and closed my eyes for a nap.
laying there for a little while i started dozing off but suddenly woke up fully to feeling her jump down from the bed and walking around to get the book from my night stand. i watched her walk back to her side of the bed, climb in and start to flip through the pages. a little nervous about what pages she would study without my supervision, i wondered if i should take it from her. the end of the book - the birth process, is very graphic and we hadn't quite talked about that yet...
then she started "reading" the book to herself, "the baby in the water bubble," she started.
'did she just say "the baby in the water bubble"?' i wondered to myself. 'i did tell her that the baby floated in a bag of water inside my belly. i guess it really does look like a bubble.'
"once upon a time, God put a baby in a water bubble and then in a mamma's tummy..." she continued.
just as innocent as i had hoped it had come across, only more so, cuz it was in her words, in her own understanding.
i laid there beside my young daughter, so sick in my stomach, full of guilt that we had been spending so much time just laying around, wondering if she was gonna remember this time as negatively as i had feared it felt. instead, i was listening to her retell the "story" of the 'baby in a water bubble' and feeling so blessed to have her there by my side. her little voice "read" about fetal development, how the eyes change from week to week, the hands grow from tiny buds and so on and so forth. she was so enamored by it all, and here i wasn't sure if she was even paying attention.
it turned out to be one of her favorite books to read while laying in bed with momma. every once in a while she would ask from the other side of the bathroom door, "is that baby in the water bubble making you feel sick again?" somehow hearing that question, even with my head in the toilet sick as a dog, made me laugh...or at least smile a little.
i love the perspective kids have on things. even when we think we lay it all out a certain way, they're gonna receive it their own way. from their own life experiences and through whatever innocence we can hold on to for them. that is key here. that is something i want both all our children to hold onto, even while we are being honest with them, their innocence. it seems they either have it, or do not. once it's gone, it's gone. i pray we can continue to be open and honest with our children while taking into account their age and that not all explanations have to be as elaborate as they can be.
how have your older children responded to a growing baby belly?
how have you explained to them, the new life growing inside of you?
i'd love to hear form any mommas out there, if you are willing to share =)
*A Child Is Born by lennart nilsson
the completely new edition