Although T now kisses my bump without prompting, talks about and pats the baby, I'm still not sure how much awareness he has that in around 20 weeks there will be a small, screeching sister taking up Mummy's time, and his prized spot on my lap.
We went to visit a friend whose daughter has a Baby Annabel, a life-sized doll with a squashy body and slightly terrifying rubber head with realistic closing eyes. 'Baby!' said T, 'ahhhhhh'. He rubbed his hand over the doll's tummy, in a half-hearted attempt at a stroke. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to illustrate life with two children. I picked up the doll, forgetting to hold the back of her neck. Luckily Baby Annabel has better head control than a newborn, and didn't scream. Maybe it's me who needs the education. I held the doll, the tip of her rubber skull lying in the crook of my arm. 'It's a baby, like the one in Mummy's tummy'. I gave Annabel a rock. 'Ahhhhh'. T looked at me like I was a loon. 'No mummy' he said, incredulously. He pulled the doll from my arms, threw her unceremoniously to the floor and climbed into my lap. He sat sideways, leaning his weight against my full crooked arm and flopping his legs over my crossed knees. 'Rock!'
It's not all bad news though. T has already started to share his toys. Well, I say toys, really it's anything that he's holding that he's bored of or wants to put down, especially if it's something he's not really supposed to have, like that 1p piece that fell out of my husband's trouser pocket, and which I've caught him sucking more than once.
He approaches me, his head just level with my knicker line, lifts my top and stuffs the offending item inside ... 'for baby'.
So far the baby has been the lucky recipient of:
two bites of soggy toasted teacake
one plastic Thomas train
that 1p piece
an empty bottle of coke, pilfered from the recycling bin
a Mickey Mouse cocktail stirrer
a variety of stones from the garden
one yellow feather
There were tears and tantrums when, whilst out in Morecambe at the weekend, I refused to let T lift my dress, his sticky fist full of sand 'for baby'. As well as making a note to concentrate on separates from now on, I regretted eventually allowing him to put it down my top, especially as the grains continued to trickle down my belly from mystery sand-holding pockets in my nursing bra on the long car drive home.
The cocktail stirrer caused the most kicking from baby. Maybe I will be able to sneak a naughty G&T during those early breastfeeding around the clock days?