Fruits (and vegetables) of my womb

DC was initially cautiously unenthusiastic about the idea of a younger sibling. We got a lot of, “Why do you want another baby?” and no amount of “You’re so amazing, etc.” seemed to allay hir confusion and mild anxiety about the idea.

What started getting hir a bit more in tune with the idea was being able to visualize what was going on with the baby. Checking books out from the library helped, but before that we hit up the internets and their multitudinous pregnancy-week-by-week websites. Especially when the site compared the baby’s size to fruit.

We started with grape. Mommy has a grape-sized baby in her belly. “Mommy has a baby-sized grape in her belly?” DC guffawed. Nooooo, a grape-sized baby. This big. “This big?” Every week (on Tuesday) we check for the new fruit. Every week the same ritual. “Mommy has a baby-sized peach/avocado/grapefruit in her belly?” Noooooo, a peach-avocado-grapefruit sized baby! “This big?” This big. Ze did have to ask what a grapefruit was (“Remember that fruit you refused to eat when we went to the bed and breakfast? So mommy ate yours?”)

It has helped. So has being able to feel the baby kick with hir hand to belly.

Pulled from the internets:

week 7: a grain of rice
week 8: raspberry
week 9: grape
week 10: prune
week 11: fig or walnut
week 12: kiwi or lime
week 13: peach
week 14: lemon
week 15: apple
week 16: avocado
week 17: red onion
week 18:  Grapefruit
week 19: large heirloom tomato
week 20: length of a banana
week 21: length of a carrot
week 22: spaghetti squash
week 23: weight of a large mango
week 24: length of an ear of corn
week 25: rutabega
week 26: “an English hothouse cucumber”
week 27: cauliflower
week 28: chinese cabbage
week 29: butternut squash
week 30: cabbage
week 31: four navel oranges
week 32: jicama
week 33: pineapple
week 34: cantaloupe
week 35: honeydew melon
week 36: crenshaw melon
week 37: swiss chard
week 38: leek
week 39: mini-watermelon
week 40: small pumpkin
week 41: baby

If you have more than one child, how did you get the older used to the idea of a younger? (With me it wasn’t an issue as I had been lobbying for a little sister for years before I got one… DC, otoh, has been perfectly happy as an only.)

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17 Responses to “Fruits (and vegetables) of my womb”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    “I loved you two (4 and 6) sooo much that I wanted another sweet baby.” Then, I told them how babies were sleepy all the time. They pooped in their pants…lots of grossing out here. A baby is little and must have people who love it to protect it, hold it, feed it, and dress it. WE will all love it just like I did you. It helped for mine to know what to expect afterwards. They asked if the baby could walk, etc. When I saw people with a baby, I asked them if they thought ours would be like that one. They were baby crazy by the time she came. Actually, in theory they learned lots about how we would care for new baby while I was pregnant. They remembered after she was born and would repeat my words, my instructions.

    Oh, they wanted to know what the baby was doing inside me. They wanted to know how big the baby was. I had nothing to compare it to and no internet back then–1975.

    I think that getting out their baby pictures and mine helped. I thought they needed to see me holding them as newborns in order to have a “memory” of how it was when they were tiny, a model of what the next baby would be like and how it would be treated. They were very tender and protective of their little sister when she was born.

    When my first one was 2 yrs 3 months, I had his little sister. He thought that every baby in the mall, church, or the grocery store was the baby we would take home. That was difficult getting a two-year-old to understand the idea of a baby without and actual baby we could have.

  2. feMOMhist (@feMOMhist) Says:

    fMhson was only a little over a year old when I got pregnant and had just turned when his sister was born so he was somewhat vague on the proceedings. I read him endless baby books as I recall, all of which did nothing really to prepare him for the reality. He completely ignored fMhgirl when she first came home and then cautiously peered into her bassinet. He was still pretty dubious about the wisdom of bringing her home, but my mom did a good job of introducing them which I think was something I read about how to make baby less upsetting to young sibling, not have mommy hold baby at first sighting.

    Since your child is older that talking up the benefits of a sibling might work. I know fMhson LOVES having someone that he is “older” than and who needs him to “teach” her.

  3. hush Says:

    Same basic story as @feMOMhist’s spacing and endless baby book reading beforehand. Having them 23 months apart sucked in many ways early on (two in diapers, enough said), but one overlooked benefit was it was effortless to get the older one used to the idea.

  4. Rumpus Says:

    Obviously this is a good time to get your older children blogging. You know, like the yellow journalism rags of days gone by. They could have their own little website about the complete unfairness of it all. Though getting your child incensed and addicted to the internet probably isn’t your first thought, just take a moment and consider how useful these skills will be in their future career as a web-based political opinion head that texts their posts while driving. Can’t start too early on their training.

    Tee hee, now I’m seeing 2-4 year olds with those old hats with the “news” cards in them…all sitting down in a big news room typing furiously. Then the phone rings and one shouts out, “She’s had the baby!”

    Er, or maybe you could just visit with friends that have a baby? Or have your kid talk with their friends that have younger siblings?

  5. bogart Says:

    Interesting. I’m no help. They say there’s no “perfect” spacing between siblings, but we have found the quarter-century plus spacing between DH’s older kids (actually very slightly less with the younger of my stepkids, a mere 24.5 years) to work very well.

    (As evidence of my own immodesty and/or fortitude in staking out “my” space, may I use this moment to mention that when my stepson and his partner came to visit his new brother in the hospital and the lactation consultant showed up while they were there, I stated that anyone who wanted to could leave the room but that no one needed to feel obligated to and we were proceeding apace with the lesson. No one left, and we did.)

  6. becca Says:

    “why do you want another kid?” would be tough.
    Maybe- funny (probably not good) answers:
    “so you don’t have to have ALL the grandkids!”
    “to increase the odds you’ll meet a kidlet as bright as you are before college”
    “I just miss poopy diapers soooooo much!”

  7. julier Says:

    I’m no help either since my two kids were born at the same time (twins). One advantage was that we got to skip the older sibling resentment that often comes with having #2. We also don’t have any of the sibling birthday jealousy that kids often have.

  8. femmefrugality Says:

    Oh, so cute! Hope that fruity baby comes out healthy and happy, leaving mommy the same!

  9. mom2boy Says:

    Love, love, love the week by fruit! And the ritual conversation. Mine takes comfort when we have the same serious/silly conversations over and over, too.

  10. Que Sera Says:

    I’m lucky that mijo is fascinated by babies and baby laughing videos. I told him he will have his own baby soon. He’ll point to my belly and say baby. I’m more worried about when the baby becomes a reality and Mama isnot just for him.

  11. Cloud Says:

    Sorry, I’m no help. Mine are 2.5 years apart, and the older one was super excited to have a baby sibling from the start. She even confidently announced that she was getting a baby sister- when of course, she had no way of know if that was the case, since we didn’t find out ahead of time. But she was right.

    One thing we did that worked out well was to have her pick our a “welcome to the world” gift for the baby. Then we picked out a gift to give her “from the baby”. Of course, she was a lot younger than yours is, so she never really called us on the fact that there was no way the baby picked out that gift. She just happily played with it.

  12. Foscavista Says:

    I don’t think I will ever see the produce section the same ever again.

  13. Donna Freedman Says:

    I once read about a mom who told her DC that the babies don’t know how to smile so it was up to the sibling to teach the new baby how.
    It worked: Her older kid hung over the bassinet, grinning like a fool. When the baby did smile back at big bro, he was entranced.
    Oh, and the “you are so awesome and we wanted another baby to love but don’t worry we will always love you the same” has been compared to this scenario: Imagine your spouse tells you one day, “You’re so awesome. I love you so much. So much, in fact, that I’m going to get another husband/wife! But don’t worry: I will always love the two of you equally.”
    In other words, the first kid feels s/he is the center of your universe and here you are bringing in some interloper.
    Glad to hear you’re able to eat some noodles. Little things mean a lot. Especially when they’re little slurpy things.

  14. First gen american Says:

    Cute. My son was more fascinated by the mechanics of growing a baby that he didn’t really freak out about it til the very end. But at his peak of acting out, he stuck a screw up his nose and ended up in the hospital….after that he was fine because I think he realized his antics only ended up hurting him and the hospital kind of attention was not something he was thrilled about getting after all.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It’s almost our year anniversary for our bead-up-the-nose incident. If ze does that again…

      Maybe it’s good that ze has been mildly apprehensive all along… maybe there won’t be a freak-out at the end!

  15. Ask the grumpies: Suggestions on books for the new sibling? « Grumpy rumblings of the half-tenured Says:

    [...] still want more about the baby developing and stuff, most likely– we found that “what size fruit/veggie is the unborn baby” each week helped), and what big sibling can do to help.  It’s upbeat, explanatory, [...]


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