Breaking the News to a 3-Year Old

We told Future President way too soon that he was going to be a big brother. I was only six weeks into my pregnancy, but I was excited. So we told him, “there’s a baby in mommy’s belly,” which he then told the very next day – in those exact words – to my in-laws. Since the cat was out of the bag, we told other close family and friends, whom we swore to secrecy. But how do you keep a 3-year old from telling everyone? You can’t. I now know firsthand that three-year olds can’t keep secrets. 

I was cleaning the playroom (formerly known as the living room) and discussing storage solutions for all the tiny Playmobil and Lego pieces with my husband. When the room was clean, Future President said, “Ready for baby! He’s coming tomorrow.” Time is an almost impossible concept for a small child to grasp, so I’m sure he didn’t get it when I explained that it was going to be a long, long time before baby arrived. Why were we worrying about messy toys right now? 

Future President periodically stops to chat with the baby, leaning close to my stomach: “Hi, Baby!” or “Good morning, Baby!” or sometimes he rubs my stomach. He also wants to name the baby Baby P, after himself, which I’ve tried explaining would be confusing but he doesn’t care. He insists that’s going to be the baby’s name. He’s also asserted himself very clearly, that he’ll “always be mommy’s baby” and he repeats this at least a couple of times a day. He plays baby a lot now, pretending to cry, crawl, ask for a bottle and breaks into baby talk frequently. At night when he turns the light off, he now crawls from the bedroom door to me in the rocker, telling me, “I’ll always be your baby.” 

For a long time, whenever he wanted a new toy, I would tell him to put it on his Christmas list or birthday list. Now I tell him he can make a list for the baby as the baby is going to bring him a new toy. I’m regretting that decision a little, because the baby is going to be bankrupt as soon as he/she is born as that list is growing longer by the day.

I am hopeful that since Future President will be four months shy of 4 when the baby arrives that things will go smoothly and the adjustment from one to two children will be easy for both of them. But I’m not ignorant. It could be awful.

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4 thoughts on “Breaking the News to a 3-Year Old

  1. Congratulations on the big news! Future President seems to have handled it better than Miss A, who announced, “I do not want to have a baby in the house” all the way down to SoCal. When baby brother came, she was in love, and we have found the nearly 4-year age gap to be pretty great. Good luck with that list.

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