This is the book of the moment. And not out of passing interest.
Yup! It is with great excitement and relief that we can share the news of our pregnancy with you. We (very much Matt) are having a baby in October.
So re-e-wind to Mothers' Day. We decided to tell our mums as an extra special surprise and we figured that we should tell Matt first. After he had presented me with a huge jar of sweets for us to share and after I had opened the book I had bought for myself we sat the boy down and gave him the above book.
We explained that we had reason to believe that there was a tiny speck of a person growing inside Mummy that would hopefully mean he would have a sibling. We had imagined him to be pleased and then for normal life to resume but once again Matt has totally surpassed our expectations. He was surprised, delighted, overwhelmed, and grateful. When he had got over the initial shock he kept asking 'how lucky am I'? And declared that 'it is everything I have ever wanted'. His interest has only snowballed with each passing week. This is fantastic but I could do without the 'are you sure you can eat that' questions from a four year old. His enthusiasm really put the pressure on getting to the 12 week milestone but we have made it! Clink of non-alcoholic wine glass.
Matt was keen to read There's a House Inside My Mummy. The book itself is rather simplistic and perhaps even a little young for Matt but it is a nice introduction to the subject of pregnancy and provides familiar concepts of family life. The book also confirmed the events that we had talked about like scans etc so it was nice to have my spiel backed up. I am not sure about the ending when all four of the new family unit are snuggling and the text mentions Mummy making another baby. I actually changed the ending to 'they all stayed in bed for months and lived happily ever after.' Worth a try?
I had been searching for other storybooks that deal with new babies and siblings when Matt found this lovely book in the library.
Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus is a wonderful story about how things change when babies arrive and how a new normal kicks in. Thankfully we can now rule out twins but the story remains relevant and inviting. It conjures a beautiful setting with great characters. Matt found the names a bit of a hurdle but I love them. Names such as Uncle Bizi-Sunday transport us right into Africa. The names remind me of tales I used to hear from my friend Debs from Zim. One that stuck with me was the baby named 'Does Matter'. It sounds rather ungrammatical and a little bonkers to my English ear but if you think about it the actual concept is pretty special: that the baby matters and is important. The name probably won't make Matt's list though.
Matt's baby names list:
Rose (after his friend's stuffed cat)
Rosie (after a real cat that lives on his Nan's street)
Holly2 (after his betrothed, Holly)
Matthew2 ( this is more practical than egotistical. We have Matthew stickers on his bedroom wall. Matt thinks it would be easier to change them with a number 2 rather than take them down and paint the whole wall. We could then call the children number one or number two. It is pretty tempting to be honest).
Back to Anna Hibiscus- the book provides a lovely insight into how a child views the intrusion of siblings but also how quickly it all falls into place. It is a book worth reading even if having twins is not on your agenda. Or even if having one baby is not on your radar. It is just a wholesome family tale. You can borrow it from our local library when we return it in about 8 months time!
Our search for baby/sibling books that are not too sentimental or babyish still continues. We would welcome your recommendations. For now, we will stick to the above books despite the risk: I am dreading the day when Matt wants full details of the house inside Mummy's tummy. If we don't broaden our reading soon I am pretty sure I will be faced with questions about planning permission, foundations, double glazing, and worst of all the workmen responsible for putting it there. For the record, there was no need to make workmen plural- just trying to add some intrigue.
Well, I fear I must leave you for now. I need to pop off and start looking into how to make an X-Wing bed for Matt. I have been informed by the four year old Jedi that a new Star Wars bedroom is going to solve everything. Matt is happy to give up his small room for the promise of a big room with a Luke Skywalker poster on the wall. And, if he has a new special bed he will definitely stay in there all night. Unless, of course, the baby cries and then he said he will get up to comfort it. This has got to be worth a shot.