Gabriel, however, is a whole 'nother story.
Gabriel is mommy's boy and he can't understand why all of the sudden mom can't do all the things with him that she used to. I mean, I look perfectly fine, it's just that I can't do anything. And that, to him, makes absolutely no sense.
A friend of mine got us this great little book called 'And Mommy's on Her Side' and it talks about a little bear whose mommy is on bedrest during her pregnancy. That really seemed to help the kids understand that this is something that really happens in the real world, that they are not the only ones to ever experience this, and that it will, eventually, end.
Before the book, I would talk to Gabriel about his baby sister being in my tummy and how we have to be careful to keep her safe in there until she is ready to come out. But he always rejected this. I mean seriously. A baby in mom's tummy? It has been even harder because due to complications, I have not really gotten that big, until really just this last week, so it just plain didn't make sense.
But I think that the book helped make it click. Today, Gabriel came in and I took his little hand and put it on my tummy. Here's the account of what transpired:
Me: Gabriel, look! Put your hand here and you can feel your little sister inside my tummy!
Gabriel: Yeah, Mom! Then you can feel MY tummy!
Me: Do you feel that little bump? That's your baby sister.
Gabriel: Can you feel mine? Can you feel my little cat in there?
Me: Really? You have a cat in your tummy?
Gabriel: Yes, but it's really small.
Me: Does it hurt sometimes like mommy's baby?
Gabriel: No, but it makes me sick sometimes and not feel good.
Me: That's too bad. I'm sure it will be better soon.
Gabriel: Yeah. My little cat's going to come out and then it will be a big little cat and I won't feel sick anymore.
Gabriel (running outside to see Jimmy): Look Daddy! Can you see? I have a little cat in my tummy. But I'm going to be ok soon.
So then, I guess Gabriel's going to carefully grow his little cat while I carefully grow his little sister. He and Jo were so sweet this morning. Since they have been pretty much gone at VBS and friends' houses all week, I haven't see them much, so they both spent a long time in my room with me. Jo in her chair and Gabriel being 'very gentle' on the bed, resting on my pillow with me.
Here are some of the highlights of my week:
A visit from the kitty...
Doing crossword puzzles with Maggie and Elizabeth...
Mealtime with Daddy Jesse...
And sharing crackers while Jesse gets crumbs and drool all over my pillow!