Not being particularly keen on making announcements or doing big ‘reveals’, we charged G with the task of informing his grandparents that our family would expand at the end of August.
Which means first, we had to relay the news to Mr. G himself. We’d been dropping hints on and off for two months. ‘Do you think we should have another baby?’ we’d ask him periodically. ‘No….that’s wacky….we already have a baby,’ he inevitably replied each time. We’d vary the question slightly and he’d vary the answer slightly, but his bottom line was the same. Another baby was a bad idea.
Since it was clear he was never going to come around to the idea on his own, we had to break the news to him that he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. It was an inevitability – a done deal. In the end his opinion hadn’t mattered as much as we might have pretended.
‘Guess what,’ Jason broached the subject while we were driving in the car. ‘Mommy has a baby in her belly,’ he announced in an excited voice.
G replied in a less excited voice. ‘Another baby? Are you joking?’
That went well, I thought, only slightly offended that he had basically inferred I was a younger, less productive version of Mrs. Duggar. As if we announced new babies on a regular basis.
Having broken the news to the messenger, we charged him with relaying ‘the news’ to family. We set up online chatting with my mom where G just blurted out the news ‘mommy has a baby in her belly.’ No softening or embellishment, or much of anything, frankly. I’ve learned that making announcements in this manner causes confusion in people. They’re not sure they heard correctly, they wonder if it’s a joke, they’re not sure how to respond. My mom sat there for a while with a puzzled look on his face. ‘Is he joking?’ she eventually asked, not sure what to make of his out-of-the-blue reveal.
His second announcement was even more abrupt. We set up an online chat with my sister and brother-in-law. My sister hadn’t even sat down to chat when G blurted out his news. Again….confusion, uncertainty, hesitation on the faces of the news receivers. Followed, eventually, by congratulations.
The third announcement was made over the phone, to his Grandma and Grandpa Johnson. By this point he was kind of ‘over’ the idea of being an announcer. He decided to relay other news instead. ‘I’m playing with a car…’and ‘Guess what, I’m still awake,’ he informed them. Finally, after much coercion he relayed his news and relinquished the phone.
Despite his initial ‘mixed feelings’, he appears to be taking the news rather well. ‘Where do you think the baby should sleep,’ I asked him the other night, ‘in your room or in the Hen’s room?’ He was quick to respond: ‘the baby should sleep in my room, so it doesn’t wake up Henners.’
‘Do you think the baby is going to be a boy or a girl?’ I prodded on another occasion. ‘I think it will be a girl,’ he responded decisively. ‘What should we name the baby if it’s a girl?’ ‘Maggie’ he replied.
Now Maggie is a perfectly lovely name, but clearly my firstborn has little regard for his mother’s primary name criterion: that it not be in the top 800 popular names on the social security name index. Maggie clocks in at 181. That’s one heartbeat (or one hundred and eighty) away from being Emily – the most popular name in all of America.
Also, Maggie is the name of my sister and brother-in-law’s cat. A point I raised to my oldest, thinking it would dissuade him. But it didn’t. He thought that was even more reason to name our potential baby girl Maggie. ‘Maybe Maggie could be her nickname,’ I finally suggested out of desperation, in an effort to validate the nice name he’d suggested…without having to put it on a birth certificate. ‘But it has to be her real name,’ he replied indignantly.
‘What if it’s a boy?’ I asked, which, odds were, it would be since Jason seems to be holding on to his x chromosomes for dear life. ‘We could name him Elijah,’ he suggested. In addition to ranking 30 in the most popular boys name category, it has already been used by several of our friends. Sigh.
When the time came for our ultrasound, we ended up taking both boys with us. This was largely because we live in the frozen tundra where the nearest grandparent is thirty hours away. But I also thought it might be interesting for our oldest to see a picture of his new sibling.
Nothing makes you feel quite so much like Mrs. Duggar as taking two small children along to an ultrasound appointment. You may as well walk into a room with the word ‘breeder’ branded on your forehead. Of course it may not be much worse than walking in, heavily pregnant, wearing an ‘I hate everything’ t- shirt that should have been retired in the first trimester. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
In the end, when we indicated our interest in finding out the baby’s gender, the tech moved her magic wand over to our little person’s fifth appendage. And just like that G’s Maggie dreams were squashed.
Or not. ‘I’m having a baby sister,’ he informed a friend who stopped by later in the morning.
Luckily we have several months to process the opposite reality.