Friday, March 30, 2007

Breaking It to Him Gently

Ethan wants a sister.

Those words do not come anywhere close to conveying how badly he wants this baby to be a girl. The merest hint, the slightest suggestion that he might have another brother sends him completely over the edge.

Amidst a flurry of instant messages between Dave and myself yesterday over names, I asked Ethan casually what we should name the baby if it was a boy. So deep in denial is he, he refused to discuss it. Instead, he told me what we should name his sister. Molliette. Don't look at me - I don't know where he came up with it. It's a pretty name, though. Definitely different. Light and delicate and pretty.

But this baby is a boy. Not a girl. And Dave and I have decided we won't break the news until we have time to sit down and do it together, probably tonight. I've told him already that they took pictures today of the baby in my tummy, and he was so excited he just grinned and hugged me tight without saying anything. Maybe the pictures will help soften the blow.

Poor Ethan. I hope he takes it well.


That went far better than I had hoped. We got out the pictures, and showed Ethan the baby's head, and his arms, and hands, and even the bones in his legs. For last, we saved the picture of his "equipment." I explained the baby was the same as him, and as Aidan, and daddy, and that means he'll be a brother. A boy. We'll call him Dylan.

Ethan didn't bat an eyelash. No wailing, no explosions in puffs of distress. No insistence that we're wrong, and it's a sister.

Now he pats my tummy and calls it "brother Dylan" and it sounds so funny. It makes me think of an old-fashioned church.

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