Toddler H is now 2, and full of beans, she’s constantly full of new words and sentences, understanding most of what we say. She doesn’t stop, and it’s hilarious. She just copies what we say and so I’ve long given up on listing new words. Along with her new words, she loves pretend play. And that really has?brightened me in my early-pregnancy-tiredness. However it is her understanding of me being pregnant that I really love. We waited until 12 weeks to tell H for fear of her blabbing it to everyone, or pointing at my tummy saying baby. Lucky we did, although she’s not blabbed outside yet, she does kiss my tummy, say “sorry baby” if she climbs on me, and she does seem to understand something. I say that with the odd exception of lifting her own top and pointing at her tummy saying “baby!” or doing that when my mum asked where baby was… or when I asked (meaning where’s your dolly)!
The best part of all? She thinks baby is my tummy button ? if she can’t see it when she lifts my top, she gets upset repeating “oh no! Baby! Oh no, no baby! Baby gone!“, I show her my tummy button and she points, proclaiming “baby!!” “Oh baby.” Often she’ll then stroke ‘baby’ or on one occasion gave ‘baby’ a kiss ?
So, no I’m not certain she understands, but it definitely helps my pregnancy fog and my going-through-the-motion-days where I put a film on or iPlayer on repeat. I feel terrible about these things, but it’s the only way. I need an hour after lunch to collapse. In saying that, I really love having a toddler and being pregnant. I think it’s her funny understanding of the world and of ‘baby’ that makes my day. It’s her smile. Her heartfelt “sorry baby” stroking my tummy button that makes my heart melt, it’s her silly dances and her laugh that make me smile through the fog. Above all, it’s those heartfelt caring?moments that make me see she will be a brilliant big sister, and I feel relief that we are doing what we’re doing.
I’m also kind of hoping that she might understand slightly more come January, when one of her best friends’ becomes a big brother. I’m trying to tell her how his mummy has a baby in her tummy and “mummy’s tummy will get bigger like her’s too”. I’m not so sure she understands that, but I hope come January, when my tummy is indeed bigger (it’s growing like crazy at the moment!), it might make more sense. It might also make sense to her that her friend’s mummy will suddenly no longer have a?bump, but a baby instead. She does seem to love babies, and once tried to drag me to her friend’s baby sister who had started crying. In saying all that I’m not sure any of us will truly understand until our little baby arrives safely, we pray, in 6 months time. That reality of the unknown is so hard to comprehend. I see so many friends with newborns and toddlers, and some with baby’s and toddlers, and they are all absolutely totally and utterly amazing. They are super mums. Not even I understand how I’ll cope juggling a toddler and a newborn, so I guess I can’t expect a toddler to understand too much either. She definitely won’t understand the impact on her, or her ability to drag me from room to room on her whim saying “come on mummy“. I’m afraid she has to make the most of those moments now, and so do I.
So, to answer my question, does my toddler understand I’m pregnant? Yes, and no! But, I think as she’s only just turned two (24 months old), she’s going to pick up so much more over these next few months anyway. Like a sponge, she will pick up more and more and her understand will astound us. Hopefully she’ll also decide she doesn’t need to have too many tantrums too!
I have to end with my relief at having a toddler during my second pregnancy. It’s been her funny toddler-take on me having a baby in my tummy that has made me laugh in my tiredest moments. These are the moments that make my day, my tiredness dissipates, and I love being a stay at home mummy.
Did you find your toddler understood you were pregnant?
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