Now announcing the sequel to the Adventures of Joe-Joe.
The Never-Ending Exploits of Joe-Joe and Baby Chip.
"Baby Chip is in Mama's tummy," I told Joe-Joe.
Joe-Joe laughed and pointed out the window at the squirrel running the fences. "Baby Chip's out there."
"No, Baby Chip's in Mama's tummy. He's your brother," Daddy said.
Joe-Joe snorted and waved a dismissive hand. "Baby Chip's not real."
Nine weeks later, after enlisting the help of Nana and Grandpa, we finally convinced Joe-Joe that Baby Chip was indeed real. Then the true "fun" started.
Joe-Joe screamed and stomped his feet. "I don't want a brother! Get him out."
I shook my head. "No, Joe-Joe. Baby Chip is going to keep growing in Mama's tummy." We pray. Having some scarily-close calls just now. More on that later.
Joe-Joe pouted. "Alright, but when he comes out, I'm going to chop his head off with my sword."
A look of terror crossed my face. If you'd seen how Joe-Joe swings his wooden sword, you'd know my terror was justified. "No, Joe-Joe!"
Joe-Joe crossed his arms. "I'll bite his head off like a sharp tooth dinosaur."
"No, Joe-Joe!" I grabbed my little boy's arm.
"I'll throw him out the window."
"No, Joe-Joe! You may not hurt Baby Chip or you will be in big trouble." I looked at Daddy for reinforcement.
Several months of words from Daddy, which for some reason are ever so much more sobering to the four-year-old mind than Mama's words, set Joe-Joe straight.
Joe-Joe pouted. "Alright. When Baby Chip comes out, I won't hurt him. I'll give him to a different Daddy and Mama. Because I don't want to share my Mama and Daddy."
I sighed. "It will be fun to have a brother."
"You're my Mama. You're NOT Baby Chip's Mama."
"Um...I kind of am Baby Chip's Mama. Sorry. Want to see a video of Baby Chip growing in Mama's tummy?"
Joe-Joe nodded eagerly. Who would say no to screen time? He watched enraptured as I pulled up the pregnancy.com video. "What's that, Mama?"
"Baby Chip's umbilical cord."
Joe-Joe's nose wrinkled. "What's it do?"
"He eats through it."
Joy flashed across Joe-Joe's face as he bounced on the carpet. "Can I come to the hospital and see Baby Chip's umbilical cord when he comes out? Can I? Can I? Can I?"
I stared at my son. "Err...maybe . . ."
"I like Baby Chip's umbilical cord, but I don't like Baby Chip. I will have my snake bite him."
Great, just great . . .
Joe-Joe looked at me. "What will baby Chip eat when he comes out and the doctors take his umbilical cord? Can I keep Baby Chip's umbilical cord?"
I groaned. "No, you can't keep it. And he will drink Mama's milk."
"But I want to keep it." Queue several minutes of tears and screams. Suddenly, Joe-Joe brightened. "Can I feed Chip his milk in a bottle?"
Joe-Joe rummaged in a bottom drawer. "I will use this bottle. I will sneak in at night and feed him. I like Baby Chip."
My jaw gaped. "You do?"
"Yes. I will keep him in my bed and feed him lots and lots of bottles. Then he won't be lonely."
"Er...thanks?" I think? So not letting my baby co-sleep with a four-year-old. But it's the thought that counts.
"I love Baby Chip," Joe-Joe said.
EDITED TO ADD: After a scary month where the doctors thought Baby Chip might have potentially lethal chromosomal abnormalities because of his small size (less than 1% and clubfoot), he's in the clear there and may very well not have a clubfoot either. Thank you to all who prayed! But he's still not growing well and has an increased chance of stillbirth because of decreased blood flow from me to him.
Now we are enjoying weekly high-risk doctor appointments and praying Baby Chip keeps getting enough blood while preparing that the doctors will most likely deliver him well before his due date.
Because, you know, Baby Chip wouldn't want his birth story to be any less stressful and tension-filled than Joe-Joe's. What kind of a page turner would that be? ;)