Thursday, April 13, 2006

Milo comes to grasp bebé is for real: a pregnancy update

I’m 6 months into the pregnancy, the belly is round, plump and unmistakable by now. Even Milo has no doubt: he taps gently on it at any given chance. If he’s in a good mood, he greets it: “Ciao Bebé!” and blows kisses to his little brother-in-the-making. Most often he pokes it randomly and trys to ride it.

The other day his nanny tickled him on the belly while she was changing his diaper, and he responded severely:

“No! No! Bebé!” , pointing to his tummy!

We laughed with it on the moment, but later I found myself a little disturbed by the misunderstanding he has experienced. Is he really convinced that he has a baby in his belly as well?

We are trying to prepare him gradually: I tell him daily about his little brother in my belly and relay imaginary messages from him about the future games they’ll play together; we have a Barbapapa book which illustrates the arrival of a newborn and all the related paraphernalia (cradles, milk bottles etc.); I look at books about pregnancy and maternity together with him, he loves the pictures of new borns; I also draw a lot with him and have been drawing Milo holding hands with a newborn. He looks at it rather skeptically and the only comments he has been making so far are on the baby’s diaper, asking whether it’s full of pupu!

Next will come the room rearrangement: we need to get Milo a big bed and remove the bed with bars he’s currently sleeping in, to give him the time to adjust to his new status of “big boy” and forget about the cradle, before we start using it for the little brother.

I alternate states of euphoria, as the due date approaches, to pure panic and apprehension on how are we going to handle the day-to-day. I suppose it’s normal and I can blame most of the stress on the hormons. Also, I am now entering that phase when you simply cannot be as active as you were before: grocery shopping is super fatiguing, walking everywhere takes much longer, I can’t lift Milo all the time and bending over is also not an option…in all this, bebé moves and flips over all the time, he feels really tight in there: sometimes I have the feeling he is turning over seeking a more comfortable position, and I can see the silhouette of his cranium or elbow moving across my belly!

I recall when my baby brother was born: I was 4, older than Milo is today, and I took his arrival as my birthday present! At the time sonograms were not mainstream so we did not know the gender of my sibling. Thoughout the pregnancy we had nicknamed it Pippo (which is the Italian version of Disney’s Goofy) and toward the end I would make imaginary phone calls to Pippo in the belly, asking him how was life in there and if he was not tired to be stuck inside!

When I was pregnanat with Milo I reiterated the tradition and called him Pippo until the end. His little brother will remain the “bebé” for three more months!


portuguesa nova said...

Hi. I've been reading for a bit now, came to you via some links about raising bilingual children. I'm pregnant with what will be a half American and half Portuguese baby.

This is quite irrelevant to your post (my sister was 8, however, when my was pregnant with my brother and also was pregnant herself the entire cute!).

What I need from you is some advice about how to convince my husband to name our baby Milo if its a boy. I love that name!!! He likes Milo pronounced by Americans, but not the Portuguese Mee-loo. I must have the name!! :))

Clo said...

Hi Portuguesa Nova, and congratulations on your pregnanacy! Another 'multi tongue kid' on the way!

Our Milo is pronounced MEE-LO, and it was a long process to come up with it! We were inspired by Milo's Venus, as well as the great Italian comics designer Milo Manara. After some research, we found out it was also the name of a great greek warrior and other ancient greece hystorical characters. But most of all it was easy to pronounce in all of the cultures involved in our family.

With your husband, you could use the counter argument that Milo as pronounced by Americans is a sterotype mafioso name (there's an old, hysterical movie with a mafia Milo, can't remember the title though...)!!!
Good luck and let me know which name you will end up choosing!

Alice in Austria said...

Isabella also liked to point to her belly and claim that there is a baby in there! I know, kind of weird ... but I think that's the way kids are. ;)

You have Barbapapa in France, too? ;)

Oh, these shopping trips are horrible, aren't they? I blogged about it too, some time back. We had a really tedious supermarket visit today. It is still hard for me, with two kids, one of whom still insists on running away from me all the time, and the other who gets impatient when he has to be in a shopping cart too long. And then all the fun of dragging the grocery plus two kids up the staircase ... I make it as a rule never to go alone and always to take someone along with me, either my mom or dh (or even better, just send dh on his own!)

Alice in Austria said...

ack. my comment is full with typos and grammatical mistakes but you understand, don't you? :P

giovanni said...

I like the imaginary phone calls to Pippo in the belly... and remember still vividly the movements of my two little kids in their mother's belly. I did not make phone calls to my kids but spoke to them and sang them little songs. Now I make phone calls to one of them, in Sevilla.

Juliet said...

Wow! You're six monthes already?! Time sure does fly! It sounds like your little one will have a very helpful ge ge (big brother).
By the way, I responded to your question in my blog comments.

Lilian said...

I read this a few days ago, but didn't comment because I was too curious to find out who "portuguesa nova" was -- I don't often see my mother tongue in blogs :)

We have already talked a lot about your worries by email, but I hope you don't feel so anxious. "Enjoy" your last trimester (I know, it does sound like a joke - those are the hardest months of pregnancy - I couldn't stand my big belly, I was SUPER uncomfortable). Anyway... do spend as much time with Milo as you can.

There's one thing I didn't say in our emails - maybe it'll be different for you, but in my case it took me a while to feel really attached and deeply in love with my newborn, simply because I felt I knew my oldest child, but still had to get to know the new baby. It's a strange feeling. Of course you love the new baby, but it's not an instant connection... and you'll be worried about Milo, I guess that makes it pretty tough.

I hope my words do not make you worry even more :)

Mix said...

here I am! new dimension for my dear Clo, waiting for having time to read and comment.