Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

The making of an older sister

Yesterday morning we dragged Leta out of bed very early in order to make it to my doctor’s appointment on time. We had not mentioned a word about what’s been going on, mainly to be cautious, although she’s very observant and has asked me out loud in front of strangers why my boobs are so sore. And I tell her it’s because Daddy won’t stop looking at them. That is not a lie, I can feel him thinking about them, staring at them, wondering why all of a sudden they’ve doubled in size, and when I see him walking toward me my instinct is to hide. The weight of a cotton t-shirt can be paralyzing, so you can understand that I might want to avoid the gravitational pull of two eager eyeballs.

I thought that having her in the room during my appointment would be a great way to break it to her that come June life as she knows it is going to be over, and when the doctor found the wiggly baby in my abdomen Leta shouted, “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BABY FROM?” I was lying on the table naked from the waist down having just been through a pelvic exam, and was not prepared at all to talk to my four-year-old daughter about her father’s penis. So I lied.

“Magical elves,” I said.

She seemed satisfied with that answer, enough to continue with her list of questions. “HOW YOU GONNA GET THAT BABY OUT?” she said with a concern that made it sound as if she remembered the exact moment her shoulders left my womb. I assured her that such a process was something she didn’t need to worry about and was promptly interrupted as Jon pointed to a poster on the wall and told her it would come out my bunky. Awesome. Can’t wait for my four-year-old’s nightmares about spiders to be replaced with ones of menacing vaginal openings.

My doctor left the room briefly so that I could get dressed, and as I pulled on my black sweats Leta announced that she was willing to be nice to my baby. I thought that was very generous of her, and feeling safe enough to press my luck I asked her if she would feel that way even if it was a boy. “It’s not a boy,” she said confidently. “It’s a little sister, and I’m going to share my toys with her.” I certainly hope that Jon’s semen got that memo.

Both Jon and I were almost giddy with relief as we walked out of the building toward the car, and several times we silently squeezed each other’s hands. He was carrying Leta on his left hip and asked her if she was excited as we were about Mama’s baby.

“Um…” she hesitated. “I’m excited about Christmas.”

  • Kat

    Gawd, as much fun as it was reading your posts about your pregnancy with Leta, I can’t WAIT to hear how it goes this time with Leta on the outside! Congratulations, and hope you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

  • Congratulations Armstrongs! I’m so excited for you and you’ve only upped my baby fever… I can’t wait to have number 2.

    Here’s to a safe and healthy 9 months! (or 10, if you’re like me… I pray you’re not. I pray nobody is…)

  • Angela

    That’s great….I have 2 boys and they are 11 and 8. The 11 year old ALWAYS says, “I don’t know why you had to have him in the first place, I can’t stand him.” He says it at least once a week. He also says he wishes the 8 year old would have been a girl. Oh well, maybe they’ll love each other one day! I sure love them with all I have.

  • Congrats on the bun in the oven. Now that Jon told her how it is coming out, I’d sleep with one eye open after the new little one arrives. You just might find Leta at the foot of your bed holding the baby eyeing your bunky hoping to get the baby back in there.

  • dude. you wore sweats in public??

    ;O congrats…

  • Joanne

    Dooce,
    I am so thrilled for you!! You’re a great momma already and I’m excited for other monthly letters. What if this one really is a boy? I think Leta will still share her princess toys with him.

  • Amy

    Ha, my daughter is still referring to her 2-month old brother as her sister, because she’s sure if she says it enough times, it will eventually come true. Congratulations!

  • Katie

    Wow, isn’t Leta in for a big ol’ surprise come June?! But two is better than one. Even when the oldest says, “Time for baby to go home now.”

  • Lake

    “Long time reader, first time commenter” here. I felt compelled to say congratulations – so strange to be so excited and happy for someone I’ve never met! Here’s to a happy, healthy, blessed pregnancy and baby!

  • Pam

    Congratulations to big sis, mom and dad! Hope you feel great and enjoy the ride!

    Pam

  • Joanne

    Ha – one thing at a time for Leta! I had my second in January and my older one has been really good – I was worried he would put her out in the garbage or something but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Now we are having another in May so both of them are probably going to be mad! Congratulations!

  • Oh my gosh, congratulations!

    My dad’s sperm* clearly did not get the memo in a timely fashion, as my parents had two boys between me and my baby sister. Then again, that was pre-Twitter.

    Here’s hoping for a healthy baby — I know I ended up being pretty fond of my younger brothers despite their steadfast refusal to be girls (I think it helped that the younger of the two let me dress him up like a little girl when I wanted to play house), and I’m sure Leta will be an awesome big sister either way.

    * A phrase I truly never envisioned myself using, on the Internet or elsewhere.

  • Amy

    Congrats! My son was 4 when we adopted our daughter. I bought him a pin to where that day that said “Big Brother”. He was so excited.

  • The kid’s got priorities, I’ll give her that.

    So, so happy for you and your family!

  • Cat

    Is it weird that I take some satisfaction knowing Leta found out only just before I did? Yeah, that’s probably something I should address with my therapist. YAY for the return of pregnancy posts! (and yay for morning sickness, as awful as it is!)

  • CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am thrilled for you and your family.

    We just had baby #4 back in April and her 3 year old sister is still debating if we should keep her. The other kids could care less, unless Baby M takes their computer time, of course.

    http://www.theadventuresofsupermom.com

  • CONGRATS!

  • I’m not sure I blame her. My baby is coming any day now, and I’m still pretty excited about Christmas, too.

  • Classic! I was an only child until age six when my brother came into the world. I cried for over an hour when my parents they told me they were having a boy. I really wanted a baby sister. Of course, now I wouldn’t trade him for anything. My bossy skills would be seriously lacking if they’d had a girl!

    Leta’s going to be in fine form after all her practice on Coco!

  • Glad to hear Leta has her priorities straight and, more importantly, will Coco share her toys??

    congratulations to all of you

  • Kate

    Molly said it so perfectly: Come June, you’ll get to watch Leta meet the person who will be her most trusted friend in life.

  • Lori

    YAY!! Another Dooce!!

  • Heather in Arizona

    Congrats on your news…!

    I hope to god tho, it pops out a girl… otherwise Leta’s disappointment may cause a global audible disturbance! lol!

    I look forward to reading more about your growing family and your experiences as I’m looking to become a mother soon too!

  • Kim

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for the three of you. Such wonderful news!

  • Ryan Stewart

    I think it’s safe to say that the internet is excited about Leta’s new baby *sister*

  • Kay

    I’m pregnant with my first and I am due the beginning of January, and I am more excited than I ever was about Christmas, but this Christmas is going to be so much more magical. Leta is gonna fall in love with that baby, even if you have a boy. I wanted a baby sister and when my baby brother was born I was so mad until I saw him for the first time and instantly fell in love with him. I was four. And even if that doesn’t work, just mention that boys don’t okay with polly pockets!

  • Liz

    Oh Heather. Congratulations, new life, blah blah blah. But more importantly, has someone alerted you to the existence of THESE: http://ruggerjay.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/11/17/img00069_3.jpg

    http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=323790&CategoryID=34226

    I’m so so sorry.

    [In all seriousness, I’ve never been so excited about a virtual stranger’s pregnancy before! Congrats to you and your awesome family. And I hope the puking stops soon.]

  • Very cute. Congratulations again, Heather! 🙂

  • Linsey

    Wouldn’t Linsey Armstrong be such a cute name for her little sister?

    Leta & Linsey… mmmhmmmm (snap snap snap).

  • fantastic news – congratulations! i look forward to reading all about it!

  • God, I love Leta.

  • I’m jealous on two accounts: one, I don’t have babies yet and two, I always wanted to be a big sister. My 72-year-old Mom keeps telling me that train’s left the station. Okay, let me put my adult hat on: congratulations and best wishes for your new precious arrival. Life really is a daily miracle.

  • Leta is so cute, but all I can says is thank goodness my young niece doesn’t ask all those questions about the baby in my stomach! lol I hope your morning sickness goes away soon. I had it pretty much all day, everyday from week 6-12 and then it magically went away for the second trimester. Good news for my husband, because at least now there’s a chance that he might get a second one down the line. 🙂

  • Hopefully there won’t be too much sibling rivalry, she says she’ll share her toys NOW, wait for the baby to grow old enough to annoy her D:

  • You are one brave mama!

  • I hope the new baby doesn’t eat its own poo. But even if it does, it will be a wonderful addition. Congratulations.

  • Congratulations! I’m glad that Leta has her priorities straight. 😉

  • So did your mom ask if you guys are gonna raise this one republican?

    Yay for pregnancy updates!! I wonder what kind of world news will break on the night your new one is born… perhaps Warren Jeffs will finally announce his homosexuality….

    Congrats on the new addition, best of luck to you all!!!

  • I seriously CAN NOT WAIT! I know Leta will be a good big sister. If it’s a girl. If it’s a boy I think you’d better start hiding again.

  • That is so cute! She’ll be such a good big sister 🙂

    Also, I can’t believe I’m so close to the top! I’ve never been on the first page of comments before!!

  • Lori

    So exciting. My heart is melting for you guys and all your happiness, you deserve it! I really want to experience pregnancy, I just don’t want to actually raise a child. If they had a program like with seeing eye dog puppies, that would be perfect.

  • I can totally relate to the feelings/exchange you and Jon shared. So touching – it reminds me of what I’m going through. I’m just so overjoyed for you and it’ll be fun to read about Leta’s experience through all of this. Maybe it’ll prepare me for when I have #2. Wishing you and the babe good health!

  • April Smith

    Congratulations to you and you family. Good luck with everything.

  • “Magic Elves” – just love that. We prepped my daughter for the birth of her new sibling, oops, make that twins (are you sure there is only one in there?) with the book “I’m a big sister” by Joanna Cole. We read many “big sister” books but this was our favorite. http://www.amazon.com/Im-Big-Sister-Joanna-Cole/dp/0688145094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227210612&sr=8-1

  • ***”HOW YOU GONNA GET THAT BABY OUT?” she said with a concern that made it sound as if she remembered the exact moment her shoulders left my womb.***

    Ugh! My ovaries twitched when I read that and had a flashback of my labor experience.

  • Hey, congratulations! And Leta sounds like she’s all ready.

    Seriously, though, how are you gonna get that baby out? Will elves be involved? I thought it was a stork or something…

  • Congrats again! But…uhm…that “magical elves” thing is going to bite you on the ass one day!

  • 🙂 Just wait until that little sibling starts taking toys and showing up wearing her old onesies, or worse yet, her princess… anything. Congratulations.

  • Anonymous

    That is so wonderful, Heather!! SQUEEE!

  • Yesterday you made me a ‘Woo’ girl. Today you made me cry. Thanks. I am sooooo looking foward to reading about what happens next.

    Sending you some Internet Love, in the non-sexual way, to you and your growing family.