She lifts up my shirt and pats my belly in just the way that she likes her back to be patted when she’s having trouble falling asleep. She lifts up my shirt and pats my belly and talks to her brother.
You love me. You really, really love me. You love me because I’m your big sister and I’m a very good big sister. L will be your sister but I’m already the big sister and I’ll be your big sister and that’s good for you because I’m very good at it.
Then: Mama? Does he like my pats? Is he jumping up and down inside your tummy? Is he hugging me like I’m hugging him? “Yes, my love,” I always tell her, because who’s to say he isn’t?
Then we have a cute little argument. I’ll be his big sister and L will be his little sister, she’ll assert. “Well, love,” I’ll qualify, “L will be a little sister to you and a big sister to him. And you’ll be a big sister to both of them.” No! she’ll argue. Because he will have two sisters and I’m big and L is little so I’m his big sister and L is his little sister!
Ah, the incontrovertible belief system of a three-year-old must be such a comforting possession. Never mind that I’ve tried to convince her otherwise for five bedtimes straight.
The ‘Hog has been growing more robust and last night he had the hiccups. For the first time E didn’t need to rely on my confirmation of her brother’s approval of her offerings of love. She felt his movements herself.
See, Mama!! I told you he likes my pats!! He’s jumping up and down!! He really, really loves me lots!!
Well, why wouldn’t he, love. You are, after all, his big sister.