As V.'s second birthday nears, I've become increasingly aware of the fact that my baby is... well, not a baby anymore. I'm not as broken up about it as I should be (given he might be my last child... Not ruling out an "oops" baby, but said babies are usually not expected for the most part), at least according my daughter.
A couple of months back, kiddo started talking about "not wanting a baby sister". I've since come to realize this is code for "of course I want a baby sister, dummy!", because we've since had several conversations about babies.
First there was the "I'm gonna get a baby sister" convo, whereupon G. told me she wanted a baby sister. I told her that I didn't know if we could get a baby sister, not just from the standpoint of actually having another baby, but insofar as not being able to rule out a baby brother instead. I don't know what I was thinking, because G. piped up with "Then I'll just have a new baby brother!". I backtracked with "Either way, it's a long shot, kiddo".
A few weeks later, we had the "what you need to do to have a baby" convo. Based on past experience, or the little awareness she had before being surprised with a baby brother two years ago, G. started talking about "going to the hospital to get a baby". I reminded her that babies grow in a woman's belly for a long time before it's time to go to the hospital. "Besides, when a mommy goes to the hospital to have a baby, she might have to be in a hospital for a few days, and I don't really like being in hospitals. I'm not sure I want to go get another baby.", I told her.
This segued almost immediately into G. saying "That's okay. I'll go to the hospital to get a baby. I'll get two" (Note to self: why didn't I think of that? Think of the convenience!). I explained ever so helpfully that you can't just show up at the hospital and be handed a baby. "You sort of have to sign up for it beforehand, before the baby grows in the belly. Then when the time comes, you can go to a hospital so they can take it out of the belly. Besides, you'd have to be a much bigger girl to grow a baby.", I tentatively explained. "Awww!", she said, all disappointed.
That was the end of it for two weeks or so. Of course, because I'm never happy about the status quo and always have to complain, I had to go and complain out loud that "my baby isn't a little baby anymore!" when putting V. to bed a few days ago. That was all the opening G. needed. "When Vincent is a little boy, we'll go get a new baby!", she told me the other day. "I don't know, honey. A new baby would mean I would have less time to spend with you and your brother, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that.", I told her quite honestly.
Of course, this is my kid, flesh of my flesh, and if there is something she's inherited from my side of the family is a constitutional inability to let things go. This means that she'll probably be undeterred about wishing for a new brother until she's ready to understand the nitty gritty of the facts of life (it'll probably take a few more years for that convo to be understood properly. Sigh.). In fact, she's been making grand plans.
Today, while we were walking around in Seattle Center, she pointed out a cute, almost bald blond-ish baby.
"That's baby Vincent!"
"No, honey. Baby Vincent is at home napping with dad, and he's not a baby anymore. He's a little boy."
"I know." *pause* "I have babies, mommy. They sleep in my bed. They wear pajamas like me."
"Yeeees... Like... Baby dolls?"
"Uh uh. Until I get a baby brother. And then I'm gonna push it in a stroller. And I'm gonna get a pink carrier. To carry the baby in."
"... You know, honey... It would take a long time to get a real baby. But we could get a really nice baby doll for your birthday, and a pink carrier for you to carry it in. Wouldn't that be nice?"
"Yeah. I want a baby doll and a pink carrier!"
"Well, it's a deal. We can get one for your birthday."
Hopefully, that will be the end of that for a while. I doubt it, though. I think the fact that a few parents of kids at her daycare have recently had tiny babies does not help. To a four year old, babies are probably as ubiquitous as clouds in the sky. Heck, before I started having kids, I felt like there were kids everywhere. You'd just turn around, and someone else was having a child.
Five years in, though, I can definitely say that while I wouldn't rule out a new baby 100%, I'm probably at 90/10 with a strong likelihood that by the time I'd presumably change my mind, I'll be too old anyway. It would be nice to not have to worry about diapers anymore in a year or so, or getting a whole night of uninterrupted sleep, rather than a few hours punctuated by 1 AM calls for "More water!" or "Waaaaah! Pooopy!". But try to explain that to an almost five year old.