Yesterday at nursery school on my duty day. E. has finished his snack and is idly flipping through Words Are Not for Hurting, one of a series of books with overt behavioral modification messages that I find deeply irritating but the kids seem to like. He is looking at a page where an older boy has made his little brother cry because he yelled at him after the baby knocked down his block tower.
“Mummy, are we ever going to get another baby at our house?”
E. is distracted by something his friend is doing before I can gather myself to form a response. It is the first time he has ever mentioned such a thing since he stopped asking about the baby that died.
This morning at breakfast. E. is eating oatmeal after finishing his waffle.
“Mummy, why are we not going to have another baby at our house?”
“Why are you asking, sweetie?”
“Because I want a baby.”
“That just seems to be how it’s worked out, sweetie. Besides, Mummy and Daddy love you so much. If we had a baby, you’d have to share us with the baby.”
“Ok.” E. goes back to eating his oatmeal.
“Why did you say, ok, E.?”
“Because now I know why we’re not going to have another baby in our house.”
“Do you like having Mummy and Daddy all to yourself?”
Big smile. “YES!”
E.: “Imagine if we went for an adventure on the streetcar and we forgot the baby!”
And then he is off, imagining what we would do on the streetcar, and I feel like I have dodged another bullet.