"Dylan, do you know Mommy has a baby in her tummy?"
"Mmm-hm," came the reply from the back seat.
"Is it a baby boy or baby girl?"
"Are you going to be a good big sister?"
"I love ..."
Dylan paused. I tightened my grip on the steering wheel. Finally! Dylan was officially excited about having a little brother. Until now, her reaction has been, at best, dismissive.
"Yes?" I asked.
"I love Barney."
Barney? Really? That stupid I-love-everyone dinosaur isn't even on TV anymore. Fortunately for Dylan, Grandma has a VCR and a pile of old movies.
For our part, we've been busy surrounding Dylan with babies and boys, just to get her prepped for July. Malcolm, her Oakland homey, visited last weekend and helped transition her to a house that's equal parts estrogen and testosterone, like a well-mixed Manhattan. For a much better recap of the weekend, check out: www.bigdaddypaulblog.blogspot.com. Malcolm's dad has better recall than I do and has awesome photos from their visit.
Malcolm, too, is an only child, and two of those playing together is usually more heated then Israeli-Palestine peace talks. Not this trip. The two got along terrifically and their toy-tug-of-wars always ended with hugs rather than slugs. Dylan even appropriately ignored the boy when he ran around the yard in his nudie and put on a little burlesque show with his mom's hat.
Last night, we took her to Derek and Shelly's wedding. It was a huge valley party and you couldn't walk ten feet without stepping on a small child. Parents don't like it when you step on their small children, but I say put lights on them and I'll see them. Anyway, it was another great opportunity for Dylan to meet babies -- maybe even baby boys -- and take another step toward acclimation. It turned out to be a great opportunity squandered. Dylan ran around the dance floor, pushed anyone off who tried to join her, and got shushed by old ladies. Regina and I pretended we didn't see her as we ate as quickly as we could. As we finished our meal, we realized that sharing the dance floor was as likely as sharing her toys with her brother, and we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us. We finally caught her when she blew out her flip-flop and were able to load her in the truck.
While Dylan pretends that Mommy's pregnant tummy is hiding either puppies or kittens, we are getting excited. We've decided amicably on a name (hint: it rhymes with "silver angst") without resorting to a rock-paper-scissors tournament or Indian leg-wrestling. We've set up the crib, again, and even picked up a pack of diapers (one ought to do it, right? I've heard that boys to all their business outside).
I think we're ready. And who knows, maybe by the time Bilver Pangst (hint: not his real name) is old enough to be seduced by television, the big purple dinosaur will be back in fashion, and he and his big sister will snuggle up on the couch together and sing along with every song.