My Daughter’s (Future?) Sister

“My mommy’s not pregnant,” my daughter announced while FaceTiming with her grandfather one day.

“Your mommy’s pregnant!!??!!” he excitedly replied, the connection interfering.

“NOT pregnant!” my husband and I yelled in the background.

This is a common occurrence in my life these days. Whenever my daughter sees a baby she likes to tell the mother of that baby that she has a baby sister on the way. They inevitably look at me and I smile while also shaking my head “no” behind my daughter’s back. I usually try to make a joke, “at least not that I know of,” in an effort to ease the awkwardness.

At school my daughter paints pictures for her baby sister and at home she saves food she doesn’t want to eat, announcing that her baby sister will eat it. Her teacher recently told me that there’s been a lot of “baby sister” talk at school. When her friends tell stories of their siblings, my daughter excitedly joins the conversation with tales of her imaginary sister. Most of them know she doesn’t have a sister, but as far as I know they seem to play along.

Recently my daughter had a playdate with one of her friends at our house. I heard her friend wondering aloud why my daughter still had a crib in her room even though she’s four. My daughter didn’t miss a beat when she replied, “it’s for my baby sister.” Her friend thought that was a logical response and they quickly returned to their game.

One day I decided to have a chat with my daughter about what needed to happen before her baby sister could arrive. I told her that mommy had to get pregnant first, just like I did before she was born. We also talked about how before I got pregnant it was really important for me to feel and be healthy. I explained that her baby sister could not come until those two things happened. My daughter agreed that both of those things made sense.

Occasionally she will tell random people or family members, “my mommy has to get healthy and pregnant before my baby sister can come.” Sometimes I prompt her in public, “what does mommy have to do before she can get pregnant?” My daughter usually pauses and I smile, wondering what the other person thinks will come out of her mouth. “You need to be healthy!” she always responds enthusiastically. I imagine the other person breathes a sigh of relief that I did not go into too much detail about the mechanics of baby making.

My daughter remembers what I’ve told her, but she never gives up hope that her baby sister is on her way. I have decided that she is either psychic or persistent. I would love to give her a sibling one day, but for now it’s just my daughter, my husband, and me. We are a close-knit family of three sometimes struggling to get through each day in one piece.

The topic of another baby is still on the table, but it’s not set in stone. There are so many what ifs, fears, hopes, and dreams tied into the conversation. Before, the conversation took place in my head and with my husband. Now it’s one that my daughter initiates on a regular basis.

My daughter has no doubt that I will deliver her a sister one day. Some days that makes me laugh. Other days it makes me cry. 

When my daughter was born, she was what I like to call a pleasant surprise. I didn’t have much time to dream her up before she was right in front of me. We have had lots of time to imagine what having another baby would be like now. We have names picked out and dreams in our heads. 

If all of the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and my daughter is blessed with a sibling one day, I am certain the first words I will say to our new baby will be, “your sister knew you were coming long before anyone else did. She has been waiting so long to meet you.”

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