To a certain extent, she knows something’s going on with my protruding belly. At daycare several months ago, she ran around lifting up her shirt shouting, “Baby, baby!” And lately, she’s been patting and rubbing on my stomach. I tell her that her little sister is inside my tummy and that she’ll be a big sister soon. Then, she’ll look at me with those big, beautiful brown eyes and just smile. But on rare occasions, she’ll grab my stomach with her chubby little hands, put her mouth to my stomach and start screaming. I don’t know if that’s her way of communicating with her little sister or not, but it’s entertaining.
I continue to wonder how she’ll react when her baby sister gets here though. My nineteen-month-old daughter can be helpful, bossy or affectionate – depending on her mood. She’ll help me clean up around the house and even enjoys bathing herself. But Miss Nandi can be bossy at times. If she’s made up her mind to play, to begin story time or even to eat, she throws patience out the window. She wants it to happen then and there. On the other hand, she can be quite affectionate. Giving out hugs and pats on the back, to sloppy kisses and gentle rubs on the face with her small hands, Nandi loves to show Mama and Daddy how much she cares. As my husband and I continue to prepare the house for our new baby, we also continue to work on mentally preparing Nandi for her baby sister too.
But to make the preparation a bit smoother, my in-laws offered to watch Nandi for an entire week. It sounded great at first, but the day we dropped her off turned out to be a sad one for me. Being five hours apart, we decided to meet at a half-way point. When we met at the designated spot, my husband started transferring items to their vehicle – our baby girl’s car seat, luggage, toys and whatnot. Before we drove off, I gave Nandi so many kisses, I lost count. Then, as we started down the highway, I felt my heart suddenly drop and all of a sudden, the tears were rolling down my face. My baby hadn’t been away for five minutes, and here I was balling like a little girl. My husband said, “Chandra, stop crying – it’s okay. She’s in good hands.” I knew that; I just missed my little girl. Needless to say, the drive back home was a bit somber; but my husband, bless his heart, did his best to keep my spirits up.
Later that evening we checked in on Nandi, and she was doing better than her Mother. In fact, my in-laws said she hadn’t cried or even asked about either one of us. I was hurt, but to know my baby girl was growing up and showing her independence made me proud of her.
So, while Nandi is hundreds of miles away, my husband and I will continue our preparations for her little sister. The anticipation and the countdown are both underway. I just pray God blesses us with another healthy baby. With less than seven days separating us from welcoming our little blessing into the world, I’ll try not to constantly think about Nandi and instead focus on what needs to be done…and look forward to writing more blogs when I return from maternity leave.
Chandra Caradine is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Mom to Nandi and soon-to-be-Mama to another baby girl due in January.