I signed Ryan up for a "Sibling" class at the hospital as it seemed a good idea for him (and us) to be able to tour the hospital rooms and have him learn more about babies and make him feel special about his upcoming role as "big brother." He was very excited about it and for the most part, did a great job listening to the teacher as she read a book and played a video about babies. When she asked questions, he was the most outgoing one in the class (ages ranged from 2.5-2nd grade) since he had an answer or a comment for just about everything and the others could hardly be coaxed to talk. He may take after his mother a bit in that he was thinking, "Hey, if no one else is going to answer, I'm not going to just sit here quietly!" I'm sure he'll find that to be a blessing and a curse later in life. A few of his answers/comments garnered some chuckles. Here's a little taste of his "baby wisdom":
Teacher: Do you know if you're going to have a baby brother or sister?" (All the other kids knew the gender of their coming baby)
Ryan: "I'm going to be a big sister." (Sorry, not how that works--and we honestly don't know if it's a boy or girl, but he keeps saying sister which I think has a lot to do with wanting the baby to be like Saylor.)
Teacher: "What can we do with babies?"
Ryan: "We can share our toys."
Teacher: "No, babies can't play with your toys." (I kind of thought he should have gotten a little credit for this Sunday-School answer, or at least encouraged to share his toys once the baby was older, but he got shot down big time.)
Teacher: "What else can we do with babies?"
Ryan: "We can teach them to love Jesus." (Classic Sunday-School answer! You'd think he was a children's sermon pro! Adam and I discussed how it's probably good our church doesn't have children's sermons in the front, because he would probably be "that kid" that all the adults are secretly hoping will be up there to answer all the questions in awkward ways that make the teacher desperately try to redirect their attention back to the topic/right answer.)
Teacher: "Sometimes babies' diapers smell bad, don't they?"
Ryan: "Yea, yea, yea, they are stinky...like a skunk." (I've noticed Ryan likes to make comparisons and it provides some insight into the associations he makes in his mind. He also got shot down on this one and told that babies diapers do not smell like skunks and again I was thinking, "sheesh...lighten up...he's 3")
We practiced putting a diaper on his teddy bear and then went to see the nursery and recovery rooms. They were nice and it's a brand new hospital, but the rooms were so much smaller than what we had in Sibley, probably since here they have separate delivery and recovery rooms. I was just picturing all the people who came to visit us when Ryan was born and there is no way they'd fit in the rooms here! But, I'm anticipating a lot less visitors this time anyway.
We got to see a baby who was born that day (his older sister was in the class with us) and Ryan was pretty fascinated with how small the baby was, although he was mostly concerned about the umbilical cord clamp and whether or not that was hurting the baby. He wanted to hold that baby and wanted to go find some more babies. I'm glad he seems very interested instead of scared or distant, but have the feeling he might be more of the "smothering and/or jealous" type. It's going to be a heck of an adjustment for him, no matter what, since he's pretty much been the focus of attention for the last 3 years.
After our tour, we had a snack in the cafeteria and he got all sorts of
trinkets like a color book and crayons, a stuffed hippo, and a
certificate. Overall, I'm glad we went and it made me feel good that one
of the other moms, who is a preschool teacher, commented on how
well-behaved and articulate Ryan was. As the due date draws closer (4 weeks away), we have a lot to do to prepare for the baby and this was a good reminder that we need to prepare Ryan for the changes as well!