Less than one week before Koopa's fourth birthday, we're talking a lot about babies and pregnancies. Babies are fascinating to Koopa at this time, I guess both because he realizes that he is now a big boy and has the desire to take care of somebody smaller than him, but also maybe because he's mourning not being a baby anymore himself and coming to terms with the idea that he'll never be one again.
But sometimes he announces "I'm a baby!" and that means he wants to be cared for like a little baby, carried around a lot and rocked and so on (its also a good idea to move all breakable objects away from him at that time because if he's in a bad mood he throws stuff around; hasn't actually happened lately but was a regular concern of ours until a couple of months ago.) And sometimes, especially when he's sad, he likes to hide under my t-shirt, saying "Mama I wanna be in your belly again."
So he knows that all babies were in their moms' bellies at some point. Well, he knows about the belly part, but I don't think he recognizes yet that it's kind of important whose belly it is. My impression is that he thinks it can be any random belly that happens to be available. Maybe that's because he first acquired this knowledge not from me but from Gleb. Once (a long time ago), before Koopa knew anything about anything, I went away for a conference for a weekend and came back to find them walking around with pillows under the their t-shirts pretending that they're pregnant. I like that it was their special daddy-son bonding theme. So I don't know, maybe he thinks its a total accident that he happens to come from my belly and not from papa's.
Recently, he's become more and more interested in various details of his life in my belly. So much so that our conversations about pregnancy and babies are now one of the most frequent conversation topics in our house, second only to toilet-related conversations. Here are some recent ones:
Koopa: So when I was little, I was in your belly, right?
Tupla: You were.
Koopa: But where? Where in your belly?
Tupla: Well. There is a special place there called the uterus, and that's where you were. When you were in there, it was big like a baloon, and you were inside.
Koopa: I was inside the baloon?
Koopa: Where? On the floor?
Tupla: No, there was water in that baloon, and you were floating in that water.
Koopa: Is there water in there now?
Tupla: No, now the water is gone and the baloon has deflated. It only has water when there is a baby there.
Koopa: So when I'm a baby again and I'm in your belly, there will be water in there?
Tupla: Well, you won't fit into my belly anymore because you're a big boy now, but if there is another baby there then yes, there will be water.
* * *
Koopa: What did I do in your belly? Did I play there?
Tupla: You did. You did everything. You ate, slept.
Koopa: Did I watch cartoons?
Tupla: No, you couldn't watch cartoons, because you couldn't see too well from there, but you could listen to music.
* * *
Koopa: Mom, when I was in your belly, did I kick you?
Tupla: You did.
Koopa: Did you like it?
Tupla: Yes, I did. You didn't kick me too hard. You were playing. [That's true, it was mostly pleasant. But then I was lucky not to be kicked in the ribs which I hear can be unpleasant. He only systematically kicked my bladder, and that's not painful, just potentially embarassing, that's all.]