The other night at bedtime Zoe suddenly sat up and very earnestly said to me “Mommy, I really want to have a baby in our family.” Oh man. So do we, Zoe, so do we.

I explained to her that Mommy and Daddy really want a baby in our family too, and that we’re doing our best to make that happen, but that it can take a long time for the baby to appear in Mommy’s belly.

Zoe routinely begins conversations with “When I’m a big sister…” and “When we have a baby we can…” and “This would be a great toy for our baby!” All as if I am pregnant and about to deliver her into big sisterhood any day now. I wish.

When I was pregnant last fall, I hoped that Zoe would catch the big sister vibe from two good friends of ours whose second babies were expected to arrive in November and December. I guess it worked.

Even though she can’t read, Zoe is a keen observer and when we go to the library, she manages to find every available book about babies, having a new baby, and being a big sister or brother. Maybe she does recognize the word sister, or just knows a baby picture when she sees it. Sometimes it wears me out to read all those books about big sisters and new babies. Frequent reminders of what I haven’t yet been able to achieve.

At bedtime she also frequently asks me to tell the story of when she was born, and she has drawn several pictures of me when I was pregnant with her. She even knows the word pregnant.

We hadn’t told her last fall that I was pregnant, precisely because we didn’t want to have to tell her if I suddenly wasn’t, which turned out to be the case. I wonder if we’ll be able to hold off next time (assuming there is a next time, praying and hoping that there is and it is sooner rather than later) because somehow I feel like she’ll sense it with her baby radar and the acute awareness of a big sister in training.