On Tuesday this obsession reached its apex

What I first noticed as the occasional comment from my youngest I have now realized is her obsession: that Baby Chickadee loves a lady with a baby in her tummy.
After she and I had watched “Spy Kids 4-D” a time or two, Baby Chickadee would ask for the movie by, “Let’s watch the movie with the mama who has a baby in her tummy.” The main character is pregnant in the movie, but only in the first scene. Yet that’s what defined the movie for her.
Then Baby Chickadee started putting dolls under her shirt so that she could have a baby in her tummy. At first she’d giggle when I saw her and turn to hide, but when she realized I was ok with it she went full throttle: a baby in her tummy as she watched TV, as she danced around the living room, as she slept.
When we were at Target about a month ago, I had to push the cart where Baby Chickadee sat a good five or six times back to the maternity section so that she could look at a picture above some maternity workout clothes of a lady with a baby in her tummy; it was then I knew the obsession had taken hold. That sweet little thing loves pregnant ladies.
At the store her eyes will get big and she’ll turn to me with a preschool whisper that isn’t really a whisper and an excited, “That lady has a baby in her tummy!” At the park she’ll stop mid-play and run to find me only to ask if a certain woman has a baby in her tummy. Most of the time she’s right. So far we haven’t had any awkwardness where what she thought was a baby was just normal flub for a woman. So no unpleasant outbursts like she does when someone is, “Old! Like a grammy!” as you may remember she liked to holler in public.
But last week my sister-in-law and her kids hung out with us for the evening and I cannot remember a single comment from my daughter on the fact that her aunt was, at the time, a week away from her due date. If there were any time to stare at a lady with a baby in her tummy, it was then. Abigail loves being pregnant, has been pregnant many times, and would totally not mind the stares of awe from her niece. Apparently when there are cousins around, a baby in a lady’s tummy does not matter.
On Tuesday this obsession reached its apex: that day Baby Chickadee asked to watch the news. What she had previously only grudgingly let me watch in the morning with my coffee after we drop off G and Little Missy at school changed for her. That morning, as she played with her Barbies on the floor in front of me, she looked at the TV and realized one of the anchors is pregnant. “Mom! That lady has a baby in her tummy!” And then she climbed onto the couch next to me and smiled and stared with her hand over her mouth. Then that afternoon she didn’t want to watch her usual movie before her nap, no, she wanted the news. As my brain tried to figure out why it hit me, and I had to break it to her that Savannah Guthrie is only on in the morning. And a bummed Baby Chickadee longed for the two-minute quippy segments of the Today show.
So in the mornings: the Today show. In the afternoons: Spy Kids 4-D. And while we’re out shopping I’ll continue to swing her by the maternity section.

Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three.  She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.