You should SEE the bite marks on my hand

The thing they don’t tell you in advance about parenting? Is how VERY HARD it can be some days not to laugh. Also, how VERY HARD to know what the right answer is.

Yesterday Will and I were rolling along in the car after his morning at nursery school, and he asks, in what can only be described as a world-weary tone, “Mom? When are the babies in my belly going to come out?”

Those of you following along at home might remember that Will has taken matters into his own hands since he hasn’t seen any evidence that I’m cooking up a baby for him to love. Will is also incredibly envious of Amily and Tyler’s great fortune to be expecting triplets, to the point where many of his imaginative play games start out, “Mom, you be Amily, no, I’ll be Amily…” You THINK I’m kidding.

In fact, I think I sense a slight disdain from him some days, as he tries to figure out why we only came up with one baby for him when we could have really gotten it right and brought home three of them. He does ask me regularly and hopefully, “Mom? Do you have a baby in your belly?” His constant scrutiny of my midsection is a bit unnerving and reminds me that I really ought to do some more sit ups.

So anyway, now he has babies, plural in his belly, and just as I am biting my hand trying hard not to laugh and think of an appropriate answer to when they might come, he switches gears and says, “Mom, I want to wear earrings like Mia. They are so pretty!”

I agree, they are indeed pretty, but explain that I had to be sixteen before I could wear earrings (the only time in my life I have ever been grateful for that strict rule, thanks mom and dad!), and so he would have to wait until he was older to wear earrings.

“But Mia does!”

Thank GOD for the garbage truck that came along right then. Because I was fresh out of answers.

And laughing really, really hard.

P.S. I have zero worries about Will and gender issues—have you SEEN the number of trucks in my house? I know the fascination with princesses, fairies, earrings, dress up and nail polish is mostly because he has never really seen it until now, with  lots of girl playmates at nursery school. Any other preschool boys out there drawing princesses and dreaming of diamond stud earrings? No? Never mind.

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Anna Sawin

Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.


  1. Stacy on January 30, 2008 at 9:30 am

    They do tend to be quite funny sometimes LOL! 🙂 My son plays with dolls and kitchen stuff and has on occassion worn mommies high heels around the house. He does have plenty of trucks and swords and is quite dramatic in his crashing and fighting pretend play. I have no worries either.

  2. Maya on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I am already learning this with Zane! He’ll be doing something that’s a big NO and his reaction do being told no makes me want to crack up. Somehow have to keep a straight face or leave the room and laugh!

    As for the earrings…I love when parents aren’t worried about that stuff. Some are so uptight about things like that.

  3. laura on January 30, 2008 at 10:02 am

    My nephew, who is now 5 1/2, used to play beauty parlor when he was 3…he’d make you sit in the recliner, put a blanket over your front , then recline the recliner and use the drill from his tool bench and the mixer from his kitchen set to do your hair. It was hysterical!

  4. Anna on January 30, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Laura, THAT is hysterical. My boys haven’t thought of that, but they do use their play drill to “drill” their teeth! What kind of weird kids play DENTIST!?

  5. sdh on January 30, 2008 at 11:47 am

    my brother carried a doll around until he was 4 or 5. it was his baby, and her name was Baby. he also used to dress up like Boy George with my aunt’s costume jewelry.
    you should watch the movie Ma Vie en Rose if you haven’t already. it’s a french movie about a little boy who wants to be Barbie. it’s great.

  6. B. on January 30, 2008 at 11:59 am

    renting that movie this weekend, oh yeah, never mind, its the super bowl. Plenty of manliness (and ass patting/hugging/strattling) there…

  7. The Casual Perfectionist on January 30, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Oh, Anna, that is hysterical!! For what it’s worth, my baby brother (only boy with three older sisters) LOVED the color pink. It was his favorite. We tried desperately to get him to like the color yellow. 😉 Not that there’s anything wrong with boys who like pink… 🙂

    We finally succeeded, and now he thinks we’re making up that story to torture him. 🙂

  8. Kim on January 30, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    That is so funny! Have you tried telling him that boys don’t have babies – just girls? He is too cute.

  9. Anna on January 30, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I know I SHOULD tell him that boys don’t have babies, but he would be so sad. You should SEE how proud he is when he sticks his belly out and asks me to feel the baby. I know, I know, this isn’t going to end anywhere good, I should just go with the straight story from the start…

  10. erin on January 30, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    goodness that is hilarious! my boy cousin wanted a pink barbie convertible power wheel when he was younger and my grandparents were so upset that his other grandparents bought it for him. apparently he just liked the convertible, not the whole barbie thing.

  11. Sheila on January 30, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Yes, the ECE specialist in me can tell you that this is very normal. Wouldn’t it be great to remain this free?
    And it’s a good thing I feel so fine about it too. Elias has his heart set on purple crocs when he grows out of his blue ones, you have heard about his babydoll and need I remind you about the pretend breast pump? Enjoy it.

  12. Sherry on January 30, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    My son’s preschool teacher tells me that most days he puts on the “princess dress” from the dress-up box with ladybug rain boots and either a hard hat or the knight’s helmet! He loves princess dresses so much that I finally went out and bought him his own set. Now when his friends come over they can dress up like princesses and then play with the trucks!
    p.s. love your blog – too funny 🙂

  13. Chelle on January 30, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    V. adorable. I can’t wait until Henry and him compare bellies.

  14. mikesgotnothin on January 30, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Um, yeah, I got nothin’ on this. We used to give my brother hell though, because my nephew always wanted an easy bake oven for christmas.

  15. Suzanne on January 31, 2008 at 9:49 am

    It is so cool to watch a preschooler’s thought process in action. Hard to keep a straight face, but fun to watch!

  16. Kim on January 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I have a surprise for you on my blog! 🙂

  17. amy Flood on January 31, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    we don’t have too many “girlie” toys yet, so every time we are at someone’s house where there are lots of “girl” toys, my boys are fascinated. my little guy was also the first to “love” my daughter’s baby doll. she could have cared less, give her a truck!

  18. Amily on January 31, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Anna — too cute!!! I love that he wants to have a baby/ies!

    Does he have any cleaning toys yet (vacuum, mop, etc)? (Not to stereotype gender roles…but I will…wouldn’t it be great if he wanted to play “cleaning lady?” Give him some clip on earrings and let him at those corn kernels!)

  19. qu33nbee on January 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    I used to play dentist. And doctor. Along with all the other normal games, when those got too boring. 😉

  20. Clink on February 1, 2008 at 10:50 am

    TOO CUTE. I wouldn’t have been able to contain myself.

    I need to get me one of those.

  21. carrievoris on February 1, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    maybe you should just have one more baby…to make him happy, anna??
    🙂 he is adorable! i think he is a keeper for sure.

  22. arizaphale on February 13, 2008 at 6:22 am

    Hi Anna!!! Long time no see! I have been so busy…no excuses but anyway, just wanted to say I love this post and the whole ‘he’s having a baby’ thing. Talk about initiative! If Mum won’t come to the party……..hahahahahaha
    My nephew is a very ‘sensitive’ lad and my sister is very uptight about it but I don’t think it is a problem at all. He is equally interested in ‘boy’ stuff and if truth be known, his mother and father spent a great deal of their prebaby lives dressing up for silly parties. They both had Abba wigs and dad was frequently in comic drag so what do they expect??? Hooray for crushing the sterotypes anyway!

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Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.