A Baby Announcement to Our Kids Gone... Not Quite Right


We have our fourth baby coming in May, and our oldest child is 4 right now. That means we have a house full of wee little monkeys (ages 4, 2 and 1), with one more to come. My husband and I thought it would be fun to do something special to announce the news to them. It was, but only in the way all parents’ “special plans” for their kids turn out at these ages, somewhere between ha, ha and wah, waaah.

The first problem was the dolls.

I bought a set of two baby dolls at the dollar store plus a ton of wrapping paper. My plan was to wrap up one baby in a box, saving the second for our kids to play with later. I’d put the wrapped box inside another wrapped box, inside another wrapped box, and let the kids go to town unwrapping the whole thing. An unwrap-a-thon would reveal the pretty awesome gift our whole family was getting this spring! But since our oldest two are girls who love babies, my husband thought they’d fight over the one doll, so he threw both of them in. I kept thinking they’d misunderstand and assume we were having twins. Then I came back to earth. These two don’t even know what twins are. Not a problem. But it still watered down the idea: We have our own baby on the way, and this doll represents that. Who’s super excited?

So we put the giant box in the living room and the squeals were immediate.

“Who got us this present?”

“Can we open it?”


They set about tearing in–at least the two older girls did. Our 18-month-old son just ran around the room alternately clapping with delight and trying to climb on top of the box. One box unwrapped! But they couldn’t get the tape open. Pause for dad to break out the scissors. Back to unwrapping! Second box open! “Oh wow, we got our own tools?” I used an old drill box since it was just the right shape and size but was apparently also terribly confusing. “Keep opening!” I coax them. At last they open the final box. (After dad gets the scissors again.) Babies! After a quick and shrewd negotiation, the girls decide who will have the pink baby and who will have the purple. Then comes hugging, caressing and cradling.

At this point, I say, “Do you know why you have a new baby? It’s because I have a new baby in my tummy, and we are going to have another person in our family pretty soon!” Silence, shrugs and one final question: “So, can we keep these babies?”

“Sure,” I laughed.

We have the whole thing on video, and while it’ll never become a viral sensation on YouTube, it’ll be a funny memory one day.

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