I Smell a Baby Conspiracy

I thought it was all too coincidental.

I’d be talkingto fellow moms about, well, mommy stuff.

Diapers, a mini interior decorator reorganizing our utensil drawers and moving the dining room chairs ’round the room.

Then they slip it in there.

“By the way, Jeanne, I’m pregnant.”

I whoop. I do the happy dance.

What can I say? I love babies!

But then comes the inevitable question.

“Soooooo… when are you and Jonathan going to give Jillian a little brother or sister?”

Even my parents, who patiently and quietly waited for grandchildren sneak a zinger in there when I least expect it.

My brother and I will be on speaking terms, and they’ll take it as a sign that sibling rivalry has been quashed by sibling love.

“Jillian needs a brother,” they’ll say. (No beating around the bush in my family).

“Come on, growing up with Alex gave you character,” my mom claims.

Yes, character.

And a permanent gray scar in my cheek where he drove a pencil into the flesh, a strange mottled scar on my foot where he broke it, a habit of scarfing down my food to pre-empt the theft of my precious second portion.

Jillian needs a little brother like I need a hole in the head.

But I’m smelling a conspiracy.

Just about every woman whose pregnancy began or ended sometime within my own nine months of swollen belly syndrome has announced they’re expecting.

Just as Jillian is asserting her toddler-sized independence (she just learned to say “no,” folks), they’re assaulting me with visions of little baby booties and sweet Johnson’s smells.

Then the kicker. My cousin Ardis, who shared pregnancy pains with me up to the very month Jillian was born sent out an e-mail the other day.

Her daughter, Bea, was due 11 days after Jillian.

True to Eschenberg form, she too waited around in her mommy’s belly until she was good and ready. She was born 11 days after Jillian in June 2005.

But Ardis’ Valentine greetings included pictures of her latest sonogram.

Wait a minute, LATEST sonogram?I dashed off an e-mail. Congratulations, mommy! When are you due?

Seems that come August, I’ll have another cousin.

Of course, she had to ask – when are you getting pregnant?

Go on, call me paranoid. I know you want to. Call me baby hungry. It’s true.

I already told you, I looooooove babies.

But I’m not giving in. A diaper-free life is staring me in the face.

Jillian can say “please” and ask for noodles or chocolate.

Best of all, she can wrap her little fists around the neckline of my shirt and hold me tight in a toddler-love fest.

Babies can wait. I’ve got a Jillian to cuddle.

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