Vn39.01 Good News 7/1/77
At lunch today we told the children that Gretchen is pregnant.
When the children and I finished our morning’s experiment (Logo Session
33), we joined Gretchen at home, picked up a stack of their favorite
books, and all went to the doctor’s office.
We all suffered a delay (the doctor was late in returning from a
delivery). Each child read his own books, then the other’s, and finally
whatever children’s books they could find in the office. They seemed
to take no special notice of most women being about 7 months pregnant.
After our interview with the doctor ( and our listening to the
fetal heart beat!) Gretchen remained for some laboratory tests while
I took the children outside. They were rambunctious from their hour’s
wait and argued with me that we should have left them home. When I
raised the surface objection that we couldn’t find a baby sitter, they
claimed to be big enough to stay home by themselves and that a compro-
mise solution would be for them to work in the garden with Steve (our
When we sat down to lunch at home, I asked both children if they
had noticed anything unusual about the patients in the doctor’s office.
Robby said several of the women had big bellies. When I asked why,
Miriam said that meant they had babies inside. Neither guessed why
we had gone to that doctor’s office. “Kids, we have some good news.
Your Mommy has a baby in her belly!” The children were thrilled. To
their first question, “How do you know?” we could say we had heard its
heart beat. “Is it a boy or a girl?” Both children were looking for
an ally. Robby: “I hope it’s a boy.” Miriam: “I hope it’s a girl.
What do you hope, Dad?” I replied that I hope the baby is healthy,
and was content to wait, as I must do, until the baby is born to find
out if it’s a boy or girl. They started to plan:
Robby If it’s a boy, he can sleep in my room and I’ll give him the crib.
Miriam It’s my crib. Robby No. I just loaned it to you. Miriam Well, I’ll give the baby my little blanket. What toys should we get for it?
Gretchen cautioned the children that the wait would be a long one. I
added that the baby would be a late Christmas present for everybody.
Robby asked to be excused from the table so he could tell our
neighbors. I warned both children I wanted no racing or fighting
about the good news. They could tell whomever they wanted but they
had to do it together. Miriam left her lunch and both went across the
court. We could hear their cries: “Steve, Carol, Annette, Jim — we’re
going to have a baby!”
This vignette witnesses the children’s excitement over an event
which will complicate and enrich our common life.