We carefully weighed the rice, and poured it not-so-carefully into tube socks (we spent more time sweeping up rice than we did pouring rice!).
Our measuring bowl only held about 2 pounds of rice, so we weighed the sock when we thought we were close to birth weight.
We tied off the sock at 6 lbs, 8 ounces for Zoe and 4 lbs, 2 ounces for Maya. We made another tie to make the head, and then pulled the top of the sock down to make a tiny baby hat. The girls had great fun coming up with descriptions for their babies – Zoe’s was a cucumber with a hat, and Maya’s looked like a squash!
Mimi helped with the project, and instructed the girls on holding the “newborn” rice baby so the head was supported. What fun! The girls love playing with dolls, so this was a natural for them.
The last steps were drawing on a face, using a permanent marker to make sleeping u-shaped eyes and a little blush to make rosy cheeks; and wrapping the rice babies in receiving blankets.
Quite a fun project. Yes, the girls learned a lot about weights and measures. But more importantly, they got something concrete to connect them to their births, and by extension, to their birth mothers. We don’t have pictures, we know no one who can tell their birth stories. We do have those numbers – 6 pounds, 8 ounces; 4 pounds, 2 ounces. The numbers have little meaning, though, when you’re 8 and 5.
I think we made it real with this project. And tonight before bed, when Zoe put her rice baby up her nightgown, with Maya following suit, and said, “So this is how much I weighed when I was in my birth mother’s tummy,” I knew it had worked!