Lindsay Czarniak spends her professional time talking about sports, but when the cameras are off, the pregnancy cravings come out in full force.
“The last pregnancy craving that I had was Cheez-Its,” the SportsCenter anchor, who is expecting her second child with MSNBC Live anchor and co-anchor of Today‘s Saturday edition Craig Melvin, tells PEOPLE.
“But I’m starting to think that it might not be a pregnancy craving at all,” jokes Czarniak, 38.
“It’s just a new food you love,” says Melvin, 37.
“It’s just a lifetime thing,” Czarniak agrees.
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Melvin, who will take three weeks of paternity leave once his second child is born, says that the last time he laughed so hard he cried had completely to do with his 2½-year-old son Delano, A.K.A. “Del.”
“He’s at that stage where he could be potty training but he’s not, so he goes into the corner [to poop] because he’s ashamed, I guess, to be pooping in public,” he says. “So he goes into the corner and disappears for a minute or two, and then he reemerges. And the first time I saw that, I laughed so hard I cried.”
The couple, who were married in 2011, are keeping their second baby’s sex a secret, and say that they’ve coined a special term for Delano to refer to his soon-to-arrive brother or sister by.
“We came up with [“sibby”] because it’s short for ‘sibling,’ ” Czarniak explains. “Which I did not think he knew, and then one day he said, ‘Because it means sibling.’ ”
“He’s a very advanced 2½-year-old,” Melvin says.
The soon-to-be parents of two say Del has “warmed up to” the idea of having a younger sibling, but that it didn’t start out quite that way.
“For a while, we would point to Mommy’s belly and he would say, ‘No baby, no baby, no baby,’ ” Melvin shares. “Now it’s, ‘Aw, baby.’ ”
He continues, “I think he’s okay with the concept. It remains to be seen once the child shows up whether he tries to send it back.”
“I don’t think he gets it’s forever, but I think he’ll be pretty good,” says Czarniak.
Melvin can’t help admitting that he has a preference for the baby’s sex, saying he would like a daughter since he already has a son and wants “a complete set.”
He says, “Now I feel awful because now our child is not [a girl], 20 years from now … ”
” … I will give that child enough love for both of us,” jokes Czarniak.
“I’m being honest,” Melvin says. “I would be happy [either way] — healthy, happy, obviously.”
Going on an earlier maternity leave than she’d planned was difficult for Czarniak, who admits she doesn’t do well with change or saying goodbye. And she’s also struggling with the idea of how adding another baby into the mix will change her family’s dynamic.
“Guilt is so real,” she says of not working during the time when her baby hasn’t arrived yet and she is spending time with her son. “I am still processing the whole thing, ’cause you don’t know. And then on the flip side, the other thing that’s been really eye-opening — very cool, but also scary as hell — is really being able to spend time with my friends who have two kids and watching how they do it.”
She continues, “A lot of them don’t work, some of them do, but seeing the difference there and how they are like superwomen. And I’m like, ‘How the hell and I gonna do that when I get back and I’m going to work?’ ”
When asked about his upcoming time off, Melvin says he isn’t a fan of the system of the American system when it comes to (the lack of) leave for dads.
“It bothers me that we don’t have some sort of paternity-leave policy in this country,” he says. “If we want families to be stronger, we should probably give certainly moms, and dads as well, an opportunity to bond with their child, and I don’t think that the first two or three weeks in a child’s life … there’s no [other] time like that.”
He adds, “So to have the opportunity to be able to do that, that was a no-brainer. What’s going to be tricky is if the child is born, like, the day before the election.”
“Which will be fine, which you need to be [at work] for,” Czarniak says. “But going the first time through it, that time was so special, and having him there was just as important as having a new baby in the house. It was just amazing.”