Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ask Your Dad

Brett and I sat on those fake leather waiting room chairs right outside the elevator bay as doctor upon doctor rushed past us, Katie bouncing between us like she'd had one too many cups of sugar.

After showing her the phone booth, yes - a real, live phone booth with a functioning pay phone, glass door, little seat and everything, she grew bored with our surroundings and began asking questions.

"Is that lady a doctor?" she asked me.

"I don't know, maybe." I answered.

"Is that man a doctor?" she asked me.

"I don't know, maybe." I answered.

This went on and on and on until finally she settled down on my lap and I thought, just maybe, she'd close her eyes and rest for a bit.

Her head popped up and turned to look at me, taking my face in both of her tiny 4-year-old hands. She looked seriously into my eyes and brushed wisps of hair away from my cheeks.

"Mama, how does a baby get in the mom?" she asked me.

Brett was snickering 2 chairs over from us. There was no escape. There were no distractions. There was no getting out of this one.

I reminded her how all women have eggs in their ovaries. She nodded her head. I reminded her that each of those eggs could turn into a baby when the time was right. She nodded her head.

A few moments passed.

"But mama, dads can have babies in their bellies too."

"Well, not usually," my husband chimed in, "usually, it is the mom that has the babies in her belly."

"Well, there was a dad who had a baby in his belly," Katie said matter-of-factly, "I saw it."

[Damn you, People magazine and your coverage of the father who gave birth!]

I thought for a moment about what she had just said.

"Yes, honey, you are right," I added, "but that man used to be a woman, so he still had his female parts to carry his baby."

Expecting a look of wonderment, or at least curiosity, I readied myself for another question. We all know, after all, how many questions 4-year-olds like to ask. There were none. Nothing.

She was fine with that answer. For her, it made perfect sense even though for us, we were the ones left scratching our heads and wondering if we'd told her too much. We told her the truth. And she, with her young mind, a mind that has not been corrupted by fighting and warring and discrimination and hate, she got it - just fine.

Oh, how I hope that her mind stays as open as it is now.

Is is just me, or are these "where did I come from?" talks getting more complicated?


Anonymous said...

It's not just you. But I love your straightforward of judgement. Truth is always the best... and you said just enough!

Keep it up.


Every Day Goddess said...

LOL! I love this. Yes, they just keep getting better :)

Keli said...

This is great and you did a wonderful job of "splaining"!

Jen said...

I had the EXACT same thing happen to me, but it was at the grocery store. I answered pretty much the same as you. Luckily there were no follow up questions. Damn People Magazine and their damn pregnant man!!!

jen said...

i kinda love people mag for this actually. see how she just rolled with it?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

All that "man having a baby" coverage really annoyed me. 'Cause? That's not what was going on.

Kudos to you for your straight talk.

LindaJ said...

Good job on the matter of fact answers. I'm a firm believer in the truth and only answering what is asked.

If only a real man had a baby...The world would be a much different place....Men are BIG BABIES!!

Kyla said...

Great job there. I think I'd have been stammering a bit and then pointed at something shiny. LOL.

Christy said...

That's perfect--wouldn't be great if everyone just "got it" like that? Pure and simple. Kids rock!

The Mrs. said...

very good answer and I agree with you damn you people for your recent cover.

I just got a question about breast from my three year old. Oy its starting already.

I just hope hubs is around when he starts to ask other questions in a few years...

Kimmylyn said...

Your response has been filed so that I can use it for a later date on my own kids.. :)