Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dodging a Bullet

My husband and I narrowly dodged a bullet the other night.  Make that a speeding bullet.

We were knee-deep in the bedtime routine, (which, of course, is when most speeding bullets go whizzing by at our is it that kids know just when to time these things?) smack dab between brushing teeth and reading bedtime stories.  Somehow, all 4 of us were in the hallway outside the kids' bedrooms and my 4-year-old looked up at us with his quizzical look that means he is thinking.
"Where do babies?..."

(Pause.  Husband and I exchange glance.)

"Babies come..."

(Pause.  Husband and I collectively hold our breath.)

"Babies are born at the doctor, right?"

(Tension lifts.  Sighs of relief.  Husband and I exchange knowing smile.)

My younger sister is pregnant right now with her first baby, so there has been lots of talk around our house about our kids' new baby cousin and when she will arrive and when they will get to hold her.
(Please excuse my scatterbrained-ness and all the interruptions in this post.  I am just laughing as I am writing this because I can picture my sister reading it and saying "So this is my fault, too?  You're pinning this one on me?  You spilling the juice on the carpet and telling Mom it was me wasn't enough?"  As the older sister, I may have been known to blame a thing or two on my younger sister.  This "blame claim", however, cannot and has not been corroborated.  I plead the Fifth.  And dear sister, I am not blaming you, simply laying out the case for why babies have been a major topic of conversation in our house as of late and why your nephew may have been asking this question in the first place.) 
So yes, lots of baby talk at our house lately, and this time, we were able to dodge the mother of all bullets.  I know this is not over.  I know the "big one" will come up again.  I only hope I will not look as though I have been hit with an actual bullet when he does inquire further.  I hope I am able to provide him with just enough information to answer exactly what he is asking at that moment in time and not stumble into any other "land mine" topics while trying to provide answers.

Which leads me to my next dodged bullet...

However, this story only involves my child as a supporting player, not the main character.  The main character will remain nameless to protect the innocent, but for the sake of the story, you need to know this:

Big Kid = 5 years old; not my child; has sibling of different gender
Baby = my son (2 months old at the time)

The conversation between the Big Kid and I occurred while we were both looking at my son's birth announcement.  It went something like this...

BK: "How did you know when the baby would be born?"
Me:  "The doctors told us a due date.  That is their best guess for when they think the baby will be born."
BK:  "Hmm."  (Pauses.  Accepts that answer, and continues thinking.)  "How did you know what you were gonna name the baby?"
Me:  "Well, we didn't know for sure if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl, so we had a couple of names picked out, and decided on his name at the hospital."
BK:  "Hmm."  (Pauses.  Accepts that answer, and continues thinking.)  "So when did you find out he was a boy?" 
(I'm pretty sure this is when I was trying to hide the sheer look of terror that was creeping across my face.  Please remember, this was not my child.  My child could not yet speak, so I had no experience with this whole Big Kid questioning/thinking/responding thing.  This Big Kid did have a sibling of a different gender, I silently reasoned to myself while trying to play it totally cool, maybe BK knew about this stuff.  Then again, this was not my child, and this felt somewhat out of my realm.  What to do, what to do.  I knew I should have worn my Kevlar vest today.  I went with the only weapon I had...put it back on BK.) 
Me:  "How do you think we knew when he was a boy?" 
BK:  "Well, when you saw he had hair!" 
Me:  "Yes, yes...that was it!  When we saw he had hair we knew we had a son and that's when we picked his name."

So, yes, I may have lied to a 5-year-old.  I admit it.  Sue me.  But I figured at that point, I had provided just enough information to answer BK's line of questioning, without providing too much.

All joking aside, I pray each day that my husband and I are building the type of relationship with both of our children where they will come to us with these tough questions as they grow up.  I want them to trust us and feel comfortable to approach us with their wonderings.  I hope they will turn to us, and we will be able to have open, honest conversations about their big questions, no matter how initially uncomfortable for us...or them.  

When you are faced with the toughest of questions, You Are a Good Mom.  
When you have none of the answers, You Are a Good Mom.  
When you do have the answers, but aren't quite sure how to deliver them, You Are a Good Mom.
When your kids trust you and come to you with those tough questions, You Are a Good Mom.
When you engage in meaningful dialogue with your child, You Are a Good Mom.  
When you figure out how to explain where babies come from, You Are a Good Mom.  (And then please call me and let me exactly know how you went about this conversation...)
Wondering what began all this blogging craziness?  Check out my first post for the back story on "You're a Good Mom" if you're curious.

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