It’s Flashback Friday, so here’s another oldie, but hopefully a goodie. This one is the first time I ever had the “talk” with Junior. We’ve had the “talk” many, many more times since then, but this is my favorite instance. Because, you know, it doesn’t include the message I give him today–which is “ain’t no love without a glove.” Teenagers. gotta love ‘em, because you can’t kill ‘em.
As a parent, you know that you are going to get certain questions asked of you. Someday your teenager will come in the door and ask questions like “Dad, would you be mad if I totaled the car?” Or, “Did the teacher give me an F because I’m fantastic?” Parents, for the most part, are completely prepared for those questions.
But the big Kahuna of all is “Where do babies come from?” This question can strike terror in the heart of even the bravest parent. There are parents who can scale mountains, fight wars, and arrest bad guys and these parents cannot tell their children where babies come from.
Of course, I was determined not to be one of those parents. And I was definitely determined not to give the same explanation my mother gave me. Let’s put it this way, if it really happened the way my mom said it did, the human race would be extinct.
So I rehearsed age appropriate responses, fully prepared for the day that Junior decided to ask me about babies. I had answers for every age—from youngest “a mommy and a daddy fall in love and decide to have a baby” to older “a mommy and a daddy fall in love and decide to have a baby” and even older “first there’s a bird, then a bee comes along…” As you can see, I was prepared.
And then it happened.
Junior was watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” There is a scene where a bunch of little Who babies are being delivered to Who Mommies and Daddies. They fly in on cradles attached to umbrellas. During this scene, Junior turned to me and said “Mom, babies don’t come with umbrellas, do they?”
Well, of course I, being Mrs. Prepared Mom said, “I think only Who babies come with umbrellas.” I smiled, patted him on the head and started to leave the room. I was stopped by the question, the one I had prepared so intently for, the big Kahuna. Junior looked at me with big brown eyes and said, “Mom, where do our kind of babies come from?”
And I froze. Oh, I tried to get some words out. I managed a couple of “uhs” and an “um” or two. But the reality is, I froze. All my age appropriate explanations went sailing through my head, leaving me totally and completely blank. I didn’t know how much information to give him. What parts should I leave out? What parts should I leave in? What did he really want to know? As I panicked, Junior was still sitting on the floor, waiting for me to answer. So I said again, “Well, I think only Who babies arrive with umbrellas.”
Junior looked at me as if I had gone crazy. Then he said, “okay.” And he turned back to the TV. I took several deep breaths into a paper bag, told myself that I was an idiot, and planned to answer that question better the next time Junior asked.
Which hopefully would be when Harry was home.
But a few minutes later, I panicked again. I mean, what was Junior thinking after my non-explanation? That Who babies arrived via umbrella delivery and human babies arrived via FedEx?
And you know that kids talk. They stand around on the playground comparing knowledge on everything from Pokemon trading cards to whether chocolate milk really does come from brown cows. I had visions of Junior talking to the other first graders about the birds and the bees and the guy in the FedEx truck. He’d either be a laughing stock or the one that the other kids thought had the most plausible explanation. I didn’t know which option was worse.
So I sat down in front of Junior and gently asked if he wanted more information. Junior looked at me solemnly and said, “Mom, I can’t see the TV.”
So I guess I had given him what he needed. I guess Junior isn’t ready to hear about babies and umbrellas and overnight delivery options. Or maybe he just figures I’m not ready to talk about babies and umbrellas and overnight delivery options.
Either way, it’s fine with me. It gives me more time to rehearse my speech about those darned birds and bees and how FedEx will deliver pretty much everything but a baby. I mean, everyone knows UPS delivers babies. That’s what my mother told me.Add me to your rss reader | Become a Fan on Facebook!