Saturday, August 7, 2010

The messy truth

I am pretty used to being asked random questions. In the parenting journey there are so many milestones. Some milestones are pretty standard, rolling over, crawling, walking. Each child exerts their unique personality in the way they master the milestones, yet the milestones are reached nonetheless. As kids get older, they start to figure out the world around them. The milestones are more emotional and educational than physical. The physical milestones become embarrassing and often not talked about. We are teetering on some pretty big changes for our almost 11 year old and have already been introduced to some of the fun mood changes associated with a tween. A few months ago, on a trip to the library, I picked out a cartoonified book that looked pretty good for our young man that talked about "what's happening to me". A quick scan on my part revealed chapters about hygiene, voice changes and hair changes. Pretty innocuous stuff, heck it was cartoons- and I wasn't ready to go full Monty on the subject. I still remember a 4 year old Phillip informing me that babies came from seeds and daddies gave the seeds to mommies and that is where babies came from. I was a bit shocked hearing this from my first born and changed the subject. I later found they were doing a mini botany lesson in preschool and Phillip took it quite literally. I was a bit relieved and somewhat disturbed at how concerned he was everytime I ate watermelon.

Later that evening, Phillip had adjourned to his room for his nightly reading session. A while later he marches out and holds the book in front of me to a page entitled "Every Body's Different" on which there were cartoon drawings of different boy body types. I giggled but told him every body IS different. He rolled his eyes at me, flipped through a few pages and again held the book in front of me turning a slight shade of crimson. The Messy Truth, a section on nighttime emissions. OH. Didn't catch that section. I ask him if he has questions. He looks horrified. I again tell him it's normal and I just wanted him to be prepared. As it turns out, neither one of us was quite prepared for it. I told him if he was more comfortable talking to his dad about it, I totally understood and there were probably a lot of questions dad was more, well, equipped to handle than me. Phillip looked at me as if I had just sprouted another head, and not in that cool alien science experiment way. What is that saying about good intentions paving the way somewhere?

A couple days ago, I was sitting looking for a picture when Bella started snuggling with me. "Mommy, can I see pictures of me in your belly?" Hmm, sure. Bella is also a very visual and literal little person. A few months ago we went through baby pictures of all of them and they got a big kick out of it. I find the right file in my photo gallery and start flipping through. "Is that me??" We are looking at a picture of Lily hugging the belly. That's Lily, you are the belly. "I'm in your tummy." Yep, oh no. I know what's coming. "How did I get there?" Oh look here's a picture of you out of my tummy and here's a picture of you with everybody as a baby. "Did you eat me when I was a baby?" Despite that being a very funny, albeit messy image, I was relieved to be saved by Lily's questions about how could she and Bella both be babies at the same time and Phillip's laughter. Seems like neither one of us was quite ready to revisit the messy truth again quite yet.

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