Thursday, May 21, 2009

Conversational pitfalls

Kids. They are either offering up information that you wish they'd keep quiet about, or asking for information that you'd prefer to keep quiet about. Case in point:

Tom: How was your day?
Twin No. 1: Mommy took a nap today. For like more than an hour.
Tom: Oh, re-e-e-eally?

It doesn't matter if your husband snores like a banshee and you've been awakened every few hours to redose a kid with tylenol and then get woken at 5:45 a.m. when your daughter has a nosebleed. It just sounds bad when your kid rats you out to your husband. (Although it wasn't as embarrassing as the time Elvis announced to his grandfather, "Mommy is wearing a black bra." Note to self: close door ALL THE WAY SHUT when dressing.)

On the other hand, this morning at the bus stop I was asked for too much information. The daughter of neighbors, age 7, said, "I wonder how babies get out of their mothers' tummies." I made a noncommittal noise, hoping she'd be distracted, when she asked me point-blank. A thousand thoughts rush through my mind: Don't lie, it's a perfectly normal question, don't push the kid into a shame spiral, MUST NOT TELL NEIGHBORS' KIDS FACTS OF LIFE OR I WILL BE ARRESTED. For once, I blessed my two C-sections, saying, "Well, it depends on the mommy and the baby. When I had the twins, the doctor split me open like a watermelon made a cut in my tummy and pulled the babies out that way." My dilemma was solved by the timely arrival of the bus.

After several days of sick kids, I nearly kissed the bus driver. I'm really looking forward to a day of catching up -- with no nosy questions and nobody except the bunny to tell all my secrets.

Unlike my kids, the bunny can easily be bribed with carrots.

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh my, it's one thing when your own kids ask stuff like that at awkward times, it's a whole other ballgame when it isn't your kid.

I think I'd just say something both affirming and evasive like, "That's a great question. It's also the kind of thing that moms and dads prefer to handle with their own kids. I bet your parents will talk about it with you if you ask them."

Of course, I often remind my boys that delivering each of them was like pooping out a bowling ball. You know, just to make them appreciate me more.

Joe said...

One of these days I'll have to google "how babies get out" and see what I come up with. I guess it wouldn't hurt to finally find out.

Glad the kids are mended and out of your hair.

Carol said...

Why, Joseph, you can simply ask Kathy to crochet you this:

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19430060

Then all will become clear.

Carol said...

My daughter asked me the same thing right before bedtime last weekend. I was so stunned that I punted it for discussion another day. She hasn't brought it up again. Yet. Or maybe she's been fed misinformation at school and thinks she knows the answer now. Yikes.

Joe said...

Ahhh...now I understand...you first drag that girl from "The Ring" up from the well and give her a laxative? But that's the hairiest bowling ball I've ever seen!

No wonder gay boys are so terrified of having children.

Bridget said...

Wow Carol you are really lazy - first taking that nap, and then giving a non-detailed answer when someone else's kid asks you about the facts of life.

I'm guessing that you are eating bonbons with your feet up while reading these comments ...

puffthemagicrabbit said...

See- the goats don't ask the tough questions either (and would never rat you out). There was the time my 8 year old daughter got off the bus and asked me what an orgasm was. Yup, that got the 24 hour punt...

anne marie in philly said...

ROTFLMAO!

thank dog I don't have kids!

travellersyarn said...

My daughter asked how the babies get inside the tummy in a lift crowded with neighbours and their kids. This was after her little sister had been playing her game of loudly identify the pregnant lady...

I think that you handled it well.

Emily said...

Once at McDonald's, into one of those silences that sometimes happen in public places, my son said, thinking hard, "So, Mommy: when I was born, I came out of your vagina?"

We were walking out at the time; I tried to look as though I had no idea who he was.