Posted in Lessons Learned

Ask Your Dad

Last Updated on February 14, 2020 by World's Okayest Mom

I love that My Girl has a curious mind. Her imagination is always on. The wheels are always spinning. To say it keeps me on my toes is an understatement – kind of like having lunch with Warren Buffet and he says, “Yeah. I can pay.”

But why, oh why, does she have to ask some questions?

There should be a manual to deal with the tough questions kids come up with. Because, lordy know, I don’t have all the answers.

The obligatory questions

why do children ask tough questions
This may be the toughest question of them all.

Where do babies come from?

I think My Girl is good for asking this question every couple of months. To be fair, she has a skewed idea about the origination of babies. She and many of my nieces/nephews thought all babies were born in Utah, since that’s where My Girl was born. She’s known from the beginning (though she still doesn’t quite understand) that she didn’t grow in my belly. But she’s seen The Sister pregnant enough times (four kids, people; The Sister has four kids!) to know most babies do grow in their mommy’s bellies.

But that has spurred many follow-up questions:

(When we bought baby toys from B. Swift’s #2) If the baby is in Aunt B’s belly, how are we going to get the toys to him?

How does a baby get out of your stomach?

(Then the all-important follow up) Does it hurt?

Most children are concerned with the logistics of the baby getting into the belly, My Girl is more worried about the practicality of getting that baby out. As a mother who has only adopted, I can’t blame her there. That’s a concern of mine as well.

When My Girl finally cornered The Husband with the “where do babies come from” question, he gave her a pretty generic, PG answer. I’m so sad to say I did not witness this exchange. After his explanation, she finally said:

“I don’t think that’s right.”

Maybe she bound for the adoption route herself.

A little more sex education

In a virtual world, I think it’s safe to say My Girl is automatically exposed to more risqué things than I would like. We keep our house pretty clean, I think. You can be the judge after reading a few more hard questions My Girl has posed.

In our defense, we keep most TV and movies limited to animated or very safe Disney options. I banned YouTube years ago because I found YouTube Kids untrustworthy. Just because the video clip says My Little Pony, it doesn’t not mean it’s legitimately My Little Pony. We learned that the hard way with many nights of bad dreams. Hers not mine. Though if you watch My Little Pony enough as an adult, I can see that it could give you nightmares. That shit is painful.

With that being said, it’s inevitable that she asks questions about things I wish she hadn’t seen:

Why are there pretty designs on my undies?

Excellent question, my 8YO. I went with the simple answer that as a little girl, it motivated her to stop wearing diapers. She didn’t ask the question (yet) about why five years later, she still has designs on her undies. And it was after this conversation that I stopped folding my undies in front of her, because, needless to say, mine are designed for another’s entertainment. (TMI? Sorry.)

What’s a tramp?

This has been asked on many occasions. As I type that, I realize how it sounds. Not good. Not good at all. The first time was after My Girl admired some of the posters at a TGI Friday’s. It was advertising a beer, I think: 18 Merry Tramps. I have to say, it’s good marketing. Who doesn’t want to partake of something called 18 Merry Tramps? The other times have been watching Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp.

Side note: Disney recent remade The Lady and the Tramp and did not change the title. But when they remade the live-action Mulan, out later this year, they removed all songs because, apparently, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is not politically correct. But my 8YO calling any dog she sees walking around a “tramp” is apparently acceptable.

Does Mommy look like a good kisser?

This gem of a question was pulled on The Husband during dinner, mid bite, pre choking. I was the one choking – on laughter. If you’ve noticed, I don’t play the roll of supportive wife well when The Husband is in a tough situation. I’m better suited to Sideline Observer with Bucket of Popcorn and an Amused Smile. Also, my answer was: “You betcha!”

What’s a scrub and why don’t I want him holla-ring at me?

This is completely and fully my fault. Actually, most of My Girl’s sideways questions are my fault. But My Girl has decided she’s a big fan of Weezer. Before you get all judgey on me and think I’m blaring Weezer’s Hash Pipe in my car on the way to My Girl’s piano lessons, know that she’s a big fan of Weezer’s Teal album, which is comprised of remade classic songs. (Also, I do blare Hash Pipe in my car, but usually before My Girl is in the backseat.) When I say classic songs, obviously I mean TLC’s 90s hit, No Scrubs. Obvi.

Then there’s the questions that only My Girl would think of

How does Mommy taste?

I’m just going to pause for a second and let you interpret that question as you will.

If you’re anything like me, you are starting to fear a little for your own wellbeing. When My Girl asked that question – while we were eating, no less – I thought I might need to lock the bedroom door at night. I envisioned My Girl taking a nibble out of my leg, in the name of curiosity.

And, no, my default is not to think My Girl is prone to cannibalism. But she spends an inordinate amount of time pretending to be an animal. More specifically, pretending to be some sort of predatory cat. Just yesterday, she asked me to put her hair in four ponytails across her head, because she “couldn’t grow a mane.” Apparently, during their play, she was the male lion, while Jane was the female one.

But, in this case, and to my surprise, she was asking the scientific question, as in: How does Mommy’s tongue work so that she can taste foods.

Whew. Much better.

But I still don’t know the answer.

What’s your third least favorite color?

I actually don’t think this question is specific to only My Girl, but she asks me this on a regular basis. Because of that, I do now, in fact, have a third least favorite color. It’s yellow. (I had to go backwards from black, orange, then yellow.)

This question has other variations as well:

What’s your second favorite reptile?

What’s your fourth favorite color?

What’s your second favorite food that starts with the letter ‘M’?

Salamander.

Green.

Milkshake.

In case you were wondering.

I just coughed. Do I have AIDS?

This is a long story – one that I probably can’t do justice to in this short space. Let’s just say, My Girl is fascinated by the most age-inappropriate things: Aryans and Anne Frank, the Titanic and Ryan White.

The Ryan White fascination began (as so many things in My Girl’s brain) with a visit to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. If you’re ever in the Midwest, make the stop. It’s worth it. Maybe bypass the Ryan White and Anne Frank exhibit if your child is under the age of ten. We learned that lesson the hard way.

After learning the amazing story of Ryan White, My Girl has been obsessed. I have no regrets that My Girl learned about Ryan White, his struggle with HIV then AIDS, his courage in fighting diversity, and the utmost importance of learning to be accepting and kind to all people. I just think it’s a lesson we could have put off until a few years later. Age six may have been a little young.

I say that because for weeks, and I mean WEEKS, after, My Girl peppered us with questions about AIDS and Ryan White:

How do you get AIDS?

Why were kids mean to Ryan?

What happened to Ryan?

And my favorite, every time she coughed, her eyes would get wide and she would say with a suppressed sob: “Do I have AIDS?”

It was about this time that I said one of those things that you never imagine saying when you’re reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting:

“No! You don’t have AIDS!”

I don’t have all the answers

If you read my post about the things My Girl is learning in second grade (ICYMI), you know that I don’t have all the answers. Not even close. But, does My Girl really need to know that? Isn’t that a secret I can expect to keep a little longer than age 8? Apparently not.

When did dodo birds go extinct?

I Googled it. The year 1681, in case you’re interested.

How many kinds of tigers are there?

This question came up because Jane and My Girl were arguing over the answer. Truth be told, My Girl and Jane argue a lot about animal trivia. And more truth be told, they know a lot more about these things than Monica or me.

I also Googled this. The answer is nine.

Why is a plane made of metal but metal can’t fly like a feather?

This time, I used my phone-a-friend option. Uh, Dear Chandler… He received a text from me. His answer:

“Does Google know?”

I could have done that. He ended up with a semi-satisfactory answer that went something like: Metal is needed to lift the heavy engines and keep people safe in thunderstorms. Then he mumbled something about force lift drag weight aerodynamics. My Girl’s eyes glazed over at this point.

Then I realized the answer to these questions is just big, fancy words that make her lose interest!

Or, do as I do when I’m really stumped:

Ask your dad.

ask your dad
I finally came up with the perfect answer!

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