Drew, like many other four year olds, has become even more full of questions. Why? Where? How? And although it gets annoying at times, he is also a little sponge and he’s trying to figure everything out. I can’t help but want to come up with the best answers to help educate him.
Since being asked to be a ring bearer in an upcoming wedding, there have been a lot of questions regarding marriage. Some of which have been easy enough to explain like when two people love each other, they decide they want to build a life together and that usually starts with getting married. Some of which are a little harder like if he can marry his male friend from camp. Um…yes…um…it’s complicated.
An innocent progression has been his questions about how the baby will come out of Mommy’s belly. Fortunately he was satisfied by the answer that Mommy will go to the hospital and the doctor will deliver the baby. Then all of a sudden he started saying that there is a hole (belly button?) in a woman’s belly and the doctor takes it out that way. Oh and it tickles. Hmmm. Not sure where he came up with that one but I think it’s a pretty good answer considering the person asking the question. Maybe I have some very amused camp counselors to thank for that.
Daily he is challenging my think on my feet abilities because his questions are getting harder and harder. He has been throwing around the word “dead.” “He’s dead.” “She’s dead.” Of course a lot of these times it has been some statement that is so excruciatingly painful to even think about that I want to ring his neck for just bringing it up or embarrassing me by saying to someone in passing or making my brain even think about it. But the more I respond, the worse his obsession with that word (or a version of that word) becomes. So most of the time I have to ignore it even though it’s hard.
Today he started to ask me about where my dad is. I tried to use it as a teaching opportunity without scaring him. I explained to him that my dad died. I said that when someone dies, they are no longer in our lives. We never get to see them again. And when you love them, it hurts your heart that they are no longer around. That is why it is so important to not joke about people dying because it makes everyone so sad. His next question…can I have a snack?
This is just another example of how parenting is SO MUCH harder than I expected. I thought that the answer to raising kids was open communication, easy as that. That is so much harder than I thought. The concept is straight forward but knowing what to say when, what is age appropriate, what will prepare him for life without scarring him prematurely, etc. is near impossible. And of course these questions usually come at my most unprepared time.