Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Questions and Their Not-So-Correct Answers

Three year olds are smart. And cunning. And very very observant. Some things that I didn't expect to encounter this early in their lives. I thought I could play dumb on a lot of things for the first five or six years and be fine. But lately I've had a pretty hard time answering some of the triplets' questions or simply responding to some of their comments. Peyton, in particular, has many questions that I have trouble with (is this a sign of things to come? I hope not). As with most things on this blog, examples are in order.

Example #1
One day I was upstairs in our room changing clothes. Peyton was up there with me and happened to look over while I was changing. She happened to see my - how shall I put this? - permanent (meaning "inked on") mark from my younger, wilder days. Let me just say that this mark is very strategically placed (I at least had the wherewithal to do that) and I probably could have gotten by for a loooooong time without any of the kids seeing it. However, I slipped and Peyton immediately asked, "Mommy, what's that?"


I really had no explanation at first. Then, a great idea! I played upon one of their recent fascinations.

"Oh. Welllll ... that's a STAMP!"

"Oh, a stamp!", she replied. "Like the ones we get in music at school?"

"Kind of like that", I said. "Except this one stays on all the time and never comes off."

"Oh, cool!"

And that was that. Crisis averted. I thought she would forget about it, but I was being naive. She asks to see it every once and a while (usually when we're out in public or around lots of people) and I am having to learn the strategy of laughing it off and quickly changing the subject. I'm still not sure what I'm going to say when she figures out what it really is.

Example #2
On our recent trip to Colorado, we took our entire group out to dinner one night. The restaurant was boisterous and loud and the kids were having fun while we were there. Suddenly, in the middle of the meal, Peyton leans over to me and says, "Mommy, what's that?" The question wasn't so unusual, it was what she was questioning that threw me for a loop. As she asked the question, she simultaneously leaned over and grabbed my boob!

Besides feeling violated, I didn't know what to say. I really didn't want to teach her the word "boob" and I've always had a weird aversion to the word "breast." It's kinda like the words supple and moist - I just don't like them and how they roll off my tongue. So I settled on "chest" and told her that's what it was. She then asked me, "What is THAT (indicating my other boob)?" C'mon girl ... really?! So I said it was my OTHER chest. Not exactly correct grammar or terminology, but at this age it's all about just answering the question as fast as possible and then quickly diverting the conversation to something a little more age appropriate.

Example #3
One morning we were driving in the car (you knew one of these conversations had to happen in the car) and Peyton busted out with this lovely comment ...

"Mommy, I want to have a baby in MY tummy."

Um, what??? I was hoping this conversation would happen when she was, oh, at least 25 years older and with a husband. But now I'm getting a three year old asking to be pregnant? What if she starts mentioning this at preschool?!? Then they're all going to think I'M pregnant (and crazy)!! But then I started thinking and realized that someone we know is pregnant and Peyton was probably just talking about it from hearing our conversations lately.

So I responded with, "Well honey, only mommies have babies in their tummies. First you need to grow up big like Mommy and then you need to get married to a Daddy. THEN you can have a baby in your tummy."

She thought about this for a while and said, "So the Daddy needs to give me a ring first like Daddy gave you a ring?"

If he's any good he will (I thought that but refrained from saying it). "Yes, first the ring, then the baby." Do I sound like a typical woman or what?

So those are just a few example of some of the crazy questions I've had to deal with lately. I can only imagine they'll keep getting harder. I'm thinking after all this dodging and fibbing is over I may have a promising future in politics awaiting me. Clifford in 2028? Maybe ...

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