"The Question"

"Mommy, where was I when you were a little girl?"

Johnnie, my four year old, asked me this question today while driving home from preschool. My husband, Jeff, had the day off from work and stayed home with Joey so Johnnie and I could have a rare moment with just the two of us. Lately he has been very concerned with what I watched, played with, and even ate as a little girl and so this question didn't come completely out of left field. I understand that at his age it would be hard to comprehend time and age and advances in technology. I mean, c'mon, some of the toys that are available now are just ridiculous!
Makes the kid in me a little jealous.

We've been having these little discussions a lot lately. Johnnie will ask me if I liked watching ICarly when I was a little girl and I will inform him that ICarly wasn't a show on TV when I was a little girl and the majority of the cast weren't even alive yet. This usually just adds more confusion but at least I'm being honest and direct, right? Hey, I could just say "yes" and be done with the convo but that's not my style.

Johnnie is a child with a lot of questions and I do my damnedest to answer each one simply and logically enough for him to understand. Of course there are holes in this method because some things are just way too complex for a four year old to wrap his brain around. Johnnie can tell you that a balloon will fly in the sky because there is helium in that balloon, and that helium is a type of gas, but if you ask him what a gas is the answer is "I don't know". Because Mommy and Daddy don't know how to explain it. That's what science teachers are for.

Which brings me back to the topic at hand. I really didn't know how to answer his questions today because I haven't given it much thought yet. I thought that this topic would be something that would come in a few more years when I'd have the time to research it and give him an honest, but not graphic, answer.

Instead the conversation went more like this:

"Mommy, where was I when you were a little girl?"

"You weren't around because you weren't made yet, honey."

"Made? You mean people put me together like a robot?!?!?"

"No, no, not like a robot. Mommy and Daddy made you."

"How did you and Daddy make me?"

-awkward pause-
"Mommy and Daddy loved each other so much that we wished we could have a baby to share our love with."
"Ohhhh, you wished for me and then I was in your belly?"

"Yes, baby, exactly. That's how it happened."

Now, I know that this is probably the most simplified and romanticized version of how a baby is made but it seemed to pacify him for now and hopefully I bought myself a couple more years before I have to give a more detailed answer.

God help us all when I do.

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