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Innocence and Brutal Honesty


Tonight the Wife and I were slapped square in the face with some harsh reality…from our four-year-old.  While battling through yet another meal of brow beating M to eat something, she decides to pull a Maverick/Goose fly by of the tower. 

For those of you that don’t know M that well, she is the most loving little girl I have ever known.  I know this sounds like proud-parent-syndrome, but I am not exaggerating.  If there’s a chance for her to hug or kiss on Mom, Dad, or Lil B she is going to take it and she will run it into the ground.  In fact, tonight she licked me on the cheek as if she were a friggin’ dog, er…cute little puppy.   However, the over-licking and kissing are for another day.

So M is sitting at the table when she decides that, rather than take a bite of dinner, she will deploy her patented delay tactics and tell Mommy that she wants to give her a hug (one of multiple hugs deployed during any given meal).  M drops her ordinance of hugs and then, instead of  her typical reroute back to base (her chair), she decides that this mission is going to require the use of nuclear force.

Upon completion of the hug mission, M steps back from Mommy and drops this 5 megaton whopper, ” Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy?”  After what seemed like an eternity of silence and several awkward wordless exchanges between Mommy and Me, I burst into a hearty belly laugh.  Meanwhile, Mommy is sitting at the table with fail-smile trying to figure out how to tell M that there is no baby in her tummy without letting on that this comment cut Mommy to the bone. 

So Mommy tells M that there is, in fact no baby in her tummy as she fights back a wave of tears. I am over across the kitchen belly laughing when M says to me, “Daddy, do YOU have a baby in your tummy?”  The laughing abruptly ends and Mommy and I enter a few moments of quite self-reflection while M awaits a response.  “No, neither Daddy or Mommy have a baby in our tummy.”  One would think that this would end the line of questioning and everyone would proceed with dinner.  Not M.  She disputes what we have told her and goes further to insist that Mommy does have a baby in her tummy.  This goes over like a lead balloon.

After adamant refusal from Mommy, M finally relents and goes back to pretending to eat.  The rest of the meal is a blur of sorts because both Mommy and I are locked away in the depths of our own self consciousness trying to assess the damage from the massive bombs that had just been dropped by our sweet, innocent daughter.  Not to be insensitive, but I felt how the survivors of Hiroshima must have felt as they crawled out from the rubble to see that their entire existence had been wiped out.  Fine, I am a overexaggerator.  Regardless, the seemingly innocent questions from our daughter had obtrusively opened our eyes.  Yes, Mommy and Daddy are severely out of shape…

Our evening ends with gentle hugs and kisses as the kids are tucked away in their beds (while internally struggling with issuing M a severe beating…we’ll show her little ass who’s out of shape!).  Mommy straps on her trainers and knocks the dust off the ole treadmill while I retired to the pool with my awesome sixpack…of non-light beer.  I can only assume that the next line of pregnancy questioning will be directed only at me…Cheers

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