As the mother of a five year old, I ask myself at LEAST once a week, where is “the book” for this shit? I remember being a kid and asking things like, why is the sky blue or where do babies come from? These are the kind of questions I had been preparing to answer. I knew there would be a FEW (yes, I said few) that I didn’t know the answers to. However, I imagined when my child asked the harder questions, I pictured us grabbing a book from our very own library, cuddling up together, pointing at pictures with our eyes wide, giggling about our newfound knowledge together, and walking around outside pointing out the things we read about it in our book. Needless to say, it goes nothing like this. Like at all! When your child asks a question, they expect an answer right away, there is no waiting while you refer to a specific page of a book. When your kid asks you a question, you know the ones that catch you off-guard? The ones that you literally have five seconds to answer before they doubt everything that is about to come out of your mouth because you took too long to answer? Yep, those! You have to choose if want to give the technical answer, that is so complicated they will let you off the hook. Or the Disney version of things where you give such a whimsical and far fetched answer to buy yourself some time. But beware of the Disney answer because this topic will be revisited in just a few months when your child meets another kid that has a parent that gave them the real answer and now you look like the dummy. Or, do you want to use one of your ‘get out of jail free’ cards with a simple “I don’t know”. Warning! Saying “I don’t know” has to come few and far between, because not only do you want your kid to understand things and get into that Ivy League College that they have been destined for since the age of two, but you NEED to look smart! This is to back up an answer that you will use often, “because I said so”. You can’t start giving out “because I said so” responses and you don’t have any knowledge to back it up. I repeat, you NEED TO LOOK SMART! As a single mother, I have no “go ask your father” responses to pull out of my artillery. I bet those are awesome! But how do you explain what a period is to a five year old? Again I ask, where is the book for this shit?
Joey bursts into the bathroom, per usual, her eyes lit up while looking at the bathroom counter, “Mommy are those candies?!” as she pointed to my tampons. I blame these tampon companies on their failed efforts to make these vaginal stoppers made of cotton look fun, colorful, and now apparently edible. I blame my uterus for attacking me on my decision to not have another kid this month. I also blame the hormonal imbalance that clouded my judgement in allowing me to say, “It’s a tampon.” You can already guess what her next question was. I screamed at myself in my head that this would have been a perfect one to “yell get out of my bathroom!” But it was too late. Before I knew it, I was saying the word ‘blood’ and ‘when you become a woman’ to my five year old. Apparently, this whole period thing was so weird and gross to her that she thought I was making the whole thing up. She laughed and walked out of the bathroom, while I hoped that my answer was even legal.
Moms, you will not always have all the answers, the right answers at least. Although, I’m willing to guess that less than half of the moms reading this would have answered that specific question that way, I can also guess that more than half wouldn’t know what to say at all. My answers are unplanned just like her questions. I’m not a walking encyclopedia, I don’t always have my phone on me to google everything, and I’m not always in the mood to come up with the Disney answers. I answer her questions the best way I know how to. And that book you’re looking for, it doesn’t exist.