Here have been a few of the things we’ve been talking about at our house lately:
We swapped cars with our friends last week because they needed our truck for girls camp. We drove their Jeep for a week, but according to Jessica, we drove their GPS for a week. As we were driving around the neighborhood looking for our stolen trashcan Jess asked me “Mom, can I drive the GPS?” “No J, you’re not old enough to drive yet.” But “Mom, I’m big. I’m a big girl (only the sweet way she says it sounds like “geal”).” “I know baby but you’ve still got a grow a bit so your feet can reach the pedals.” Then a few days later “Mom, am I big enough to drive yet?” This could be a long 13 years.
“Mom, I think I lost a tooth!” “What!?” “See, right here (inserting her tongue through a gap in her teeth), I lost a tooth!” “No J, you still have all your teeth. Your teeth fall out when your big ones are ready to grow in and those big ones aren’t quite ready yet.” “Oh.” (Disheartened) A few days later…”Mom look, now did I loose a tooth?” Repeat every few days.
While cutting vegetables for lunch at the island… “Mom, I miss Jesus.” Pausing to be sure I just heard what I think I heard, “You do? I miss him too.” “Yeah, I wish he could come to our house.” “That would be cool wouldn’t it? When he comes again I hope he comes to our house. That would be awesome. What would you do if he came to our house?” “I would hug him, I really miss Him.” “I bet he would love that. I think he misses you too….” Then we proceeded to have a conversation about how to feel close to Jesus even when he’s not here. I’m kind of floored by the stuff she comes up with and the way she connects things.
“Mom, what did you play when you were little?” “Well, I read books, I played outside, went swimming in our swimming pool and played with my sisters.” “But you don’t have any sisters.” “Yes, I do, Auntie Kristin, Auntie Lisa, Aunt Alli and Aunt Ash, they are all my sisters and we played together when we were little.” Thoughtful and melancholy “But mom, I don’t have any sisters. I am a sister but I don’t have any sisters. Or brothers.” “That’s true, you don’t huh?” Starting to cry, “Yeah, I want one. I really wish I had one.” “I wish you did too, maybe someday we can have a brother or sister.” “Yeah, but I want one right now.” “It’s hard to want something and not have it.” Really crying, “Yeah, and I just want a sister.” So I held her and we talked a little about Presley and Riley and how Ri could understand how she felt because she had to wait a long time for Presley. And how Aubrey had to wait a long time for Andrew and then Baby Cait and how she still has to wait to play with Baby Cait. Jess LOVES Presley and she has been into babies lately. A while back we had a similar conversation about her wanting a baby. I explained to her that some bodies can grow babies and have nupmee (nurse) at the same time but that my body can’t. So whenever she’s done nursing maybe we can have a baby. It seemed like an awful lot to burden a 3 yr old with at the time, especially when, with a quivering lower lip she said “I’m all done with nupmee, I don’t want to have anymore.” I assured her that she didn’t have to hurry and that we could have nupmee for as long as she wanted to. She held firm for a few more minutes and then broke into tears and nursed to sleep, looking up at me kind of heartbroken. I cried too, in part, because I felt understood. It may seem silly, but I think she understands an awful lot and we both know she’s not ready to stop nursing and we both would love another baby in this house so we both realized the predicament that we are in. This nursing relationship is pretty intimate and I’m quite sure that we’re the only two who can completely understand it. I’m still a bit torn over whether this was a too much for her. There was a big part of me that wanted to protect her from this aspect of my world, infertility. I don’t want it to be her burden too, but I realize that it is. That in our family, this is something that affects all of us. And she asked, so I told her. So this week, we talked about it again. She didn’t make any commitments to wean this time (but it’s coming, slow and steady) but she wanted to be heard. She was having a hard time with it and I was glad she brought it up. And I guess if it was too much, maybe she would’ve told me…like she did a few weeks ago when I was asking her what she thought about preschools. She got frustrated and asked me to stop asking her about it. She just wanted me and daddy to decide. 🙂 I felt part embarrassment about over-involving her in decision-making around here, and part comfort that she could recognize that and articulate it.
Then, after happening upon me in the bathroom a few weeks ago, she was extremely curious and had some pointed questions about menstrual cycles. Heaven help me (and the rest of the nursery class) I explained the 3 yr old version of female reproduction the best I could and mentioned that it would probably be best to only talk about this with our family. I didn’t know how much of it actual sunk in because she confused it for gravity in a conversation a few days later. But then yesterday, after she watched me give blood, she told me that she hadn’t wanted me to give blood, because she wanted me to save my blood for growing a baby. I was confused at first but then I realized what she meant so I explained as best I could about how reproductive blood was different from regular blood (although, come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure I understand exactly how that works :)). I need a good book or video about the body for kids. Anyone have any recommendations? I think she may be smarter than me by the time she’s 4. Her questions are getting tricky :).
She’s pretty fun to talk to. I love that kid.
Post Script: (8/27/17) We’ve been using the book “It’s Not the Stork” for years and we’ve loved the playful and informative way it talks about bodies, babies and growing up!