There are some conversations that even the most progressive of modern fathers would prefer not to have with their daughters. Times when it seems perfectly acceptable to play the “go ask your mother” card. But what happens when mom isn’t available? What’s a dad to do when his daughter starts asking uncomfortable questions and it’s time to have “the talk”?
Fortunately, it wasn’t the teenager that trapped me in such a conversation, but the four year old.
Alaina has been a relentless talker since she first started stringing syllables together. She’s also a nonstop fount of questions. So many questions that there are times when it’s tempting to not always give her full my full attention. Until it’s too late. Sometimes even the most innocent of conversations can take surprising turns. I still haven’t been able to convince her that she wasn’t an adult prior to being our child.
“How come you and mommy get to sleep together, but I have to sleep all by myself?”
“Because when people are married they get to sleep in the same bed. It’s a rule.”
“When can I get married?’
“Not for a very long time. When you’re a grown up.”
“How did you get to be married?”
“I met your mommy, and eventually we decided we never wanted to be apart, so we threw a big party.”
“Was I at the party?”
“No honey, we didn’t make you for another couple of years.”
“Did it hurt to make me? How did you do that?”
Oh oh. This conversation was taking place during a short car ride to the pet store for bunny food. Alaina isn’t the type of child that will stop until questions are answered to her complete satisfaction. She’s seen pregnant women and is aware that there were babies in those bellies. My cavalier approach to this backseat babble was going to cost me.
“It hurt mommy some when you came out of her belly, but it didn’t hurt you or daddy.”
“So did you put me in there? In mommy’s belly? How did I get in there to be made?”
Still a half mile until the pet store. I wasn’t getting out of this easily.
“I used my baby making magic.”
“You don’t have baby making magic.”
“Yes sir, ask your mom. On second thought, don’t ask your mother about daddy’s baby making magic.”
“Can I see your powers?”
“No honey, a cranky old wizard stole daddy’s baby making powers.”
“What was his name?”
“Dr. Friedman. Hey, you want to go look at some fish?”