Aug 9, 2006 

Being Literal 

Thirty-six hours of labor and my husband seeing my intestines draped across my chest is permanent birth control.  Recently, my seven year old asked for a baby brother - with two half-sisters he’s out of balance. Turning pale, I explained he was a once in a lifetime thing and had to be cut out.  To stress my point, I showed him the C-section scar.  This time he turned pale, amazed a baby fit through there.  I agreed.   My view blocked during the surgery, all I could share was seeing his hand burst out like the thing in ‘Alien’.   

Usually a locked door means  “You’re not getting in”, but not at my house.  Here it means, “knock obnoxiously and say ‘mommy’ repeatedly until mommy can’t stand it”.  And if unsuccessful, wail loudly.  

It’s almost impossible for a couple with kids to sneak away for a ‘nap’ without locking the door.  Unlocked, it’s bound to open at an inappropriate time, confusing the child and embarrassing the naked parents.  Been there, done that.  Now we lock the door and risk the potential mood-kill of incessant knocking, whining and crying; which often happens during the events high points.  

Reviewing my options,  I decided my son deserved an explanation for the locked door.  Something more important than a nap.  Bedtime is always the time for deep conversations (to put off the inevitable) so I went for it.  I explained daddy and mommy lock their door not to nap but to practice making babies.  It’s important to be honest with  children,  right?  He doesn’t know about the birds and the bees, but he has had  Where Did I Come From?, a detailed kids-eye view of sex and pregnancy read to him.  Certainly he understood.   

A few nights later, sounding scared, he asked me to sleep with him.   Concerned, I asked him what had him scared.  Teary-eyed,  he hugged me with a bear’s strength and said, “I’m afraid daddy will hurt you when he cuts your tummy open.”  

I tried not to laugh and told him, “Daddy would never cut my tummy.” 

“Then how do you practice making babies?”  

Poor kid.   For a month straight our door was locked every night.  Sometimes during the day too.  Maybe I need a new reason for the looked door and maybe he’s going to need a few years of therapy.  


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