It's hard for me to write flowery, lovely prose about the super special snowflake-like qualities of my child tonight. I have spent the evening listening to an unrelenting, hacking cough, cleaning up diarrhea from the bathroom floor and wiping an alternately snotty and bloody nose. Believe me, I feel awful for him. I'd probably feel more awful if he wasn't completely bouncing off the walls, ignoring everything he knows about manners and using the word poop in every sentence possible. Most often when it has nothing to do with the subject matter whatsoever. I put him to bed an hour early. For the good of everyone.
5 year-olds are a different animal. They understand SO MUCH. And they have so many questions - some (many?) of which are totally inane, but so many are timely, and perceptive and really, really hard to answer.
Our normal bedtime routine is to read 3 books, talk a bit about them and then snuggle for awhile and then I leave him to fall asleep on his own and I'll go into my room (across the hall) and then downstairs. We have two-way radios, so he knows he has contact with us at all times. Usually
(This post was briefly interrupted by a Linda Blair puking incident that can only be described as a magnificent fountain of spaghetti. Becuase of course we had spaghetti for dinner.)
he falls asleep faster when I go downstairs because then he can't call out every .8 seconds, "Mom? Are you there?" "Yes, Jack." "Oh." It's easier when I go downstairs. He generally just falls asleep.
Anyway, the questions. The other evening, as he was on the edge of sleep, he asked me, "Mom, why did you and my dad split up?" My heart sank. I mean, I knew this was coming someday. Someday. I just didn't really imagine it happening now. I wasn't ready. I deflected. I said something along the lines of, "Oh, well, it's kind of hard to explain, but we'll talk about it soon, okay?" And that seemed to be enough for the moment. Randall and I have discussed this and how we're going to answer it. I don't want to wait until he feels like he has to ask again. We both agree that it's better to bring it up and talk to him about it. I don't want him to feel weird about asking questions about anything ever. It just caught me off-guard and it's been on my mind since. I've been trying not to feel bad about not having an answer ready. I say, albeit defensively, that I just wasn't ready for it and didn't want to answer the wrong way.
Can you tell I'm defensive and feeling guilty about it? Right.
It's hard to know where the line is between enough and too much information. He's five. He doesn't need to know the hard, intricate details of relationships and how they work and don't work. He needs to know he's loved no matter what happened. And, oh man, is this kid ever loved. That's the important part.
Also, I'm still trying to explain that it's not actually chicken eggs inside of girls that turn into babies. That egg thing is really tripping us up and I'm RELIEVED the questions haven't gone past that yet. Yes, chicken eggs. Go with it, kid.