Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Last night I tried to put my son to bed an hour early. He'd fallen asleep the previous night a little later than usual, and awakened about ninety minutes earlier than usual the next morning, and I figured he could use some extra sleep. I hustled him through his ablutions, then washed and bandaged a big scrape he'd incurred on the playground, and which we hadn't had time to examine before. Then he read to me for a little while from his "Cars" book, which is his latest favorite story. Afterward, he rested his head on my chest for a minute. All was well, and I thought he would fall asleep; then he asked, "Why do hearts have to keep beating?"

Because if a heart stops, a person might die, I said.

"But what if a person's heart does stop?" he asked. Well, I said, sometimes the paramedics or the doctors can make it start beating again, or sometimes the person will die.

"But does a person's heart keep beating, even when they're asleep?" Yes, people's hearts keep beating all night long. Even dogs' hearts keep beating all night long when they're asleep. Even cats.

"Someday I'm going to be really old," he said, "like fifty-two." I told him he would live to be even older than that.

"Well, what if someday I'm really, really old, like sixty-seven...and you die? Mommy? Then who's going to take care of me?"


A fraction of a second after he asked, his face crumpled and he began to cry. I scooped him up and held him. I'm going to live for a really, really long time, I told him.

"But how do you know?" he asked, pulling away angrily. "You don't know everything!!" True, I said, but I know I'll be around for as long as you need me, I said. He breathed a little easier.

A few seconds passed, then he asked, "But if you die, I'll really miss you." I told him that if (if!) I ever die, I'll find a way to send him a secret, coded message. "Like what?" he asked. Like...I'll make a bird sing outside your window, or I'll make flowers bloom when they're not supposed to, or I'll make music play when you're not expecting it, and you'll think, Ah, Mommy must be sending me a message to say she loves me, I told him.

"Yeah," he said. He seemed to like this idea. He stayed there, lying on my chest, then scooted down and rested his head on my leg...and fell asleep. It was eight o'clock on the dot.

Now it's about four in the morning and he's still fast asleep...and I'm wide awake. I have a blood pressure monitor in my desk drawer, and a friend with a real health issue. I read the news too much, and I'm all too aware of how fragile life is. But I have to try to keep my promise.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Any Moms Need a Little Inspiration?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Presumed Innocent, But...

This guy just oozes slime. How does a little girl "accidentally" get bound, beaten and strangled, I wonder? He needs about five minutes in a room full of parents and no cameras. Grr.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The One That Will Attract Several Warped Googlers

A few weeks ago, my son joined me downstairs, grabbed my O Magazine and began determinedly flipping through it. I asked him what he was doing. "Just finding pictures to look at," he replied. Okay.

I went into the kitchen to make dinner, and he sighed. "Okay! I'll just tell you! I'm looking for pictures of naked womans!"

"Oh, okay," said I.

"Are you mad?" he asked.

"Nope," I said. "It's totally normal for kids to wonder what other people's bodies look like. When I was a kid, I wondered about that, too, and I never saw anyone naked except myself, really."

"And your mommy and daddy," he added.

I told him that, actually, I'd never really seen either of my parents naked, because they just weren't the naked type, but that different parents do things different ways, and that's why he's sometimes seen me or Daddy naked, and that's all okay.

Then he 'fessed up further: "I wanted to see the hole that girls pee out of."

Ah. "Well, it's very small and hard to see, because girls don't have penises like boys do."

He was listening, so I took him upstairs to my computer and Googled around for a very clinical diagram of the inside of a female torso. "See, this bag-looking thing here is the bladder. We've talked about that before; it's where pee stays before you go to the bathroom. And this little tube here is the urethra, and the pee goes through it when girls go to the bathroom. But the little hole where it comes out is really hard to see because it doesn't stick out like a penis. The tube that a boy's pee goes through is long because it's inside the penis. It's all okay -- just different. And see this part here? This is where poop stays before it comes out. This part is the same for boys and girls."

"Hey!" he said excitedly. "It looks like a poop factory!"

I agreed that it did indeed look like that. I showed him where the ovaries were, since we've often talked about how babies start with eggs. I told him I was glad he asks me questions, because sometimes when kids don't ask questions, they make up answers in their heads and sometimes those answers are wrong. I promised him that he could always ask me and Daddy his questions, and that we would always do our best to give him the right answers. He thought about this, then asked, "Wanna talk about video games?"

"Sure," I said. We chatted for a few minutes about his video games, then he asked, "Mommy? How am I ever going to know what to get you for your birthday??"

I just grinned and told him his uncle is a really good shopper and would take him shopping sometime.

Then he said, "I love you, Mommy."

In our house, that's the signal that I passed the parenting test for one more day. Man, it doesn't get better than that.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Conversations with My Son

Today after I asked my son to go potty, brush his teeth and put on clean underwear, he told me, "Mommy, you're making my life so hard! It's been hard since I was three years old!!"

Well, at least the first two years were easy. (rolling eyes)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Son Makes Me Laugh

"Sorry, Mom," he says, "you're cramping my style. And I've got style -- lots of it."

Oh, he's full of it, all right. I mean... ;^)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Where in the World Is Redneck Mommy?

Does anyone know T. of Redneck Mommy, either online or in RL? She hasn't posted since June, and seems to have disappeared abruptly and uncharacteristically. A bunch of us are concerned.

T., if you're reading this, please let us know you're okay. We really miss you!