This question has led us into some interesting and thought-provoking conversations lately. By far, the most surprising to me was one about drug use. We were in the backyard the other day and there were some neighbor kids smoking what I think was marijuana a few houses away. We were downwind from them and eventually I decided it was time to go in. Jess was confused because we hadn’t been out for very long. As we were walking in I quietly explained to her that there were kids smoking some yucky stuff a few houses down and it wasn’t good for our bodies. Our conversation went something like this:
Jess: “What yucky stuff?”
Jess: “What drugs mom?”
Mom: “Uhhhh…..it’s uh……it’s called……uh, marijuana and its owie for your brain.”
Jess: “Why mom, why is it owie for your brain?”
Mom: “Uhh…because it makes it hard for your brain to work, to think good.”
Jess: “Why mom? Why dey do dat?”
Mom, after considering several possible responses and beginning a few only to realize they were beyond the 2 yr old answer to this question: “I don’t know baby, I don’t know why they’re doing that.”
This was on the heels of a conversation earlier in the day where we’d been talking about babies and how two babies got into 1 mommy’s tummy and why they were in there. Not having mentally prepared a 2 yr old version of the birds and the bees, I waded through this one by telling her that Heavenly Father sent two babies to that mommy’s tummy at the same time because he wanted them to be in that family together.
I feel like it’s important to answer her questions honestly and sincerely because I’m always trying to lay the groundwork for communication between us. I’m hoping if I’m not scared or antsy about the things she asks me, she’ll feel comfortable talking to me about anything she’d like to. I also want to explain things to her in a way that isn’t judgmental towards the people we may be referring to, but that also clearly directs her to the choice that is best for her. I have been practicing explaining things to her this way over the past two years and it’s made me grateful that I have because I’m going to need all the practice I can get. The questions are getting harder :). The mental gymnastics are only beginning for me!
I remembered one of the other funny things she’s been saying: “Joke me!”
So after her bath I hold her up in front of the mirror to say “I’m great!” I usually tell her I can’t hear her and she needs to say it louder. She used to tell me “Mommy, I don’t yike it when you say dat to me” and then it was “Mommy, don’t joke me!” But now before she even starts, she’ll look at me, fresh out of the tubby with water on her face, big blue eyes gleaming and whisper conspiratorially, “Mommy, joke me.” And then she’ll start out with a very quiet “I’m great!” and then we begin. 🙂
Yesterday after her shower, she wanted Ritchie to “joke her” so he held her up and they went back and forth. Sometimes she’ll yell funny stuff like “I’m flops!” or “I’m glisdbalso;ugl” (gibberish). Yesterday during one of her funny streaks she yelled out “I’m Fabio!” Ritchie and I both just laughed and laughed.
Last night after Ritchie finished mowing the lawn we had a trampoline picnic of waffle tacos (Jessica’s idea. She wanted beans and sour cream on hers. Poor kid. I think she really just wanted a taco but I had some bananas I needed to use). After our picnic we just jumped and played on the trampoline together, doing somersaults and tricks. Jess made up a few games. Afterwards we all three laid down and looked up at the stars. As I usually do (because I’m so excited to share the world with her), I started to look for the big dipper so that I could point it out to her. In the meantime, Ritchie was just pointing out really bright stars (planets?) and asking her what she saw. Did you know there’s a constellation that resembles a wheelbarrow? I didn’t either. I am always glad when I decide to listen to her version of the world, instead of telling her about mine.