Monday, September 13, 2010

You Want to Know WHAT?!?

Conversations with 5-year-olds are not as simple as they used to be at 2. Over the past year, I've had a few conversations that I wasn't totally prepared to have with a couple of pre-schooler/kindergarteners... Around Christmas, I got to answer the whole, "Aunt Tammy, you don't have a fireplace! How is Santa going to get in to give the Booger Bear his present?!?" I told them that I planned on leaving a window unlocked, which proved to be a huge mistake. Their eyes got huge, and Buddy said, "I really don't think that's a good idea, Aunt Tammy." Ka-Diva looked at me stearnly and said, "That is not safe." I compromised with them and promised to sleep on the couch so I could just let Santa in when he knocked, rather than risk our safety by leaving a window open. :-)

I've also discovered that five-year-old ears hear everything, and the questions start flowing and just don't stop! I learned that the hard way earlier this year when I was wheelchair bound and my mom was dropping me off at work one day. I saw someone walking out of the building and mentioned to my mom that I thought it was the person who had just undergone gender reassignment surgery, but I wasn't sure because I had met "him" when "he" was a "she." I totally didn't think about the fact that the twins have super-sonic hearing and might actually be able to hear my whisper from the backseat, until Ka-Diva shouted, "WHAT?!? He was a girl?!?" (Oh, holy crapfire... Why did I have to open my mouth?) The ensuing conversation went something like this:

Me: "I'm not sure if that was him or not. He used to work here, but I met him when he was a girl. But yeah, he used to be a girl, but he really, really wanted to be a boy."

Ka-Diva: "WHY?!?"

Me: "I really don't know. He just really did."
Buddy: "How did he turn from a girl to a boy?"

Me: "Well, he went to the doctor and asked him to help, and the doctor gave him some medicine and an operation and helped him be a boy."

Buddy (groaning and rolling his eyes): "That's weird."

Ka-Diva (cracking up): "I think it's hilarious!"

They went home and immediately told my sister about Aunt Tammy's "friend" who was a girl but the doctor turned into a boy before I had a chance to warn her about the conversation. I'm sure she loved that! :-) Every day for the next week the twins would point to people exiting my office, and ask loudly, "Aunt Tammy!!! Is that your friend who was a girl but is a boy now?!?" (Note to self - No more talk of gender reassignment surgery around the 5-year-olds, even when I think they can't hear me.)

My doing foster care has also opened a whole new door of questions that I know none of us were prepared to answer this soon. After Angel moved to her new foster home, but the Booger was still with me, Ka-Diva asked me who his mommy was. "Aunt Tammy, are you Booger's mommy, or is Angel Booger's mommy?" She was confused because she knew that the Booger came out of Angel's tummy, but I was the one who took care of him and acted like a mommy acts. Fortunately, she was satisfied with the answer that Booger was lucky because he had two mommies.  Angel was his mommy because he was in her tummy, and I was his mommy because I took care of him and did all of the things that a mommy is supposed to do.

Most of the questions subsided until recently when the twins found out that Angel is pregnant again.  They also started helping me decorate the nursery for my next foster baby, and then the kids found out that their Mommy is pregnant too! The twins called me as soon as they found out that they were going to be a big brother and big sister, and I could see where my conversation with Buddy was heading, so I quickly steered it in another direction.

Buddy: "Hi Aunt Tammy! Mommy has a baby in her tummy, and I have a cold and can't breathe through my nose." (Buddy is excited about becoming a big brother, but not nearly as excited as Ka-Diva."

After talking about what a good big brother he will be (and his cold), he blurts out, "Aunt Tammy, are you married?"

Me (taken completely off guard): "Uh... No, I'm not married."

Buddy: "Why not?"

Me: "Well, I just haven't fallen in love with the right man, and you have to be very, very in love to get married."

Buddy: "Mommy's married to Daddy, and she's having a baby. You're having a baby. Why aren't you married?"

(Oh boy...) Me: "Well, I'm having a foster baby. Remember? I'm going to take care of a baby whose Mommy and Daddy can't take care of him or her. I don't have a baby in my tummy like Mommy does."

I quickly steered the subject to how exciting it is that he gets to help both me and Mommy decorate two nurseries, etc. I could see the next question that was bound to come up if I hadn't...  Most likely along the same line of questioning that Ka-Diva hit Christy up with the other week.  “How old is Angel? So she isn’t a grown-up? Is she married? No??? Then how did she get a baby in her tummy? Who put the baby there? I thought God put the baby there. Why would God put a baby in her tummy if she's just a kid and isn’t married?!?  He's not going to put a baby in my tummy, is He?!?" And so on and so forth…  All excellent questions!  They are also questions that I really want to avoid if at all possible. I had a hard enough time trying to explain the Booger Bear's situation.  I don't think I'm ready to have the "babies having babies" conversation just yet.  Especially not with a couple of 5-year-olds!

I'm just really hoping that the twins forget that Angel has another baby in her tummy and we don't have to answer any more questions about babies having babies. I'm also glad that I wasn't the one who had to answer all of Ka-Diva's questions the other night!  I can see where all of these questions are heading with the twins, and I really don't want to attempt to answer them...  Especially because there is no good answer, and the whole "God puts the baby there" thing just doesn't make sense!  "Well, Angel had the Booger Bear in her tummy and now she has another baby in her tummy, and she's not married. She's just a kid! Why does Angel keep getting babies in her tummy, Aunt Tammy?"  I'd like to know the same thing, kiddos.  I really would.  I also really want to avoid that conversation if at all possible.

Now that there seem to be babies popping out all over the place, the twins are just full of questions.  Buddy asked the typical, "Mommy, how do babies get in mommies' tummies?" I think she just told him that when a Mommy and Daddy want a baby, God helps them and puts it there. That answer was clearly not good enough because Buddy asked, "I know that, but how does it get there?" Christy said that it was a grown-up thing and that she'd tell him when he was older. A while later, Buddy went back to her and exclaimed, "I know why you won't tell me... It's icky, isn't it?" :-)

I will definitely only be fostering infants for a while. At least until the kids are old enough to know all about sex, birth control, and abstinence!!! And I definitely won't be having whispered conversations with anyone when they are anywhere in the vicinity because their super-sonic super-power hearing is way too advanced. From now on, the most questionable thing I will discuss in their presence is whether or not it a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. This is my solemn vow...
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