Small Fry is at a very inquisitive age. Or rather, he has probably always been inquisitive, but his vocabulary has finally caught up to the point where he can really articulate all the many and various things he's been wondering about all this time. Most of the time his questions are pretty innocuous (What does 'hint' mean? Are jeans a kind of pants? What's the word for cars with no lid?) but sometimes... sometimes they're indescribably brutal. Q-bombs, if you will. And he's been dropping a lot of Q-bombs lately.
At first glance you might believe that giving Q its own bomb, à la A and F, is taking things a step too far. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt here - maybe you don't have kids yet, or maybe your kids are too little to have really convinced you of the awesome destructive power of the Q-bomb - but believe me, the devastation Small Fry has caused to my mental landscape is immense. I may never fully recover from the assault.
It doesn't help that his offensive program strategically targets vulnerabilities in the defenses:
Wednesday, January 18, 06:00 hours: Target appears groggy and uncaffeinated. Deploy Q-bomb.
"Mommy, what do I use my scrotum for?"
Thursday, January 19, 19:15 hours: Target arrears tired, grumpy and distracted. Deploy cluster Qs.
"Mommy, what is my belly button for?"
"When we were connected did I live in your chest or your abdomen?"
"How did I get out of you?"
"Why did you pee me out!?!"
"Oh. That's good. Ladies shouldn't pee on their babies. It's not nice."
Monday, January 23, 18:55 hours: Target appears frazzled and overworked. Deploy Q-bomb.
"Mommy, why is Grandpa dead?"
Tuesday, January 31, 06:30 hours: Target appears groggy and uncaffeinated. Deploy Q-bomb.
"Mommy, you're very, very old. When will you die?"
Monday, February 6, 6:15am: Target appears exceedingly groggy and uncaffeinated. Deploy Q-bomb.
"Mommy, how do babies get in?"
Now, I have suffered through a lot of Q-bomb attacks from both my kids over the years, and I'm proud to say that I have done my best to cobble together what I felt was a biologically accurate, age- and comprehension-level-appropriate response in every case. That's not to say that the policy hasn't bitten me on the ass a good many times, but I've never backed down from the challenge.
However, that last Q-bomb of Small Fry's was a big one. If you've ever met a four-year-old boy, you'll have an acute awareness of their mastery of the shock/gross-out power of words - I can't even begin to fathom the havoc he could have wrought with that particular bit of mechanical knowledge on file. Plus, it occurred to me (too late!) that back when Medium Fry was four and dropping all manner of Q-bombs along similar lines, she never asked how babies got in. So Small Fry caught me not only uncaffeinated and groggy, but also completely unprepared. If I had known, I would have studied for the test.
As it was, I couldn't tell him. For the first and only time I completely bailed on a Q-bomb.
You know, life would be so much simpler if I could just refer the kids to the goings-on around the farm in response to their inquiries ("Like that, but with less mooing."), but such is the plight of city dwellers everywhere I suppose.
So with no farm animal shenanigans as a reference point, no educational reference materials on hand, and an unwillingness to invoke the stork, what did I tell him?
I told him that how babies get in is a *special surprise* for when he grows up.