Inquiring Minds

June 3, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop | 57 Comments
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Bun has been out of the womb and in our lives for three weeks now. He’s a good baby. He eats. A lot. He sleeps. A lot. He cries. A little. Pretty straightforward newborn stuff.

But to Lollipop and Giggles? He’s a mystery. A tiny, wrinkly, squeaky mystery. And they are fascinated. They peer over the top of the bouncy seat while he sleeps. They tickle the bottoms of his feet to see what he’ll do. They cackle at his every burp, grunt, and hiccup.

They also have a lot of questions.

Trash Talk
Giggles — always entranced/horrified by misplaced trash — is concerned about the “big, messy trash” on the baby’s belly button. And he doesn’t buy our crazy umbilical cord explanation. We have assured him the “trash” will fall off at some point. This appeases him. Slightly.

And every time the baby cries? Giggles is pretty sure he knows why: “Baby sad. Stinky poopoo?” He runs to the pack and play, flings all the tiny size-one diapers on the floor, and rummages through them till he finds one with Cookie Monster on it. Elmo will do in a pinch. But the other characters? Clearly inferior. Not just any muppet can handle a stinky poo, after all.

Hormone Hijinks
Lollipop — the princess of why — has kajillions of questions. She tosses them out one after another, much like the pairs of shoes she snags from her closet at nap time. Why doesn’t the baby have teeth? Why can he only drink milk? Why does the milk come from my armpits? (We’re still working on anatomy.)

Then there’s this series, my personal favorite:
Why is the baby sleeping? Why are you sleeping? (Whispered in her best stage voice two inches from my face.)
Why is the baby’s skin peeling? Why is your skin peeling?
Why does the baby have pimples? Why do you have pimples? (Only she thinks the word is “peppers.” Which makes it hard not to laugh.)

Ah, how to explain hormones to a toddler?

The Heart of the Matter
There’s also this one, which hurts my heart a little: Why are you crying, Mommy?

In my head, I tell her about the emotional postpartum havoc that is mothering a newborn. But I know she’s too young for details like that. So instead I say, “I’m just a little sad, but I’ll be all better soon.”

And I ask a question of my own: Can Mommy have a hug?

She folds her lanky body into mine. We snuggle for a moment. She leans in close, as if for a kiss. At the last minute, she turns her lips toward my ears and asks, “Why does the baby …”

We’re off to the races. Again. I give her the answer. Again. And I smile. Once again.


What are your children asking about these days? How did they react to younger siblings joining the family? And is Cookie Monster your favorite muppet, too?



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  1. Ernie’s my fave.

    And when The Badoo was born, Maxi-Taxi called her his “little porcupine” and insisted that she was his baby and no one elses. Cappers found a new fascination with her dolly, Carla who has been ageing at the same rate as The Badoo (if not growing at the same rate!)

  2. Flora was fascinated by her little sister, but not yet at “why” and question stage. She liked to play with Kate’s toes and (occasionally) give her baby toys.

    Both the girls are excited for their new sibling to arrive, but I have staved off questions of “when” by explaining (if all goes well, knock wood!) the baby will be here after Flora’s birthday and before Christmas.

    They ask why i’m so tired now, why I don’t feel well. I don’t blame the baby — I just say mommmy’s body is changing because there’s a baby inside. They ask if daddy will be able to feed the baby from his nipples. (Sigh. No.) I expect I’ll get some of those “why are you crying” questions later — the baby blues are tough! Hang in there.

  3. Thank goodness for those hugs… makes all the other questions worth it.
    What a sweet photo. Their curiosity is palpable 🙂

  4. This is adorable! I don’t have kids yet but I adore them and I am really looking forward to being an aunt in three weeks!

  5. Ah the memories. The sibling arrived after several new dogs had joined the family so the big question was “why can’t you leave her in the crate and take me out?”

    Love the photo, brings back those wonderful awe filled days.

  6. Oh my, the beginning of this post was incredibly funny! It makes me want to have a 2nd, but not really 🙂 Oh, poor Stacia. I’ve never thought of that. I think fo all the times I broke down with Adriana (sometimes still do, just did the other day) and I’ve never thought that one day I’ll have a witness, an observer who won’t understand and I will have to try to explain. That breaks my heart. It will all be better soon enough. If not, CALL on me. Seriously, need a diaper run? lunch run? Someone to watch them for 30 minutes so you can shower or breastfeed in private or nap. Call me, and I’ll stop by.

  7. Beautiful post!!

    I am impressed that you are able to blog with a 3-week old and two other kids. Sounds like you are one strong Momma!

    Hang in there–you are right, the tears will pass soon.

    Sending love from one Baby Momma to another,
    Momma Goose

  8. You brought back some nice memories.
    Regarding Umbilical Cord. Me: Before she was born, she got her food though the belly button. He: I think there’s a piece of meat stuck in there Mommy.

    Regarding The Blues: Me: sometimes I just have to make myself a cup of tear water tea. (This was a helpful response since a favorite child’s book involving an owl and a toad(?) had some tear water tea: it’s always salty, but makes me feel so much better.)

  9. Oh yes. Emily wasn’t old enough to truly understand that she had a baby brother, until recently. She has now become very curious about her little brother, especially his bodily functions. She loves to squeeze his cheeks, kiss his head, sing him songs, and push him over (I’m not too fond of this trick). It is wonderful to see her react to her brother.

    P.S. You are on Worpress’s Freshly Pressed Page!! Hooray!!

  10. It is wonderful that they are entranced with the new baby and are so willing to help. Lovely photo too – glad to hear you are all doing so well and those baby blues hopefully will soon be gone.

  11. Oh, it’s Why central with Big Boy over here too. We just don’t have anyone quite so exciting to ask Why about. (Tiny Baby is a year old now and he’s lost his metaphorical new car smell, apparently.)

    And yes, Cookie Monster is the best bar none. I was disturbed to hear, however, that he has declared cookies a “sometimes” food. Does not compute.

  12. What sweet post.

    Oh the why, but and Howcomes? they can drive you crazy. My daughter would rummage through until she found a Zoe, because the others were boys (like elmo and big bird) and the girls (I have twin girls just turned a year) couldn’t be seen in boy diaper no way LOL oh and I got a lot of those questions too

    Hope you get over the blues really soon…
    Have a great weekend.

  13. This is very sweet! Sorry to hear about the baby blues. (((hug)))

  14. “But the other characters? Clearly inferior.”

    Made me giggle out loud. I totally agree: all other muppets are inferior to the awesome Cookie Monster.

    Beautiful blog post, BTW. I think this is the sweetest parenting blog I’ve come across on Freshly Pressed.

  15. So sweet! What a great blog. I love the title too! It’s perfect.

  16. What an incredible blog! It’s sincere and poignant and quite hilarious!
    I hope the Princess of Why isn’t too confused when she learns where milk really comes from…

    God bless you and your family!


  17. Awww, such a sweet post. Sending me back….almost makes me want another. I love it, “Why are YOU sleeping?” (And congrats on being featured on Freshly Pressed – have fun with all the traffic!)

  18. Oh I am right there with you! My baby is 2 months old. My older one is three. Question, question, question. Answer, answer, answer. Sigh, sigh, sigh. Haha! But the hugs totally make it worth it.

  19. beautiful 🙂

  20. Rose asked “whycome?” forever.
    Now, at the highly sophisticated ages of 3 and 5, their questions border on existential, so I just make up answers.

    Thinking of you at this tender, crazy, sweet, tiring time.

  21. Hey, fresh pressed friend! Why IS the milk coming out of your armpits? 🙂 This week, thanks to Glee, Jack learned the word “funk.” Which sounds an awful like an awful word he learned a few weeks ago. So we did our best to change it to “funky” and talked about funky town, funky monkey, gettin’ funky. He said, “No. Funky hippo.” Which left me as the one asking questions!
    For his part, he just wants to know the where and what of everything – the basic version, I think, of what your kids are wanting to know about their brand new sibling.
    Wishing you peace and sleep.

  22. You beautifully describe those first few weeks (months?) of new-baby-hood. I am so impressed by your patience and thoughtfulness in answering their unending questions.

    My little girl’s unending Why? comes after every statement and remark. She has hit the stage where everything fascinates her and she understands that there’s a reason/explanation behind this world. My son’s questions are more probing. He is 9 and wants to know the secrets and truths of life. I use different muscles to answer them both correctly but it’s always a mixture of brain and heart.

  23. Those toddler questions are precious. And astonishing. I smile, just remembering.


  24. A glorious blog note. Well written and enthralling even for a non-mother. I loved being a part of your journey for a moment. Thank you.

  25. I do this too. I ask for a hug when I’m feeling blue. Sometimes the kids can tell, sometimes they have no idea. Sometimes they relish the squeeze, sometimes they pull away. But always, always, I get a glimpse of the reasons why it will all be okay in the end, and know that I have made the very best life for them and for me that I can in that one moment.

    You make me want a newborn again. Tears and all.

  26. I wish the milk came from my armpits, maybe then I would not have this damn heat rash beneath the underwire of my nursing bra.

    The big brothers around here are loving their baby sister. Very interested in her “yellow poos” and very concerned about her when she cries. Also interested in revisiting the bouncy seat and activity gym that they have outgrown.

    I am in awe of you and your prolific, high-quality posts these days!

  27. This is so adorable. Over here, we’re having the opposite occur. My 2 older kids are home from college for the summer and the youngest is readjusting to not being an only child and not getting her mommy’s attention all the time. She’s 16 mind you. “Isn’t it better when it’s only us?” she says. “Don’t you miss how WE do things?”

  28. Very cute!

  29. Oscar or the Cookie Monster I think. I don’t have kids yet but when I my little brother was born I was 4. I remember being quite jealous for a long period but we do have home videos that show me baby-talking and playing with him. He, on the other hand, loved me and when he was a toddler copied everything I did, always wanted to brush my hair etc. How times have changed! Now our parents have gone I’m his guardian and he’s going through his rebellious teenage years. I couldn’t live without him, and to him I’m a perpetual embarassment!

  30. I don’t have kids yet, but everyone around me is popping them out this year! (I am going to the third baby shower of the year tomorrow). Parenthood seems so adorable and wonderful. I have so many babies to spoil this year, I can’t wait. This post is really nice, I will share it with all the moms I know.

  31. Ohhh… sweet baby. Sweet stories. Sending you love.

  32. Beautiful… it takes me back to those wonderful, exhausting days. Someone told me at the time and it’s so true… enjoy these days, because this is when they WANT to be with you. The time will come (and has for me) when their friends (and now their families) come first.

    Don’t blink!
    (P.S. Congrats on making Freshly Pressed — I’m brand new to this, but even I know that’s a big deal)

  33. Oh boy…Did this ever bring back memories! I had truly forgotten. Very sweet recollection.

    However, 11 years later…

    and I’m still suffering from post-partum! LOL!

  34. The beginning of your post sounded like a blurb I would read on the back of a novel. I feel as though I could write a story based on this entry alone. To children with newborn siblings, life must be a huge wonder. They get to see themselves in their little brother or sister, what they were like but don’t remember. It must be fascinating.

  35. I love that magical time when the world seems to turn more slowly! My big girl didn’t ask much when #2 arrived, but now she hits me with zingers. Am I doing a good job with my spoon too? Yes, but you’ve been using a spoon for years.
    When my niece was born, I scrubbed my sister’s bathroom, so I’d love to scrub your floor, but you know that comes with two crazy kids who will create more mess then I can keep up with. (If you know a new mommy, offer meals, grocery shopping or help with chores! Best gifts ever.)

    Enjoy those legs, that gorgeous baby and I hope the tears go quickly.

  36. Oh I just loved the “milk from your armpits” and the questions about your “peppers”! Too cute!

    You made me giggle and then you made me tear up a little. It is so emotional with a new baby and so hard to explain to a little one. Sounds like you’re doing a great job though! And you still manage to find time to pump out awesome blog posts! Yay, you!

  37. So impressed Stacia by your level of writing and your ability to post after delivering your latest. I know you are crying, but you are writing too and that counts for something.

    As for questions my four year old asks – lately it has been, “Can we buy a baby at the store?” She is an only child and absolutely loves babies. If a single thing strikes her as different, the litany of why’s begin. It is what we wake up with and what we go to bed with…

  38. So adorable, Stacia. Such a special, difficult, tiring, magical time!

    What are my kids asking right now? If you really want to know, my daughter asked me yesterday how gay people have sex if they don’t have opposite sexual parts. (Yes, the mind of a precocious eleven-year-old!) This is my life…

  39. A beautiful post! You have quite a way of describing things! 🙂
    We just had our 1st born son, Gershom, 3 months ago and I often think about what it would be like for him to have a sibling and how he will react. It was such a pleasure reading about your experiences. Thanks & God bless you and your family!

  40. Such a beautiful post. Made me giggle with Mr. Giggles! And made me all emotional too. Hope you’re a lot less “sad”. It’s OK to cry. 😉

  41. You have the most beautiful blog! Love the photos and your posts are lovely. Stumbled across it on the Freshly Pressed! Well done 🙂

  42. I’m with Giggles on the ‘trash’ – I always hated that messy bit of leftover cord and couldn’t wait for it to disappear to reveal the smooth baby bellybutton beneath. Best of luck with it Stacia – you know we’re all out hear rooting for y’all.

  43. “Why does the milk come from my armpits?”
    They sound really adorable…;)

  44. I have only begun this particular blog, but I as well love posting the new bits of child trivia. When I became pregnant with my second child, there was no hiding the palpable disdain seething from my then 6 1/2 year old. 4 years later and the girls still share the occasional moment of resentment, although when an external conflict arises each is quick to stand up for the other. It’s beautiful, and gets us through the scenes of bickering. Add in my two step-children around the same ages, and the moments of sheer harmony are wonderful enough to bring tears.

    Zoe was my personal favorite character; however, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her on a diaper.

    I am fascinated by your glass-half-full approach to life and am going to follow your blog–if you don’t mind. I’ve become quite negative in the last couple of years. You are a breath of life.

  45. Love their reactions. Wonderboy was more concerned with how Pixie affected his life when she was born. I’m sure there were questions, because with him there are always questions – but for the life of me I can’t remember a single one!

  46. This is so very adorable. I just found out that it’s normal to feel like this while having other children. It’s like helpful insight. Bet it’s a lot of fun too! Hope your children grow beautifully.


  47. Such a neat post, looking into the minds of children is ALWAYS interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Your children are so precious. This is adorable. And yes, that is the best muppet of all!

  49. Thank you for this beautiful post. I had tears in my eyes as I read the last bit, through your words I was able to relive my experience with my 2nd baby girl. I would give you hugs to help heal those blues, but I know that hugs from your Lollipop are the best medicine (and sleep, sleep, sleep).

    Elmo rules the roost at our house, but I have always had a soft spot for Grover and his spindly arms. Great blog! So glad I found you, congrats of Freshly Pressed!

  50. mr. giggles…….aaawww my youngest is 11…
    i want a bun and mr. giggles….


  51. I’m so sorry that you’re struggling right now, but how wonderful to have such love surrounding you. To get you through.

    It makes me cry (more) when my daughters hug me through my own tears, and even though it doesn’t happen too often, it somehow makes us closer. I’m sure it’s doing the same for you and your beautiful children.

  52. Every time we visit one of our friends with newborns, our daughter is endlessly curious about the tiny baby. She sits and stares at them for minutes on end. Which is the equivalent of hours in adult time. It makes me think (long?) for a another baby. So she can experience that connection. But for now, she’ll just have to enjoy the baby brothers and sisters of her friends.

  53. Such a sweet post. My 7 year old daughter was excited and amazed when my other daughter was born. Now, my youngest is 18 months and my oldest is almost 9 – and she’s tired of that toddler, lol. She used to love to help me, now she gets more than annoyed when I ask her to grab me a diaper, let alone watch her for a few seconds. I guess the older they are, they really can care less 🙂

    Good luck with you and yours!

  54. Lovely! Mine are all grown up now – but the questions still come, but they’re not so endearing!!

  55. Oh my goodness (I say that so much when I come here), because your writing transfixes me. You catch me with something every time. Oh how I remember those early weeks after the birth of our second. I cried A LOT, and my oldest would snuggle in and say “Don’t cry mommy.” And it broke my heart. And looking back now, it all happened so fast, but was all so hard. And I wish I had written more about what it was like to watch him discover the joy of his new baby brother. This is really so lovely Stacia!

  56. What an achingly sweet post! I miss newborn days. My youngest is 3 going on 18, so my house resembles a three ring circus. Every once in awhile she flies in from her whirl of activity to slip in a quick kiss and hug…

    Again, this was really a great post. I enjoyed reading it.

  57. Hi, enjoyed the post. I’m really glad that you included some bitter with the sweet. It was brave to do so, but as you can see from many of the comments, you have touched on an experience perhaps others have kept to themselves. It is an excellent thing to have spoken of post-partum blues, because realistically it goes with the territory of becoming a new mum and should be known by all. I’m a Dad(3 kids) and know a little of this. My wife experienced the blues with all three kids, the last blues became post natal depression after 8 wks, then full depression. Our roles reversed for a long, long time. I still like the smell of new babies though!

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