Inquiring MindsJune 3, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop | 57 Comments
Tags: Babies, Balance, Challenges, Children, Family, Growing Up, Newborns, Parenting, Siblings
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.
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.
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?