Albert Einstein once said, “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” I believe him, but I also don’t think that he could have reasonably considered the equation of what occurs when you have one, curious seven-year-old boy, plus one mommy who knows nothing about being one!
My son is famous for his one-liners. He is witty and quick to notice details. Already, in second-grade, he knows that he wants to grow up to be a chemist and I think he practices honing his skills for this future profession by seeing “everything,” even when I wish he wouldn’t. This is the kid who, when I lost something, helped me find it so thoroughly that he noticed my hiding place for birthday gifts, and I had to buy new ones. This is the kid who, when I gave him an answer he couldn’t quite fathom said, “Um, can you rephrase that?” Recently I asked him not to sing so loud, and he told me he just had to because he loved to “get his expression out.”
What’s really funny is the fact that he either has a question or an answer for everything. He’s equally inquisitive and self-confident in his assessment of whatever the current situation may be. I’ll never forget when he was five-years-old, he came into the kitchen and dropped his pants to “re-adjust.” While I shrieked something like, “What are you doing?” He calmly replied,
“It was sticking to my leg, and you need to know that!”
I need to know that. Me. A thirty-two-year-old female, needs to know that the boy parts need to be adjusted at any random time, in any random place, because now I have a not-so-random little man who will do this act – randomly.
The thing is, I feel like I’m not always what you’d call prepared for the conversations I am apt to have with my intrigued mister. There are times that he pulls a Babe Ruth and slams one into right field so far that I’m left on the pitchers mound, wondering how the ball I thought I had control over, went so far over my head. A few months ago he decided to pull the big one … you know where I’m going! “Where do babies come from mom?” Yup. That one. And – I’m not ready to have that question. He’s definitely not ready to hear that answer, so I found a way around it and it went something like this …
“Hey buddy. You know how movies are rated G or PG? And you know how you can’t watch PG13 because you’re too young? Well, this is a PG13 conversation, and when you’re ready, I’ll be happy to talk to you about it, but for now, we’re going to have to leave this one on the shelf, okay?”
Yeah! I know … genius! Well, genius only works when you can push off a convo because it isn’t right in your face. If you’re a man and you’re reading this, now might be a good time to click-away before I gross you out. If you’re a husband or a father, read on because it’s good for you to realize the questions that come from the lack of privacy we get, or … don’t get. Yesterday’s conversation was not able to be conveniently postponed until a later date because we were on a road trip – and on a road trip, you use public bathrooms, and when using public bathrooms with no daddy around to take your son to the men’s – that’s right, you guessed it – my son came into the women’s bathroom with me! Now, if I was smarter than I obviously was in that moment, I would have said something like, “face the wall please.” But I didn’t. Instead, a few days from my “you-know-what” time of the month, I was being precautionary and my son (who didn’t turn away quick enough) asked, “Mom … why are you wearing a diaper in your underwear?”
Dear Lord, (I prayed) if there was ever a time that I could magically melt into the floor, please let it be now. I really don’t want to have this conversation and I am fresh out of excuses and ideas. Now Lord? How about … now? Now maybe?
“Mom?” my son asked, breaking me out of my reverent bathroom prayer.
“Um,” I hedged, quickly zipping my pants. “Well, you see, that’s just something that is meant to keep you feeling fresh and clean.” I said, wishing I had my replica Harry Potter wand so I could point it at his wide blue eyes, use the charm “Obliviate,” and wipe this moment clean from his memory.
“So …” he said, carrying on in a worried tone, “do guys need to wear them too?”
“No,” I said, my face a total mask of nonchalance, aside from its red-turning-purple hue, “it’s just girls.”
“Well good,” he said breathing a sigh of relief.
And just like that, the subject dropped. As long as he didn’t need to wear a “diaper,” he was cool with me wearing one. Nightmare.
So, back to Einstein, who also said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Well Albert, I agree with you, though it seems, right now, my son’s insatiable curiosity is primarily here on earth to keep me humble.