Too Soon

June 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

I have routinely stated that despite what people tell me, this parenting thing does not “go by so fast”. I can barely remember life without kids and I like it that way. However, there are moments that force me to see we are much farther along than I realize.

A Startling Story

One evening during our bed time read, my daughter was in the top bunk reading aloud from one of her dozens of Rainbow Fairies books. I was in the bottom bunk with my boy, poised to read a Batman story. Suddenly, right in the middle of a perfectly lovely tale about fairies, she threw a simple question at me.

“Daddy, where do baby horses come from?”

And there it was – another one of those obnoxious, startling milestones informing you your child is no longer that little puking baboo that kept you up all night. What was my baby girl doing asking a question like that? After all, she’s only…

Oh, right – she’s nearly seven.

On the other hand, I have been a parent for nearly seven years now. I am prepared for an event like this. I am Dad. My response was clear and cogent.

“What?”

This is my go-to move whenever I am startled by my children. I know every parent who is reading this has done it at least fifty times so don’t judge me… yet.

The Horse Race Is On

So, now the clock was ticking. I had as much time as it took for her to repeat the question, to come up with a suitable answer that would shut down the conversation immediately and for the next twenty years.

“Where…” she began.

I can’t say “the baby horse store” because she will immediately ask if we can go there and buy every baby horse in the place with her Tooth Fairy money…

“do…”

Why don’t I just tell her? I can’t I just tell her. This is absolutely the WRONG time to have the birds and bees and baby horses talk. THINK, Dad…

“baby…”

Horse barns? Horse trees?

“horses…”

Horse fairies! Horse eggs! Santa! The egg thing is mostly true!

“come…”

I’m dead….

“from?”

Time’s up!

There was nothing else to do. I had to step up and be the Dad my girl needed me to be at this important though incredibly ill-timed moment in her young life. Despite the earlier mental chaos, the right answer came to me. I mustered my courage. I am Dad. My response was clear and cogent.

“I don’t know.”

Time stood still. The bubbling from the aquarium pump was the only sound in the room. Even the fish were motionless. Would my answer be enough to kick this can down the road for another two decades?

“Oh” was her simple reply. Then she continued reading.

I waited, as if listening for confirmation that the intruder I thought might be in our house had tried the door and just walked away. My son looked at me with concern and whispered. “Are you ok, Dad?”

“Yeah. I think I’m good for now.” I settled back down to listen to the rest of Rainbow Fairies. I will have to read that book now to figure out how she went from fairies to wondering where baby horses come from.

Or I will just throw that book away and never speak of this horseplay again.

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Entry filed under: Being Dad. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Four in the Morning New Life Hefe

1 Comment Add your own

  • […] off to college. Hop Dad had precisely one of these experiences recently when his daughter asked him where babies come from. Well, the question was of baby horses and not baby humans, but the underlying principle remains […]

    Reply

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