1. Welcome, anyone who came here courtesy of the forum thread on Television Without Pity. I'm so glad you clicked. I'm doing a Lenten practice to spend at least 30 minutes nightly re-acquainting myself with composing and writing, so I've been writing here on whatever bubbles up during my reflective period every day. It's the "40 Days To Submit" category.
2. The following entry is about parenting. I get that reading about parenting is not everyone's jam, so it's behind the jump. Feel free to click away if you're all, "Oh yuck, the world doesn't need more people writing about parenting."
I don't care to make generalizations about parenting, mostly because parents are people and so are children, people come in infinite personality variations, and when you stick combinations of those personality variations together, you're basically guaranteeing that there are no universal rules to the gig beyond, "Please don't be a jackass. Thank you."
But there is one rule I can apply to my own particular parenting experience and that is: So much I do now has its roots in some tiny thing I don't even remember doing then.
Some time ago -- I don't even remember when -- we were talking to Trix about airplane travel, because she loves it and enjoys knowing where she's flown. And I believe one of us may have mentioned that we went to Kaua'i while I was pregnant with her*, so technically, she flew to Hawaii with us. And she flew to DC with me a few weeks later. And she flew to Boston a few months after that.
"What'd I do?" the daughter demanded, and I would answer, "Mostly, you divided your cells and worked on becoming Trixie."
If one of us mentions something we did back in the Before Time, she asks, "Where was I?"
One time I wasn't thinking and I absently responded, "You were just an egg in my ovary then."
This afternoon, as I was folding one of the five loads of laundry I did today, Trixie was helping in her own fashion (i.e. jumping on the bed between piles and matching up socks) and as she bounced around on the bed, she trilled, "I used to be an egg. And then what?"
"And then one month, it was your turn to try and become a baby, so you left my ovary. And then you grew in my ..."
"Uterus!" Trixie cheered. We've been big on clearing up that whole "baby in the tummy" thing around here.
But still, she was hung up on being an egg, so between bounces, she reasoned, "I was an egg! You know who else has eggs? Chickens! And bugs!"
"Actually, every animal has eggs," I said. "The big difference is that some animals push their eggs outside their bodies and take care of the eggs in nests, and some animals keep their eggs in their bodies and take care of babies that way."
"Everyone has eggs?" asked the child, because she is really big into the Socratic Method.
"Animals that lay eggs are called oviparous animals," I said. "And animals that keep their eggs inside are called viviparous animals."
(I decided to skip the ovuliparous and ovoviviparous categories because ... well, one big concept at a time and "We all start from eggs" qualifies.)
"Viviparous," Trix said, rocketing from one end of the bed to the other. "Clap it out! Vi! Vip! A! Rous!"
Then we drilled on which animals might be oviparous and which ones might be viviparous, and then we clapped out the words some more to remember them.
Now my daughter wants to know what she did while she was an egg awaiting her turn to become a baby. I am not so sure Biology 101 can save me here. And now, I have a much better understanding of why people say crap like, "The stork brought you." It leads to far fewer questions down the line.
* It was awful. I boarded the plane as someone whose head was still spinning from seeing the lines on the stick three days prior, and by the time we landed in Lihue, every single pregnancy symptom of the first trimester hit. I spent the next week simultanenously nauseated 24/7 and hungry, exhausted and aching all over. The only thing that made me feel better was swimming but in February, the ocean temperature dips and the pools are generally not heated. So I'd swim for 25 minutes and get out, clenched with cold, and remember that Oh yeah, I can't use a hot tub. And I can't get a massage. And I shouldn't eat sushi. And I need to really enjoy every minute of this trip because it's our last time in paradise before the baby comes! NO PRESSURE.
And then I capped it off by getting food poisoning on the flight home. Of course.