Today was a pretty dull day, though that was (as you might imagine) a welcome change after yesterday. Oh, sure—at one point this afternoon, my internet died. That was exciting for a few minutes, as my life flashed before my eyes. (Insert slow-motion realization that I’ve lost connectivity—and the slow, anguished “Nooooooooooooo!” that came with it—here.)
Being left without a connection to the outside world forced me to take up my vacuum and CLEAN in the middle of the afternoon, so it all worked out okay.
And the crockpot was going all day, so it certainly smelled good in here. Crockpot soup, cleaning… I was feeling very earth mother-y and on top of my game.
(And we know that no good can come of that.)
It started at breakfast. While the kids ate, I fetched several containers of homemade turkey stock from the basement freezer. While the kids watched with growing interest, I loosened the contents within and dumped three icy slabs into my crockpot.
“What’re we having for dinner?” Chickadee asked.
“Turkey pucks,” I answered. “Delicious, frozen turkey pucks.”
This was intriguing enough to cause both children to leave their pop-tarts and come investigate. Once I convinced them that it would, indeed, be soup by dinnertime, Chickadee seemed relieved. This was a crushing disappointment for Monkey, however. He pointed out that 1) he doesn’t really like soup and 2) we NEVER get to have turkey pucks!
Despite his protestations, after the kids got off to school and the pucks had melted down, I added the rest of the ingredients and had soup simmering on the counter all day.
(Some people who don’t use a crockpot regularly think I’m sort of domestic maven, using mine as often as I do. The truth is that I just really like it when my house smells like food. If they come out with a Glade Plug-In that smells like chicken soup or beef stew, I’ll probably stop using my crockpot.)
I had my coffee and did my work and wandered away and cleaned while my internet was on the fritz and worked some more and then the kids came home and it was time to pay attention to them. Those kids! Always wanting attention! Is it not enough that I made soup for them? Apparently not, no. They want snacks and admiration for their work and rides to places and all kinds of other things.
Finally we arrived at my favorite time of the day: BEDTIME. Hooray! Now before you conclude I can’t wait to be rid of the children, let me rush to point out that my favorite part is our bedtime READING. I plan to read to the kids at night as long as they’ll tolerate it, just because I love the cuddling up and sharing of a story. I love the questions they ask and the comments they come up with. There’s a kind of interaction that happens over a good book, when you’re ready for bed and the day is done, that just doesn’t happen any other way.
And when it’s a favorite book from my childhood, so much the better. We’ve just embarked on one of my most favorite series of all time; we’re about three chapters into The Great Brain. Monkey had a bit of trouble getting into the Little House on the Prairie series, but these are right up his alley. Sure, they’re set long ago and contain lots of stuff that needs explaining (last night when we read the chapter about the boys having the measles and then the mumps, we had to take a break and have a little discussion about immunizations), but they’re full of boys being boys. And don’t worry about Chickadee—the Great Brain’s scheming ways garner her full appreciation. They are both LOVING the book so far.
So, we got all settled in and I started reading. The narrator starts talking about how he’s going to mate his dog with this other family’s dog.
I manage to give the most elementary glossing-over possible: Mating is when you bring the boy and girl together so she can have puppies! Yay! Let’s keep reading! There’s a brief discussion of the female dog being in heat, in the book, and it basically says “that’s when she can get pregnant and she acts weird” and we moved on. No problem!
When it was time to shut the book for the night, I felt like I’d dodged a bullet. I tucked Chickadee into her bed and kissed and hugged her, then carried Monkey to his room and did the same for him.
“Mama?” he asked, “How does that work?”
Oh dear Lord. Breathe.
“What, honey?” Maybe he’s thinking about something else entirely.
“You know, that thing in the book… the… buddying.”
“Buddying?” Ha! Wait. Must. Not. Laugh. “I think you mean mating, sweetie.”
“Mating! Yeah, that. I don’t understand.”
I am so not wanting to have this conversation right now.
“Well, you know that to make babies you need a daddy and a mommy. WOW IT IS LATE, I think you should go RIGHT TO SLEEP!” I faked a huge yawn and pulled Monkey’s covers up to his chin and commenced tucking him in with as much fuss as possible.
“Yeah, I know, but how does it WORK? What does the mating DO?”
What does the mating DO? How much time do you have, kid?
“Honey, it’s… complicated. If you really want to talk about it, we can, but not right now, because right now it’s time to go to sleep. Ask me again tomorrow after school if you still want to, okay?”
This satisfied him for the time being, and I bid him sweet dreams and slipped out of his room, hoping against hope that tomorrow Pokemon or soccer or school or even wrecking my plumbing occupies the corner of his brain currently wondering “how that works.”
And here I’ve been trying to figure out how to have “the talk” with Chickadee. (Maybe I can explain it to Monkey, and then make him tell her. That should be good for at least two blog entries, I bet.)