I love that my kid lacks a filter

Yesterday morning, after yelling,  "DO NOT COME INTO MY BEDROOM," my 4 y/o kid, EK, calmed down and went about his morning routine of feeding his creepy fish and pretending to get dressed. He then asked, "[m]ama, do I have a greater brain than you? Because I remember more stuff than you." Maybe? His memory  is certainly far superior to that of his parents'.

Not thirty minutes later I was asked: " You shouldn't put your finger in your nose, then your finger in your mouth, then your finger in your nose, then your finger in your eye...right mom?" Right on, little dude. Now for the love of all that is holy, PUT ON YOUR PANTS.

We started talking about death two years ago after listening a little too closely to Avett Brothers lyrics ...and that conversation has yet to kick the bucket. Sayonara NPR and all your dirty murder/sickness/war anything informative talk. I'm not prepped to deal with that level of questioning. I'll stick with" "Why do people die? Am I going to do die? Are you going to die? Are you going to die first? Will my friends die (lists names)? Great grandpa is going to die because he is so old..." and so forth. Ouch.

Last night EK told us he is scared to go to kindergarten. No tears this time, which is progress (I think?).  It's OK to be scared and even better to talk about it.

Occasionally I read news stories about this study or that study in which boys self-report taking a stoic over emotive route in the face of stressors; between you and me, that is a raw deal for dudes.

I want kids to communicate when they are scared of school or  dying.  I want my son to ask why my eyes are watering or keep telling us that his heart hurts when his grandparents leave.

These tiny humans somehow articulate exactly what we all feel but are sometimes too uneasy to say aloud. Why/when does it become socially unacceptable to use your words and OK to bottle up your feelings like a sad little robot? I don't see that milestone listed in any of the parenting books I should, but don't read.

Moreover, and call me out of control Mrs. Sensitive Pants, but these conversations build coping skills. Kids learn how to process the world through experiences and conversations. Why does that have to stop once they become more aware of the their surroundings outside of their tiny, annoying bodies ?

Fine, maybe EK shouldn't push his fist into my belly when talking about babies ("your belly is squishy, mama"), but I do want him to grow up feeling confident in asking questions that may not always have an easy answer.

He tells me, "[y]ou don't know everything, mama. No one can know everything." To that I say, true, but you can continue to try to figure it all out, you little weirdo. And keep asking questions, EK, even when people tell you to stop (including me as long as they are legit and not just something you do to try to piss me off).


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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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