I’m not entirely sure how it happened, and I swear it wasn’t intentional, but I may have raised myself something of a ‘walking spoiler alert’. That’s ‘industry speak’ for ‘surprise ruiner’; or let’s say, someone who wakes you up the day before your birthday with the words “we got you earrings!”
What that means for you is that your child may, if they somehow come into contact with my daughter, learn the facts of life at an accelerated rate, thanks to my inability to come up with a better story (on the fly) during an impromptu interrogation; “But how does the man’s seed get into the woman’s egg? How does it get in there? Does he poke a hole in her tummy and stick it in? What does he poke her with?” Sigh. Anyway, sue me; I was trying to shimmy into a body shaper at the time and my defenses were down. Much to my child’s horror the truth came spilling out of my mouth. I didn’t have time to consider all of your future miraculous moments. Sorry.
My unproven theory is this; my husband and I are not only parents, but professional actors. As such, we feel an absolute responsibility to tell her the truth should she ask for it, and suffer unbearable agony when we imagine her getting duped by some random mall Santa. I refuse to allow her to believe that the pimply-faced teenager in a dirty rabbit costume trying to pass himself off as the Easter Bunny at brunch is real. Same goes for ‘Times Square Minnie Mouse’ (also dirty. Possibly a dude from Astoria.). Add to that the fact that Mommy has played her own share of costumed characters in her day, and that she kind of feels bitter about it (cough cough Sailor Moon cough cough. Never mention this again).
A few days ago at school, our daughter was the designated ‘Expert of the Week’ , and she chose to be an expert on Sesame Street. Her father and I had just been on the show, and it enabled her to meet some of the ‘monsters’ in person, which was generally mind blowing for all of us, and (apart from getting married and having children) very high up there on the “best day of my entire life” list.
Cue: Spoiler Alert, systematically demolishing your child’s fantasies about his/her chances of casually meeting Elmo riding his tricycle in the park one day. “Any questions? No Mark. They’re PUPPETS. There are puppeteers holding them up and speaking for them. They are NOT alive. Also, there is NO SUCH THING as magic…and…when you are dead you NEVER come back. EVER. What Stella? Yes. Everyone dies. Forever. Thank you.” (Cue all children in room weeping).
Listen, I’m like you. I do what I can to keep my children young and adorable forever, but they keep breaking out of their terrarium anyway. Our children are not fools. They know that a penis is for something, they’re just not quite sure what it is yet.
Although, I absolutely refuse to share the reason why I was trying to squeeze myself into a body slimmer. That would be detrimental. To everyone. Obviously.