I got a nasty surprise while driving with my three kids this morning. Out of nowhere, Julian, the three-year old, busts out the question:
“Dad, where do babies come from?”
Naturally, I was taken aback. Like most parents I assumed that television was teaching my kids about sex and I could avoid having this uncomfortable conversation. I mean, what’s the point of letting my small, impressionable children watch “The OC”, if it’s not going to be educational?
Once I got over the shock of hearing the question, I think I handled the situation with aplomb. First, I steered off the sidewalk and back onto the road. Not only was this, strictly speaking, the “legal” thing to do, but the screams of the pedestrians were making it hard to formulate a good answer to my son’s question.
Inspiration hit me and without turning around (because, strictly speaking, facing the rear while driving forward is not “legal”), I said this to Julian:
“Julian, what’s your favorite dinosaur?"
In the rear-view mirror, I could see Julian doing something that can only be described as rebooting. I think I actually saw his eyes counting RAM.
“I like raptors!” he blurted out.
“Me, too.” I said. We talked about dinosaurs for an hour, but the subject of babies did not come up again. I had lucked into an amazing, new child rearing method. Potentially, I could avoid the baby discussion indefinitely.
I called Bridget to tell her about my amazing new breakthrough but she was not impressed.
“It’s called the Dinosaur Button,” she said. “All males have it.”
“That’s ridiculous,” I said.
“What’s your favorite dinosaur?
“Nice try,” I laughed. “I’m not a three year-old.”
“I like raptors!” I blurted out.
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation.