My four year old, Haylee, stood there, lip quivering, on the verge of a total breakdown. All I did was go in to her room to make sure she was putting on her pajamas so I was a little surprised by what I found.
“Haylee, what’s the matter, sweetie!?”
“Yeah, right. What’s wrong?”
“I don’t wanna have a baby in my tummy!” (insert uncontrollable sobbing here)
I just stood there. I’m certain I looked like a mortified, albeit confused, idiot. Fortunately for me, in the midst of her breakdown, there is no way she noticed my incompetence at this particular moment.
“Uh, honey, I’m not sure what you mean. You’re only four. You will NOT be having a baby in your tummy for a long time.”
Now she was mad. “I don’t EVER want to do it!” she snapped.
I was getting more perplexed (and alarmed) by the second. “Ever!? I thought you wanted to be a mama and have babies.”
Hysteria. “I DON’T WANT THEM TO GIVE ME A SHOT!”
This situation went from totally insane to hysterical in two seconds flat.
“Well, honey, you don’t necessarily get a shot when you’re pregnant. Only some people do. And besides, you won’t have a baby in your tummy until you’re older and married anyway.” I didn’t tell her about the blood draws that all pregnant women get because sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut.
She did not look convinced, but went about her bedtime routine. I went into her brothers’ room and then came back to tuck her in. To my surprise, she was face down in her pillow trying to muffle her sobbing. I was baffled. This is the girl who got multiple vaccinations at her four year check-up without even flinching. As a matter of fact, she chose to get them then instead of waiting until she was five because she “might as well get them over with.” Why on Earth is she sobbing over the possibility of an injection twenty years in the future!? Just when I think I know what I’m doing I realize that I don’t. At all.
“Hales, honey, are you still upset about that?”
“NO!” She practically screamed it at me.
“What’s the problem then, sweetheart?”
“I don’t wanna get married!” (insert uncontrollable sobbing here . . . again)
Oh no, what have her Dad and I done to damage this poor child? It’s all I could come up with.
“Why not? Getting married is great. You get to marry somebody nice and have a family. That’s how I got you.”
Long pause. “I don’t like the kissing!”
If I hadn’t been completely stuffed up from my head cold, I would’ve snorted. Illness saved me. That doesn’t happen every day.
“Well . . . I don’t blame you. You’re four. But some day you won’t mind so much.”
“Yes, I will!” She was losing it. I had to think of something and fast.
“Well, it’s nothing you have to worry about right now. There’s no point in even thinking about it. You have to be as old as Aunt Emily before it will even be much of a concern.”
She calmed down. Success. Thanks, Em.
I tucked her in and walked out of the room. I stood there slightly baffled, wondering about the dramatics of the little girl that was sleeping under my roof. Of course, then I went and told her dad and snickered about it.
But after my laugh, I still sat there wondering about my little Haylee. I wondered how her thought process got her to the point of our discussion. I wondered why it upset her so much. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, this girl broadsides me with a two-by-four. She does it all the time. How am I supposed to be a successful parent with her acting like this!?
A few minutes later I laid Avery down to change her diaper and put her pajamas on. “I’m stinky butt!” she hollered at me with a big, gappy grin. Okay, that’s more like it. That I can deal with. Why doesn’t my four year old stick with more basic conversations like that?