Monday, June 18, 2007

Awkward Moments

I knew the day would come when Sydney said something (or asked something) in public that was completely innocent on her part, but very embarrassing on my part. It's natural for kids to be curious about everything and ask questions to learn about them. Normally, this is just fine and Ryan and I try to be as honest as possible in answering her questions on a level that she'll understand. Lately, however, these questions and statements have been voiced in public and I'm afraid that I'm not quite practiced in the art of "shushing, explaining and apologizing all at once."

A few weeks ago, we went to the library and the man behind us in the checkout line was wearing overalls, a floppy hat and work boots. She asked, "Mommy, why is there a farmer in the library?" Luckily, the gentleman was quite amused as I explained that everyone likes to read, even farmers (and cowboys and policemen, etc).

However, while out eating barbeque for Father's Day this past weekend, Sydney noticed a rather heavyset woman getting up to get a refill on her drink. Just as the lady passed our table, Sydney said, "That lady's so big she can't fit in a car!" I turned five shades of red and told her that was not a nice thing to say. I explained that people come in all shapes and sizes and then quickly changed the subject. While I know she didn't intend for it to be mean since she was saying something a typical four year old would say, I still wanted to crawl under the table and never come out.

It's always easier to handle things like this in private. On the way home from school one day, she informed me that one of her classmates has two mommies. Living in a very liberal neighborhood, this actually does not surprise me. I explained that some families have a mommy and a daddy, some have two mommies or two daddies and some may have just a mommy or aunt or grandma. This seemed to satisfy her curiosity, but it sure was easier to handle this conversation within the confines of the car.

I know that we've just hit the tip of the iceberg in the "embarrassing comment/question" department. I've just got to figure out a way to handle these moments with wisdom and grace, if such a thing is even possible.

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