Last night and this morning we had some pretty wicked storms around here, with severe thunderstorms and more tornado warnings in 24 hours than we typically get in a year.
My kids aren't crazy about storms, but Olivia gets downright frantic.
This was exacerbated by the fact that, on Easter Sunday, "Twister" was on and since we were all sitting around talking, I didn't realize that the girls were watching it until Olivia said "Um, tornadoes can pick up COWS????"
While I find this movie completely unrealistic and almost campy, my (almost) 8 and 11 year old found it a bit frightening until we assured them that tornadoes rarely - if ever - happen where we live.
So really, they were safe.
Anyway, not paying attention and allowing my children to watch the movie Twister (albeit in a room full of adults talking) and then telling them that it likely would NEVER happen here was probably not the best parenting decision I've ever made and certainly came back to bite me in the ass when the dogs woke us up at 4:15 this morning, which is juuuuusssst about the time the first tornado warning was issued, and we had to usher the girls downstairs.
In the middle of the night.
In the dark.
Because the weatherman told us to take cover due to the possibility of a tornado.
The tornado we told our kids would likely not happen.
Oh, but wait, the evidence of my excellent parenting skills gets better....
Last evening, as we sat watching the Weather Channel for updates on the storms in Alabama (that would torture us in a few hours) and again, reassuring the children that we would be fine and answering a billion questions about tornadoes, out of nowhere my little Sydney pops out this gem:
"Mommy? If you hadn't married daddy, I wouldn't be here, right? So I'm glad you married daddy because he's my buddy.
(wait for it....)
... how did you MAKE me?"
If a tornado had touched down in my kitchen at that very moment, I wouldn't have been more shocked - or panicked - than I was at hearing that question burst (rather nonchalantly I might add) from my baby's mouth.
"And, I know I was in your belly, but how did I get IN there?"
And that's when I started hoping for that tornado to touch down in my kitchen. Or a cow to fly past the window. Anything for a diversion.
Now, I have to say that having "the talk" with Liv has been weighing heavily on me. First of all, she's 11, has already had that "My Body and Me" unit in school and will be going to Middle School next year. It's time. But she is NOT a talker when it comes to this kind of thing and anytime I bring up something even remotely close to "the talk", she gets uncomfortable and finishes the conversation as soon as possible with a lot of
"Yes, I KNOW mother. O-KAY mom" punctuated by excessive eye rolling.
So as you can probably guess, I was trying to figure out how to approach it delicately.
I was prepared, I was ready, and I was willing to talk about it.
But NOT with my (almost) 8 year old.
However, I'm a big believer in not lying to my kids about stuff like this and I also don't want them to feel like they can't ask me sensitive questions.
So, while Brian stood behind Sydney, attempting not to hyperventilate and cradling his head with his hands, I explained to her what I felt she needed to know and left it at that.
Right as I was finishing up, Olivia walked in the room. I told her what Sydney had asked me, hoping I could use this to break the ice about the subject, when Sydney broke in and recited VER-BA-TIM what I had just told her.
"Livvie, what happens is, after a mommy and daddy get married they might decide to start a family and have a baby. So, the mommy and daddy do some things and sometimes the mommy gets pregnant and has a baby in her belly. But NOT until after they have done all the important stuff to get ready like finish college, get married, buy a house and have a career. THEN they have a baby. After they're married."
And yes, I actually said "do some things" because really, I had noooooo idea how far she would take this so I figured if I could get away with "do some things" rather then get into detail, I was gonna take it.
I also stressed the "get married" part. A lot.
Brian at this point was nearly choking - whether from laughter or sheer panic, I don't know - but I looked at Liv with a weak smile and said "So, I know you probably have lots of questions and this is something that we need to talk about more, don't you think?"
Olivia looked at me with that blank look she reserves for when I've embarrassed her, rolled her eyes, cranked up her iPod, turned on her heel and walked out of the room.
Sydney looked at me and said "Don't worry mommy. If she has any questions, I'll help her."