14 August 2012

From the Mouths of Babes - or Daddies

My daughter has two things in the world she simply cannot live without. One is her blanket, Pink. The other is her favorite stuffed animal, Snuggle Elephant.

Last night, as we were getting ready to collapse into our beds after finally getting home, Princess came into our room and said, "Daddy, why do you and Mommy hug each other when you sleep?" At those words, I will admit, I froze as vivid terrifying images of dreaded conversations came to mind. I prayed fervently that this would not be one of those. I hesitantly asked what she meant and almost passed out from relief as she said that in the hotel, she had woken early and seen that my wife and I snuggle up and sleep wrapped around each other. I guess it does look like a hug, and she wanted to know why we slept that way.

Now, my daughter is very smart, but I've found that explaining the more abstract concepts like love requires putting it in terms she can understand from her own experiences. So I wasn't sure she'd understand when I said, "Mommy and I love each other so much we just don't do well apart, even if we're sleeping. So we sleep close together and usually sleep holding each other." And she didn't. So I thought about it and came up with what I thought was the perfect answer. I said, "Well, it's kind of like you and Pink and Snuggle Elephant. Mommy is my Pink and I'm her Snuggle Elephant."

That child left my room laughing so hard I thought she was gonna pee herself.