Anyone with a four year old knows that it’s a time of asking a bazillion questions a day. From the moment Hannah hops herself out of her bed into mine she is shooting questions at me with little patience for hesitation in my coming up with an answer and with no understanding of how “I just don’t know” could be an answer from “know-it-all” mommy. Some of Hannah’s questions make me second guess how smart I usually think she is and some make me second guess how smart I think I am. And some are just not meant to be answered and I need to try all my best tricks to shrug them off and change the subject.
I’ve discovered recently the answer to why Hannah is a terrible sleeper. Based on the questions that she asks me before the sun comes up in the morning, I can assume that that little brain NEVER shuts off. Yesterday morning she bounded into my bed at 6:02 am desperate for the answer to two very important questions.
1) “How do babies change their clothes when they are in their mommy’s belly?”. This was an example of a question that makes me wonder how smart she really is. Before she hears an answer does she REALLY think babies wear clothes in utero? “They’re naked Hannah” I wearily responded to her hoping that this doesn’t come as too much of a shock. “ALL THE TIME?” she asked in disbelief confirming my disappointment that an Ivy League school may not be in her future. “Yes, sweetie, all the time.” And then she was off to her next question that had woken her from her sleep so early in the morning.
2) “I know that Barack Obama is the boss of our country but I’m wondering, does that mean he’s the boss of Jesus too?”. This question made me pry my eyes open and roll over to look at her. A few days ago she had asked me besides celebrating Christmas, what made Christian people different from Jewish people. I (someone who embarassingly doesn’t even really know what my religion is “all about” let alone other religions…) had tried to simply explain that there was a man named Jesus who lived a long long time ago that Christian people felt was the most important person in the world. They believed he was a miracle and honored him more than anyone else. They celebrate his birthday and the day he died every year. Jewish people do not. After a few why’s and why nots from Hannah, I thought the discussion was over and wiped some sweat from my brow feeling lucky that no one else was present during this half assed explanation. And then came this Barack Obama question. Luckily I was able to answer “no, Obama is not the boss of Jesus because he’s not alive anymore” which satisfied her but then came, “Well, what about Santa Clause. Is he Santa Clause’s boss? Santa is alive. I know he doesn’t come to our house but he’s alive.” I told her that yes, Obama is Santa’s boss too. The wheels kept turning… I saw them turning as though her head was transparent. “He must get good presents” she said.
Yes, yesterday was a hard day of questions. But today was harder. I have mentioned that Hannah is obsessed with Halloween. She reads the Halloween costume catalogs over and over and over. Memorizes every detail. Wants to know what everything is. She gets lost in them, imagines being every character that they show. And then this catalog came.
I left it on the counter in the kitchen without looking at it first because I knew it would keep Hannah busy for a few hours allowing me to have a few minutes of peace. I should have looked at it first because this morning she walked into the kitchen showing me the page with her:
“Mommy, I want to be Dorothy but I’m afraid this Dorothy outfit might not fit me. And I’m thinking that skirt is so short. Why is is so short? Is this a different Dorothy? I like the bows on the socks that go over her knees. Do you think I can try that Dorothy?”
And then the page with these:
“MOMMY, her boobies are totally about to show out of her shirt! Why doesn’t it cover her boobies? Is the shirt broken? Who IS she? And HOW would Wonder Woman run to save people in those boots? I didn’t know Wonder Woman wore such high shoes!”
And worst of all the page with these dudes:
“Mommy, why does the fire man have a hose coming out of his pants? Shouldn’t he be holding the hose with his hand? And what is that snake coming out of that other guy’s pants playing the flute?” If you could have seen that little, precious face, examining this page, trying to figure out what she was looking at… All I could say was, “I. Don’t. Know.” and she just had to accept it.
And my one question through this torment of questions was, “Why the fuck would they put these costumes in with the kids costumes? Because yes, there were about 6 pages filled with cute, fuzzy, APPROPRIATE costumes. But she didn’t seem to care much about those.