My two preschoolers are an endless source of unexpected questions and comments — from “What does someone’s spirit look like?” to “Isn’t it hard work having two children?”
“Sure,” I replied to the latter.
“But you accidentally had us,” she continued, “because you didn’t now how hard it was?” Oh boy.
Then there was the time my son told me he was scared of the squirrels we saw on our walk. I assured him he didn’t need to be afraid of our bushy-tailed neighbors. Then for the rest of the walk, I could hear him repeating safety mantras from his stroller: “Squirrels are not going to catch me… Squirrels are not going to set a fire.”
Explaining why one doesn’t need to fear tiny rodent arsonists is not what I imagined when I pictured motherhood. But I’m glad it’s my reality. Below, eight other moms share how their own daily conversations have changed for the weirder — and often better — since having kids.
Writer Adele Oliveira says the her 3-year-old daughter is really into dinosaurs… and their mortality. “[She’s] obsessed with the fact that all dinosaurs are dead and will often sing songs about the ‘asteroid that hit the Earth,’” says Oliveira. “I don’t know how many times and different ways I’ve tried to answer the question, ‘but Mommy, why did all the dinosaurs die?’” What? You never thought much about the demise of dinosaurs in your old life? Well, welcome to your new course in prehistoric reptiles — taught by a toddler.
Blogger Amy Lerner asks for a definition of “weird.” “It’s been 10-plus years since I’ve had a normal conversation with my husband,” she says of post-kid communication. “I don’t know what’s weird anymore.” Sometimes, it’s not what you talk about, but what you don’t talk about.
Of course, many parents can attest to the awkward chore that is constantly explaining what is and isn’t socially acceptable to do with one’s genitals. Writer Kristi Pahr says her main topic of conversation these days is “why it’s inappropriate to touch your penis at the dinner table.”
“My 2-year-old has a lot of questions about ghosts and where they go,” says writer Danielle Dreger-Babbitt. “I also never imagined that I would memorize the dialogue from Cars.” That’s a lot of talk about a couple of totally unrelated topics: spooky spirits and animated vehicles. (Or are they unrelated? We’ll have to ask Dreger-Babbitt’s kid about that.)
Writer Emily Popek brings up another one many parents know and love: excrement. “SO. MUCH. POOP. TALK,” she says. But seriously, why are kids so obsessed with this?
Parenting blogger Shannon Brescher Shea can commiserate. “My son picked up one of his favorite songs from the other preschool kids: ‘La la la la poo poo.’ And my brother-in-law taught him the chorus from the South Park ‘Poo-Choo Train’ song. (Thankfully, none of the verses though.)” When her son isn’t singing about the poo-choo train, he’s chatting about actual trains. “Not the technical details — my son is only 4 — but the idea of trains in general,” she clarifies. “Going in and out of stations, freight trains vs. the subway, and on and on.” Scintillating!
“I just signed up for a monster truck rally email list,” blogger Liz Moorhead admits, sending along a cry-face emoji to emphasize her point. And as if that weren’t bad enough, she’s also been forced to answer the age-old question “Why do we have boogers?” Because we just do, kids. That’s why.
But perhaps the most unique of all: “My 4-year-old son is obsessed with mollusks — especially the octopus,” shares writer Grace Per Lee. “I have learned so much about them. Did you know the female octopus stops eating after she lays her eggs, then dies once they’ve hatched? Talk about a martyr mom.” Although, succumbing to endless discussions of the life cycles of mollusks is another form of martyrdom for sure.