Monday, July 16, 2007

The blinding and unwelcome dawn of realization

Everywhere Paolo and I go, people ask him about his impending sibling. Since he doesn't know where the little guy is right now, he always gets the same expression on his face: DUDE, how do they KNOW? In all other respects, Paolo is a smart and observant boy, but he has no idea why I have an enormous belly. He knows he's getting a baby brother, but he thinks someone is bringing him to us. We're okay with that. As Sam puts it, if Paolo ends up thinking that we went to the hospital to pick up a baby, that's just fine with him. A four-year-old doesn't need to understand the logistics or start thinking of his mother's abdomen as a tank of sea monkeys. Because once that line is crossed, then come the uncomfortable questions: how did he get there and how is he getting out? I expect to have that talk much later, when I can lay down the mechanics of the process and lecture that he must never, never engage in it until he is at least in college and never with a skank.* I can't control what his dad tells him, but he better back me up on the skanks.

After one such encounter with an impertinent grocery checker (seriously, people, please direct your questions to me instead of the child), Paolo and I discussed his baby brother in the car on the way home. I asked Paolo for name suggestions and, after thinking for a minute, he answered, "His father will come and tell us what his name is." Oh boy. "Paolo, Daddy is your baby brother's daddy." With near-hysteria in his voice, Paolo declared that I am HIS mama, and Daddy is HIS daddy and any would-be usurper can just suck it. That last part was implied. My explanation of how the newbie would be a part of our family was met with cold silence. I tried to continue our baby-naming conversation, which had been interrupted by the elephant falling on his head, but he blasted me with, "I don't think we should call him ANYTHING." Discovering that he will be expected to share the center of the universe has Paolo completely over the baby brother thing. This is not going to go well.

*I was watching VH1's "I Love the 80s" wherein the term skank was featured as extinct slang from 1987. Perchance I'm showing my age, but when did skank die? I can understand if I were going around calling Juicy-butted girls ho-bags, but skank? Skank is timeless.

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