Being Literal

Usually a locked door means, “you’re not getting in”, but not at my house. Here it means, “knock obnoxiously and say ‘mommy’ repeatedly until mommy can’t stand it”. And if unsuccessful, wail loudly.

It’s almost impossible for a couple with kids to sneak away for a "nap" without locking the door. Unlocked, it’s bound to open at an inappropriate time, confusing the child and embarrassing the naked parents. Now we lock the door and risk the potential mood-kill of incessant knocking, whining and crying — which often happens during the event’s high points.

I’ve decided my seven-year-old son deserved an explanation for the locked door. Something more important than a nap. Bedtime is always the time for deep conversations. I explained daddy and mommy lock their door not to nap but to practice making babies. It’s important to be honest with children, right? He doesn’t know about the birds and the bees, but he have read to him Where Did I Come From?, a detailed kid’s-eye view of sex and pregnancy.

A few nights later, sounding scared, he asked me to sleep with him. Concerned, I asked him what had him scared. Teary-eyed, he gave me a bear hug and said, “I’m afraid daddy will hurt you when he cuts your tummy open.”

Perhaps I should explain. Recently he asked for a baby brother — with two half-sisters he feels out of balance. I explained he’s a once in a lifetime thing and had to be cut out. To stress my point, I showed him the C-section scar. He was amazed a baby could fit through there. I agreed. With my view blocked during the surgery, all I could share was seeing his hand bursting out of me like the thing in "Alien".

I smothered a laugh and told him, “Daddy would never cut my tummy.”

“Then how do you practice making babies?”

Poor kid. For a month straight, our door had been locked every night. Sometimes during the day, too. Maybe I need a new reason for the locked door.

He might need a few years of therapy.