Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Honesty of a 2 ½ Year Old

I remember being approximately 5 years old sitting on my mother’s lap in church one Sunday. My parents sang in the choir, so we were right beside the altar in front of the entire congregation.  I was happily kicking my feet, entertaining myself during a particularly long homily, when I felt my mom squeeze my hand to tell me to stop.  I looked up wrinkling my brow in question and she whispered back at me, “Jamie, sit still!” To this, I casually grabbed the strap of my mom’s purse and held it up to her, “Here Mommy, you need a tic tac because you have stinky breath!” Fortunately for me, the microphone in the choir loft was off but it’s a wonder I survived to hear the priest’s blessing at dismissal.

Another time I was dressed in my Easter best.  An older lady in the congregation came up to me and made a fuss over my pretty dress and Easter bonnet.  “Was the Easter Bunny good to you?” My four-year-old mind desperately searched for something interesting to say. As I saw my father smiling and fast approaching me I blurted out the first thing that came to mind, “My daddy goes Whoo-Whoo, when my mommy runs through the house with no clothes on.”

Upon hearing this, dad’s eyes grew three times their size and he made a direct bee-line in the opposite direction, pretending he had no association with me what so ever.  The elderly woman was very kind and desperately attempted not to laugh, “Oh? Is that so?” I nodded eagerly. It wasn’t like my mom was some nudist house streakier or anything.  It just happened that the bathroom was directly across the hall from their bedroom.  Mom’s running through the house was her simply darting from the bathroom into her room to get dressed.  But who can tell the difference when you are four?

Then there was that time I was in preschool and asked an old man in a wheelchair why he had no legs, or that other time I announced to a blind man he had a huge booger in his nose….well…you can imagine my mother’s desperate apologies. Children are known for their honesty.  It’s not their fault really. That wisdom filter that most mature adult’s posses is missing in their tiny little bodies.  My 2 ½-year-old is no exception.  It is said we reap what we sew in life- thanks to Jenna I have experienced a bountiful harvest.  

One day when we were taking a walk and I was still pregnant with Naomi, Jenna and I had the following conversation:
Jenna: “Mommy, you got my baby sister in your tummy?” 
Me: “That's right, Jenna. You're gonna be a big sister. Soon we will have a baby girl. 
Jenna: “I'm a girl.”
Me: “You're right- you're a girl and mommy is a girl too.”
Jenna: “You're a big girl mommy-you got baby in your tummy & big titties. When I'm a big girl I have a baby and big titties too!” 

Since the birth of Naomi, Jenna has furthered her knowledge of lactation. A couple weeks ago she stood up in the middle of mass and scolded Naomi for crying, “Shhh! You have to be quiet!” and then turned to me exasperated, “Mommy I think Naomi needs some tittie milk!” If that wasn’t bad enough she told the lady at the animal shelter “Mommy doesn’t like to come in here because it stinks like cat poop!”  

But the most mortifying and honest Jenna moment happened just this week while grocery shopping.  I have Irritable Bowl Syndrome that causes me some discomfort at times.  There are days when…hmmm…let’s just say I have to wear some looser fitting pants and eat handfuls of prunes.  I was about halfway through my shopping list when I realized that I had to go to the bathroom right then.  This was half a blessing because it had been a couple days but part nightmare because I had frozen food and two girls under three in my cart.  So I did my best not to make any sudden movements and speed walked to the nearest checkout. 
You know that expression silent but deadly? Try silent with mass extinction potential.  Like all graceful ladies that have made this particular social faux pas, I picked up a magazine, buried my face into the nearest recipe, and pretended nothing happened.  To my horror, Jenna’s nose crinkled and her eyebrows furrowed.  “Dear God,” I silently prayed, “please don’t let her say anything out loud-I BEG YOU!” Then she starts to make sniffing motions in the air. “PLEASE, GOD!”
Jenna: “Mommy?”
Me silently panicking: “Here, look, it’s Elmo!” I show her the ad but she’s not interested.
Jenna: “Mommy? Something is stinky!”
Me: “Jenna, that’s not nice!”Jenna glances back suspiciously at Naomi in her car seat carrier, sniffs, and looks back at me.
Jenna: “No, Mommy, something smells very yucky! Like poopy!” Then she sniffs in my direction.
Me: “SHHH! Jenna, here- help mommy load the groceries on the belt!”
Jenna: “Mommy, you STINK! Grandma and daddy and Mindy and Naomi won’t want to be around you if you poopy in your pants!” “That’s yucky!”

If it is possible to die of embarrassment I would still be sprawled out on aisle 4.  Never have I been so mortified in all my life. Thankfully God showed some mercy by allowing the air to clear before I had to swipe my debit card and thank the cashier for my receipt- though I was too humiliated to look her in the eye. Perhaps this is all some divine preparation for the future.  One that I look forward to with great enthusiasm.  Some years from now Jenna’s two-year-old will be in church or in a store, and she will have some honest things to say about her too. Until then I hope Jenna’s filter kicks in really soon! 

1 comment:

  1. OH I LOVE IT - I HAVE HAD SOME BAD MOMENTS TO - one recently was that special time of the month (oh yeah the faithful friend that shows up) well we were at target and oh I had to go - in the bathroom with everyone and oh there goes zac - "mommy why are you bleeding in your pants" needless to say I tried to cover up and get them not looking in my direction but never fails and the best part was some one was in the bathroom too - so I sat there and waited for a while hoping they would leave before I would show my face. the JOYS of children - Jamie I would love to tell you it gets better but I have yet to see it on my end. I love and miss ya.