Friday, December 11, 2009

No Retirement Home For Us

Sophie: Daddy's not very old.
Mommy: No, Daddy's not old.
Sophie: But someday he will be.
Mommy: Yes, he will.
Sophie: But we can still keep him.

It's been an incredible experience watching a three year-old try to get a handle around the concept of time, whether it's the fact that there are still two weeks until Christmas or that tonight is still today or that even though I'm old in comparison to Sophie, I'm not at all when compared with her Papa.

Conversations like this one tend to pop up out of the blue, so I can only figure that the wheels have been turning for some time before the conclusion that can finally be shared has been drawn.

I'm guessing this thought process came up as a result of culling Sophie's clothes one day. We made two piles; one of clothes that were too small but good enough to give away and one of clothes that were too small, but were so old and worn out that they needed to be thrown away. Sometimes there's a bit of separation anxiety when an especially loved item is about to make its exit. We're going through it right now with a pair of pajamas that Sophie adores even though we can see three inches of stomach peeking between the bottom of the shirt and top of the pants and the pants themselves meet all qualifications for being dubbed high waters. The knees are worn through and there are several holes along the seams that have been mended and re-mended to the point where there isn't enough material to grab and hold with the needle and thread. In spite of that, Sophie's adamant that the pajamas will not be thrown out but given to a two year-old friend because their tremendous comfort worth far outweighs their nasty appearance. Even though they're old, she wants them to be kept.

It's wonderful to know that Sophie sees her Daddy in this same light. I hope and pray that as we do get older and she follows her own path; begins a career and maybe her own family, she'll look at us with our worn knees, mended bodies and threadbare minds and insist that we're still worth holding close to her heart because she loves us so much.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Biding the Law

Sophie: Daddy, do you like my cute little boobies?
Daddy: Sophie, by law I am absolutely not allowed to answer that question.

Some time ago I read a news piece about a couple whose children were taken away from them for a short while by social services after an employee of large chain store developed family photos, including some shot in the bath because that employee deemed them to be sexually explicit. Not long before that, our pediatrician told our Sophie during her three-year check-up that no one except her mommy or the doctor should ever touch Sophie "down there." Understand, this includes her father.

At first it was very funny to me when I overheard this conversation between Sophie and her daddy. It was so innocent and wonderful. However, soon after that, the extent of what Doug was saying sunk in and I was saddened by what our society has turned us into.

The unfortunate thing is that while we read the very rare story about a parent accused of sexual impropriety where they were simply doing something innocent, more often then not we're broadsided on a regular basis by stories about young children being mistreated by a parent or some other trusted adult. So, while I hate that we've come to this, I appreciate and applaud both our pediatrician and my husband for erring on the side of caution and choosing to remain blameless, even from the standpoint of conjecture. I remember someone telling me once that Billy Graham would never be seen in a room with only another woman because he wanted to give no reason for anyone to start a rumor or story about him.

So, while our daughter goes through this phase where everything is about boobies or poop and until she learns completely how to wipe herself after using the potty and til that day when it's safe for her to bathe or shower alone, my husband will make himself scarce and I'll be the one handling the toilet paper and wash cloth.