Last night Shaun had a work do, so was coming home late. I did bathtime duties with H, and she got chatting.
It started badly.
“Mummy, why did your granddads die?” she asked. How do you answer that? Oh by saying “they were old and poorly” and hoping she doesn’t put two and two together and come up with twenty bazillion.
“Mummy, will you die?” she came back with quickly. Oh dear. I can’t lie. “yes, one day I will but not for a very very long time” I tell her wishing I could have thought of a better reply as I scar my child for life.
“does that mean daddy will be on his own and I’ll get a new mummy then?”
slightly more indignant I tell her there’s “no WAY you’ll have another mummy!!!!!” and she seemed quite relieved too.
Then she asked me “will Karen die?” (as in Karen from next door). I told her that yet again “yes, one day but not for a very long time” while thinking of ways to change the subject. So we talk about my dad. Who died over six years ago. Go me.
“Mummy, why did Grandad Mike die?” she asks, so I tell her he was very poorly and wasn’t getting better. (I’ll leave it a few years before we talk about cancer)
“Did my cousin meet him?” she asks, and I tell her that no, neither of you will meet him. She seems satisfied with that. “So when Grandad Mike died I was living in your tummy, and cousin was in Auntie Sarah’s Tummy!” she proclaims.
I tell her no, at that point neither of them were in either of our tummies.
This confuses her. Finally I have my change of subject. I am now in even deeper water.
“So mummy, tell me. How did I get into your tummy then?”
(a long pause) (you really can hear the cogs in my head working hard)
“mummy and daddy had a cuddle of love and then ten months later out you popped from my tummy!”
“no mummy, they had to cut me out” (the joys of having a c-section and explaining to your child how she got out)
She seemed satisfied with that. Me? I had a large glass of wine. I earned it.