Little Brothers and Their Questions
I was exhausted. A long day of school and gobs of homework… I needed a nap. I walked through the front door and kicked off my shoes.
“Kim, is that you?” old Mrs. Johnson called
“Yeah!” I answered back
Mrs. Johnson is our neighbor. She babysits my 6 year old brother, Chris, in the hour and a half window between when he gets out of school and when I get out of school.
I walked through the living room and into the kitchen.
“Hello, Kim!” Mrs. Johnson said with the perkiest of smiles, “How was school?”
“I was alright,” I told her “But my homework load might just be the death of me.”
“Don’t worry dear,” she chuckled “You’re a smart girl. You’ll pull through. You always have.” She smiled at me again and stroked my cheek with the back of her hand. Mrs. J really was one of the kindest people I know. She bustled away and went back to whatever she had on the stove. Chris sat at our kitchen table eating a grilled cheese sandwich and practicing his letters. I flopped down into the chair next to him, and shrugged off my backpack. Mrs. Johnson shuffled over and set a grilled cheese sandwich in front of me.
“I made you one too, dear,” she told me, “Just a little something to hold you till dinner.”
“Thanks Mrs. J,” I said with a grin. I like Mrs. J a lot. Sometimes I feel like she’s the cute little granny we never really had.
“I’d better get a move on. If either of you two need me, I’ll be right next door, okay?” She smiled her wide, loving smile, ruffled Chris’ thick black curls, pecked me on the cheek, and left. We both waved as she left.
“So how was school, Chris?” I asked as I tore into my grilled cheese.
“It was great!” He exclaimed, “We made macaroni art, we played basketball in gym class, and we got to meet this cool lady! She’s a Palento- Pelontogst-“
“A Paleontologist?” I questioned
“Yeah, that!” he roared with glee, “She showed us all these cool dinosaur bones, and plants from millions of years ago, and dinosaur poop! She had real dinosaur poop! Can you believe that!? And coolest of all, she showed us dinosaur eggs!”
“That sounds awesome! I wish I had been there! The only interesting thing in my school day was my Algebra test. Trust me, math isn’t as cool as dinosaurs,” I told him, smiling. As much as Chris can annoy me, he really is cute. He’s clever too. I guess he takes after me in that respect.
“Hey Kim?” he asked, curiosity burning in his little voice, “Where do dinosaur babies come from?”
“They come from dinosaur eggs, goof ball,” I laughed.
“Oh. Well… We’re humans right?”
“That’s right,” I told him. Why was he double checking to make sure we were human? Chris is smart, but he can be a little odd sometimes too. I was wolfing down the last few bites of my grilled cheese when he suddenly cried out-
“Where do human babies come from?” He looked as though he’d been bursting to ask for ages.
I choked on the last bit of my sandwich when he asked. I managed to swallow alright though. I knew for a fact that mom and dad hadn’t given Chris “the talk” yet… but he still seemed pretty young to be asking… I figured it would be best to make up an excuse rather than to tell my kid brother about the “birds and the bees”.
“The stork?” I suggested lamely
“I don’t believe you;” He said crossly, “Billy said that isn’t true!”
“Uh… what did Billy say?” Maybe I could build something off of what this other kid told him…
“Billy told me that babies come from the mommy’s poop!”
“But I don’t believe that either!” He squeaked, cutting me off, “If we came from Mom’s poop, then why do we look like Dad too?”
Dang it! Chris was way smarter than I thought. What was I supposed to say? He saw through some of the most common “where-do-babies-come-from?” lies in the book! What would I tell him?
“Kim? Are you listening to me?!” He demanded, “Just tell me, I know you know!”
Suddenly, I had an idea.
“Do you really want to know where babies come from?” I asked.
“Yeah, yeah!” he cried, bouncing up and down in his seat some.
“Do you really, really want to know?” I questioned, leaning towards him.
“Just tell me, please!” He begged.
“Okay, okay. You like Taco Bell, right?” I asked, knowing the answer.
“You know I do! Taco Bell is my favorite!”
“Well, when two people want to have a baby, they go to Taco Bell, and-“
“But if that was how it worked, I’d have about a bajillion babies by now!” He said, cutting me off.
“Chill, Chris. Let me finish.”
“I’m sorry,” He mumbled.
“That’s okay. Now, the couple goes to Taco Bell, and the mom has to eat one of everything on the menu there.”
“One of everything? Really?” He asked, shock coating his voice, “That’s a ton of tacos.”
“You bet it is!” I said, “After the mom eats one of everything on the menu, her belly starts to get really, really big, and then, ‘Poof!’ she farts the baby out! Just like magic!”
I heard a car door slam, and the voice of my mom. Good. This would work perfectly!
“Is that really where babies come from?” Chris asked.
“Yes really! Would I lie to you?”
“Well, no… I guess not…”
Just then, mom walked through the door, grocery laden and ending a call on her cell phone as she did so.
“Mom!” I shouted, over joyed “And this is why you exist!”
“Is something wrong, Kim?” She asked, brushing her short black hair out of her eyes.
“No, don’t be silly!” I said as I strolled over to her, “Let me take those!” I took the few groceries from her, lead her to the kitchen and set them on the floor.
“Hi, sweetie,” she said to Chris, “How was school?”
Before Chris could say anything, I cut him off, “His school day was great ma!” I said, “But you need to a special “talk” with your son.”
I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and plopped her in the chair I was sitting in.
“Tell her what we were talking about, okay, Chris?” I asked.
Mom just looked at me, completely confused. But before she could say anything, I bolted up the stairs and left her with that potentially awkward situation.
I flumped onto my bed.
“I think I handled that pretty well.” And with a satisfied grin, I rolled over for a well-deserved nap.