The other night while getting Riley ready for bedtime she asked me "how are cats alive?"
Me: Um, you mean how are they born?
Me: Well, it's like with humans... where they have a mom and a dad who make them.
R: But how are they alive?
She kept asking, not quite satisfied with my answers. I finally had to get into some details.
Me: Well, see moms and dads come together and contribute these tiny little cells and those cells, from both mom and dad, help create a baby. So you started out super small, then grew to a size of a bean, then a banana (I got big eyes from her on this one), and then a watermelon. Then I gave birth to you and you were about 8 pounds which is smaller than Lucy (our cat). Only mommies can grow a baby inside them - dad's can't do that. So that's what happens with cats too.
Riley: Why can't daddies grow babies?
Me: They just can't. Their bodies aren't made to have babies inside them.
Riley: What does 'birth' mean?
Me: (omg, how do I explain this?). Welllll, a baby grows inside the mommy and when big enough has to come out. That usually means the baby comes out the vagina.
Riley: (Cringing), but, but... I don't want to do that because it sounds like it hurts.
Me: (Haha, yes it does my child) I took some medicine to help it not hurt so much.
We talked a little more about how people and cats are made and she seemed satisfied, but then had one more question.
R: How do cats get milk?
M: You mean from their mom?
M: The mommy's body makes the milk special for her kittens. The kittens drink it from the mommy cat's nipples - just like you did when you were a baby (we've talked about breast feeding before).
So then we had to find Lucy's nipples which was extremely difficult to do on a hefty cat. I finally found one before Riley was on to talking about human nipples and showing me her own.
I wasn't expecting this conversation yet.. or at this level of detail. My answers seemed to satisfy her curiosity, but I was exhausted by the end of it. Apparently, I need to brush up on my sex ed information before I was planning to.
Then the other night we were reading a new book we picked up at Goodwill. It was a Magic School Bus book about the body and I could barely get through it. I think it took me at least a half hour to read the book because she wanted to know every little detail about how the body works. Often the answer was on the next page, but her questions were shooting out so fast we had a hard time getting to the 'next page'. "Where are my lungs?", "How does my heart pump?, "Can I see my blood?". I tried to answer each question the best I could, but I finally had to ask her to hold on to the questions for a moment so we could finish the book. At the end of the book she said "Ok, I have two questions for you now." so I'm guessing those last few pages answered some of her other questions.
The next morning she continued to ask me questions. "Is this blue line on my arm where my blood is?"... and so on. I've promised her that we would go on the computer and find more stuff on the human body. This is something she talked about at preschool last year, and was curious about then, but has waaaaay more questions now. Still a lot I could not answer, but slightly less awkward than our "how are cat's alive" conversation.
Besides our riveting nighttime conversations we spent a day taking into some more fall activities. Saturday we went to a local event called the Pumpkin Festival. We went a couple years ago and found it worth going to again. It's nothing big, but there is entertainment and kids can go trick or treating at the stores there. This year Riley is going to be Anna (from Frozen, of course - in case you've been living under a rock or something). This sort of surprised me as I thought she might pick Elsa because of her blue flowy dress (and the ice powers and all), but I guess I can see Riley feeling more of a connection with Anna. Anyhoo, we dressed her up and headed over to The Shops at West End where the event was held.
It was a beautiful fall day. The event wasn't that busy at first, but things picked up as we walked the few blocks it covered. Riley's favorite thing was trick or treating at the stores, followed by the mini bounce house. She seemed utterly petrified of the small spinning wheel that you spun for prizes. Later, we went to Home Depot where they are selling this life size, creepy, automated witch. Riley absolutely loved it. Sometimes I just don't get this kid - usually she'd be freaked out by the witch and want to spin that wheel over and over.
Cool marimba ensemble from Breck school. They were really good and were selling CD's. When we first arrived in this area they weren't performing. I thought these were just interactive and anyone could play on. So Riley and I did. I'm guessing we received some looks, but we didn't notice. Oops.
The Twin Cities Road Crew was also pretty entertaining. They basically just danced and got kids to dance. There was probably more to it than that but we were on our way out.
But first a stop to decorate a bag. Riley wanted nothing to do with this on our way in, but insisted on it on the way out.
Nothing too exciting, but really just our speed. Just the right sized crowd and an excuse for Riley to wear her costume (like she needs one). Love our neighborhood and what it has to provide.