s the arrival of Superkid #3 rapidly approaches, and with the birth of my unDorkSister’s first child this week, the conversations around the DorkDaddy household have taken an interesting turn. Last night we were sitting around the dinner table and I innocently asked my kids where the new baby was going to sit after he was born. Instinctively, naturally, my kids suggested that the baby sit next to unDorkMommy, because Mommy is the one who feeds the baby.
To my wife’s eternal consternation I am always happy to play devil’s advocate, sometimes just for the sake of intillectual exercise. So I asked my kids why the baby couldn’t sit next to Daddy where Daddy could feed him. My 5-year-old daughter is a born scientist. She loves to understand things, and she loves to share her understanding.
“Silly Daddy. Daddy’s can’t feed babies” she said.
The conversation progressed very organically, completely directed by her, into a lesson on breastfeeding; how mammals drink milk from a mother’s chest.
“But I have a chest” I replied. “Why can’t the baby drink from my chest?”
“Because your chest is different!”
“Mommy’s chest is different. She has nickles” (That’s right. She said “nickles”)
“I have nipples. Won’t my nipples work?” I responded.
“No. Mommy’s chest is different. It’s just different”.
Let’s avoid all jokes about man-breasts for a moment because believe me, they’re all on the tip of my tongue too.
At this point I was just enjoying watching the wheels turn in my daughter’s head. This went on for a while, but it’s a balancing act, playing games like this without making her frusterated. She knew exactly what she meant, but was having a hard time finding the words. I was ready to drop the subject when, right there at the dinner table she said, “Mommy, take off your shirt and show Daddy what I mean”.
“No!” replied my horrified, wide-eyed, very conservative wife. She just about did a spit-take right there and then. “I’m not going to do that”.
“Please, Mommy! Show Daddy your chest.”
“No!” replied unDorkMommy, unable to decide if she was genuinely horrified at what was playing out, or if she was going to crack up and spew brown rice across the table.
“Please, Mommy! Just real quick. Take off your shirt and show Daddy your chest. Why not?”
“Yeah” I chimed in. “Why not. Show me your chest”.
The look I got from unDorkMommy was more than enough to signal that with those words, the conversation was dead as Michelle Bachman’s presidential campaign.
My daughter and I both finished dinner, unsatisfied.