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I’m an atheist and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’ve been an atheist ever since I graduated from a Lutheran elementary school and realized how polarizing and convoluted religion can be… even as a 12-year-old. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to force my children to be atheists. I’m not going to force them to do anything except takes naps and eat their vegetables. What I am going to do is give them the space they need to decide for themselves. With that being said, I still found myself in a bit of a quandary when asked the following question by my toddler after a tragic car accident in our neighborhood killed an entire family.

Toddler: Papa, what does it mean to “die?”

Me (Papa): ……………Well, when someone dies, it means that his or her life is over. It’s the opposite of being born.

Toddler: ……….(crickets)…………but but but… they go back in their Mommies’ bellies?

Me: No. When someone dies, they go somewhere else. I don’t know where.

Toddler: They go an invisible place?

Me: (little smile) Yes, they go to an invisible place, so you can’t see them anymore, but you can still remember what they looked like in your mind. And you can talk to them in your dreams.

Toddler: Am I going to die, Papa?

Me: (and this is what breaks my heart) …..Someday…everything and everyone dies. That’s why we have to make every moment that we’re alive special. But you know what? Papa will make sure you are alive for a very very very very very long time.

Toddler: Thanks, Papa. I won’t let you die either.

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This is a sneak peek into how a child can easily learn/repeat racist remarks. Watch what you, your friends, family members, teachers and peers say in front of your kids, because KIDS ARE ALWAYS LISTENING!!!!

Submitter’s Note: This child (who is Caucasian) received a stern talking-to and a time-out as a consequence of this conversation. He understands Spanish 100% because he has a Hispanic babysitter, who we love, but he won’t respond in Spanish (always in English). We have nothing but the utmost respect for our babysitter and the Hispanic community and that’s what we strive to teach our children.

3-year-old: Do you speak Spanish?

Daddy: No. Do you?

3-year-old: No.

Daddy: Why?

3-year-old: Because I’m not Mexican.

Daddy: You don’t have to be Mexican to speak Spanish. A lot of people speak Spanish and English, and they are very special. Your [nanny] speaks Spanish and English—so she is very special.

3-year-old: My [nanny] is NOT special.

Daddy: Why do you say that?

3-year-old: Because she is brown.

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4-year-old: Why do you go to work?

Daddy: To make the money. Do you want to go to work?

4-year-old: No.

Daddy: Why not?

4-year-old: I take the money.

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Toddler: Why do I have to brush my teeth?

Dad: Because your teeth are smelly.

(next morning)

Toddler: Daddy! Your teeth stink! Go brush your teeth!

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My son is fascinated by pimples… gross… I know.

Toddler: Mommy, why are you picking Papa?

Mommy: Because he has zits.

Toddler: Sooooo…. Mommy…. can I pick your moles?

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  • Question: So, this idea is awesome and hilarious. My question is, do you accept submissions or is this purely a "this is my life" sort of blog? - aneternalscoutandabrownie
  • Answer:

    Yes! Please send your submission :) The more the merrier, since it helps other parents, relatives and friends address those super-curious wee-ones.

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I recently told my toddler that he couldn’t drink soda because it wasn’t good for his body. Here’s a lesson in “No matter what you say to your toddler… THEY WILL REMEMBER!!!!!!”

Toddler: Daddy, can I have candy for dinner?

Parent: No.

Toddler: WHY?!

Parent: Because it’s not good for your body.

Toddler: What are you drinking, Daddy?

Parent: Soda………….

Toddler: That’s not good for your body, DADDY!

Match point —— toddler.

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We have a family member who is transgender. The family member went through a transition from female-to-male and now goes by “Uncle,” instead of “Auntie.” This was a question my 2.5-year-old asked this family member and his brilliantly simple response.

2.5-year-old: Do you have a penis?

Transgender Family Member: No.

2.5-year-old: But I thought you were a boy.

Transgender Family Member: Well… most boys are born with penises. But a few aren’t. So, I’m just a boy that was born without a penis.

2.5-year-old: OK. Can I go play now?

Remember, folks, kids are born knowing how to eat, sleep and poop. That’s it. Acceptance and tolerance can be taught just as easily as discrimination.

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"Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list."

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Dennis Leary

I posted this quote because my kid asks questions all the time about skin color. I think it’s important to address kids’ curiosity about people who look different, but I also think it’s critical to shape their curiosity into an celebration of individuality, rather than a fear of difference.

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I had just come out of the bathroom after taking a dump at my sister-in-law’s house. As a courtesy, I lit a match to cover up the poop-smell. My 5-year-old nephew was waiting outside the door.

5-Year-Old: Why does it smell like fire?

Me: Because I lit a match.

5-Year-Old: Why?

Me: Because the match makes the poop smell go away.

5-Year-Old: Why does your poop stink, Uncle M?

Me: Because my body is getting rid of smelly stuff it doesn’t need. Like throwing away trash. And trash can be really stinky.

5-Year-Old: So your poop is trash?

Me: Yes, but special trash that only goes in the potty.