April 22, 2008

“The snail dieded.”

I have avoided the topic of death when interacting with Swee’Pea and TheMonk as much as possible.  I’m trying to decide if that’s called smart parenting or me being a wuss.

Anyway, any time we see something that used to be alive (a dead bug, a dried up worm, Lindsay Lohan’s career) Swee’Pea and TheMonk are quick to point it out.  “What’s that, Daddy?” they’ll ask.

“Uh… Um… Hey, was that Dora over there?” Is usually my reply.

I guess I’m just not ready to challenge the innocence of childhood quite yet.

But somehow, somewhere, my kids have been introduced to the concept of death. (My money’s on those little hooligans at daycare.)  This became evident this week when we backed out of our driveway and the kids turned their attention to the snail that has been sitting on the wall of our neighbor’s garage ever since it hit mid-90s last week.  “There’s the snail, Daddy!” announced TheMonk as we passed the dried out remnants of the Gastropod.

“Yep.  There it is, Buddy.  Say bye-bye to the snail.” I reply as I continue to back out our very long driveway.

Then, out of the blue, Swee’Pea adds, “I think the snail dieded.”

“Yeah.” says TheMonk somberly. “The snail dieded.”

My mind races… How do I respond to this?  What do I say?  How can I torture the little punks at daycare who are polluting my children’s innocence with their talk of dead things?

Time stands still.  I have to say something, though, as the silence is deafening.  They are waiting for my words of wisdom.  They need reassurance from a strong parental figure that while death happens all around us, they will be safe and shouldn’t fear what we can’t control.  I need to wrap them in my parental cloak of love and tell them that everything will be okay.

So, I clear my throat, wet my lips, and say…



  1. They were breaking it to you gently, the snail dieded, dear.

    Comment by Grandmother — April 22, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

  2. LOL! I think Grandmother is right… they were trying to break the news to YOU!

    Comment by Deanna — April 23, 2008 @ 2:18 am

  3. LOL… WUSS

    Comment by mp — April 23, 2008 @ 7:04 am

  4. Keep your eyes on the Dora dolls – alas, what if one turns up face down and muddy on your driveway?

    Comment by Kari — April 23, 2008 @ 7:53 am

  5. Isn’t if funny how we think things will be a big deal to our kids, and then they are a bigger deal to US? Another teachable moment— for PARENTS! (And I laughed out loud at the LiLo comment!)

    Comment by K and J's mom — April 23, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  6. Great, you’re having trouble explaining death & DrillSgt’s worried about the puberty talk already!! LOL—dad’s they just crack me up. He’ll probably say to Da’Gorgeouses what Welo used to say to me & my sister…”Go ask your mother!”

    Comment by MamáChanga — April 24, 2008 @ 8:29 am

  7. We bought a goldfish from Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart apparently sells fish) a few months ago. So far he’s still kicking but if he goes that will be our first foray into death.

    Comment by Above Average Joe — April 25, 2008 @ 9:30 am

  8. Have you ever known that it is very easy to talk about life, but not so much about death.

    If a sibling comes into the world, a new cousin, puppies and kittens… those are easy to explain. But the lose of anyone… not so easy.

    Ironically, one can’t exist without the other and it’s hard to imagine a world where people are only born, but no one dies.

    My impression is that kids do well with opposites. Day and night, mom and dad, life and …

    Comment by Andre — April 27, 2008 @ 11:36 am

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