she will KILL you

London has been an edifying experience for our two boys, without a doubt. Their favorite part of the trip was the Tower of London, where many “bad guys” did some time before their beheading. We spent four hours there, and any time the boys’ enthusiasm flagged I only had to mention the “bad guys” again and they’d perk right up. However, Fergus was a little unclear on the details. Upon hearing a Beefeater assert that there were many skeletons buried beneath the chapel in which we were standing, Fergus whispered to me, “The bad guys take-ded the bones out of people, right Mommy? and made skewetons under the fwoor?” “Yes, honey,” I answered, trying to hear what the Beefeater was saying about Anne Boleyn. “But how did the bad guys get the bones out of people? Froo their MOUFS?” Fergus asked, his mind spinning. “I’ll explain later, honey,” I said. (Every mother’s best answer.)

That evening, the boys were playing. I was in the same room but they didn’t notice. Cooper decided to test Fergus on what they had learned.

COOPER: Do you know who Henry the Eighth was?

Pause.

FERGUS: (less than decisively) Yes.

COOPER: Henry the Eighth was a king. AND a bad guy. AND he was fat. Really fat.

FERGUS: (trying to picture this) He was a fat bad guy?

COOPER: Like, do you remember when Mommy had Maddie in her tummy? And she got really big and fat?

FERGUS: Yes, I wember.

COOPER: Well that’s how fat he was.

Pause.

COOPER: But Ferg.

FERGUS: Yes?

COOPER: Don’t tell Mommy that she was fat.

FERGUS: Why?

COOPER: Because she would KILL you.

Pause.

FERGUS: Mommy would KILL me?

COOPER: Well. She would not kill you. But she would really really not like it if you said she was fat.

At this point, I looked up from my book and said, “Who’s fat?” and they both jumped a mile.

I love how even English History somehow returns to the ineluctable fact of my considerable girth A YEAR AGO. Seriously, though. Don’t tell me I was fat or I’ll pull your skeleton out through your mouth.

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Mollie June 17, 2008 at 2:33 pm

I knew they’d like the Tower! A couple months ago, Fergus’s same-age cousin was telling me about how police officers shoot bad guys and make them dead, and he had a similiar moment where he realized he didn’t know how live bodies turn into skeletons. Gently explaining the process of decay to a just-turned-4-year-old is not my idea of a good time.

Do you think Cooper reads your blog?

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