Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: INDEFATIGABLE (02/11/16)
- TITLE: But Why?
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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Mommy put the plate she was drying into the cupboard. She pulled out a stool, patted the seat, and helped Gracie scamper up. “When I was your age, I wanted Grandma to have another baby too.“
Scooping her blanket into her lap, Gracie clapped her hand over her mouth and giggled. “Did she have one?”
Mommy shook her head. “Nope, I'm the youngest, just like you.”
After another giggle, Gracie slipped her hand into Mommy’s. “Then you know how I feel. Will you and Daddy have a new baby?” Gracie looked at Mommy with her best puppy-dog face. She opened her eyes as wide as possible, tilted her head, and stuck out her lower lip. “Pleeeeaassse.”
Mommy kissed Grace’s forehead. “I’m sorry, Pun’kin, but Mommy can’t have any more babies.”
Gracie stuck her lip out even more. “Why not?”
“Well, a baby needs a place to grow before it’s born. That place is called a uterus, and Mommy doesn’t have a uterus anymore.”
Licking her lips, Mommy shifted Gracie and looked into her eyes. “Mommy was in pain a lot. The doctor thought it would make the pain better if she removed my uterus. Remember? We talked about it when I went into the hospital last year.”
Gracie kicked the counter. Thump, thump. "That makes me angry. Can’t the doctor give you another one?”
Mommy sighed. “Nope, sorry.“
Wrigley crossed her arms and refused to look at Mommy. “Can't Daddy grow a baby in his u-da-rest?”
Mommy glanced at her watch and lifted Gracie off the stool. “Mommy needs to finish dinner. Be a good girl, and go wash your hands.”
Mommy raised her right eyebrow and glared at Gracie.
Frowning, Gracie stomped out of the room.
About five minutes later, Gracie came back to the kitchen.
Mommy looked at her. “Did you wash your hands?”
Nodding, Gracie wiggled her wet fingers. “I asked Daddy if he'd grow a baby in his u-da-rest.”
Mommy almost dropped the pan on the floor. “What’d he say?”
Rolling her eyes, Gracie shook her head. “Well, first his face turned all red, ‘specially his ears. Then, he said he can't cuz God made Mommies and Daddies different.”
Mommy snickered. “That's a good answer."
Gracie twirled Blankie around her fingers. “But then I asked how Mommies and Daddies are different. I don't think he knows cuz his face was red, and he choked on his coffee. It squirted outta his nose. He coughed forever and ever, so I went and asked Gramma.”
Mommy patted Gracie’s head. “Oh, honey, you shouldn't ask Grandma questions like that.”
“That's what she said.” Gracie tapped her chin with her finger.
Scooping Gracie into her arms, Mommy kissed her forehead. “We'll talk about it at bedtime. I have a book that will answer your questions.”
The next day, Mommy picked up Gracie from school.
As Gracie buckled herself into the seat, she asked, “Mommy, do boys have penises?”
Mommy sputtered and sprayed spit on the window. “Yes, honey, you know that. Remember? We talked about it last night.”
“That's not what the lunch lady said.” Gracie bit her lower lip.
Mommy groaned and covered her face with her hands. “What?”
Pulling Mommy’s hands down, Gracie said, “During lunch, I raised my hand, and Mrs. Smith came over. I asked her if boys have penises. She shook her head and said, ‘No, dear, they don't.’ Then she walked away.”
Mommy climbed into the front seat. “What made you ask her that?”
“Tonya and I were talking in lunch. She said that boys have wieners. I tried to explain that you said girls have u-da-rests and 'aginas, but boys have penises. Tonya didn't believe me, so I raised my hand.”
Mommy sighed again. “Honey, that's not a conversation to have at lunch.”
Gracie threw up her arms. “But we talked about it at dinner. Can I take the book we read and show it to Tonya and Mrs. Smith?”
Mommy groaned. “You don't ever give up, do you?”
Gracie shook her head so hard that her pigtails slapped her in the face. “How else am I sa’pose to learn?” Gracie looked out of the window and pointed up. “Why is the sky blue?”
Mommy slumped into her seat. “Because that's the way God wanted it.”
Author's Note: Based on a true story.
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