Vivi has been asking some tough questions lately. It seems the whole inquisition started over the holidays when we watched Food, Inc. Yeah, I know... not exactly appropriate viewing for a nearly four-year old but it was one of those days when my husband started the DVD while the girls were napping and we just didn't have the energy to turn it off once Vivi got up. She caught the end of it and, while she didn't see any of the disturbing parts, it was enough to get the wheels in her head turning.
The questions were simple enough in the beginning. What is meat? Why don't we eat meat? What is a pig made of? What is in a chicken? (Most of the time, the answer is corn but that doesn't really get at the spirit of what the kid is asking.) Grocery shopping has completely changed since this questioning began. Instead of Mama, can we get that? I hear a lot of Look! That person is buying meat! What is in that meat? It doesn't exactly make for pleasant shopping.
All this talk of meat has lead to questions about death. These are not so simple. How do we eat those animals if they are alive? How do they die? When will I die? Where will I be when I am dead? Mama, will my blood come out?
And, of course, one can't talk about death without raising questions about life. Was I already in your tummy when you were in your mama's tummy? Where was I when you were born? Was I dead? Vivi isn't the sort of kid to buy that she was just a twinkle in my eye when I met her father. These questions leave me completely perplexed and my pathetic answers are totally unsatisfying to her.
Yet, at 3:00 this morning, my husband was finally able to answer one of her questions. She woke up yelling for her dad. When he walked into her room, I heard her ask, Daddy, can you still pee and poop when you are dead?
Finally, a simple no.