Uranus is a tricky word. Suffice it to say that, on Uranus' very own website we are cautioned, "Careful pronunciation may be necessary to avoid embarrassment; say "YOOR-anus, not "your anus" or "urine us." I ask you, how can we possibly avoid saying one or the other? I'm going to avoid all embarrassment and just call it "Saturn." Jack knows there's supposed to be something funny about the name, but he doesn't know what. He'll say "Pee comes out of Uranus," and giggle uncertainly.
Now that he's seven, he occasionally asks questions like "Where do babies come from?" Only it's never exactly that question; it's always something more oblique. And he always asks these questions when I'm trying to negotiate a tricky left turn, or I'm about to answer the phone, or when I'm trying to get him to look for his shoes because the bus is coming in ten seconds. Clearly, we needed some kind of asynchronous communication. So I got him a book called It's NOT the Stork:A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends, by Robie H. Harris. The boys and I were at Borders and I stashed it with the other books I was buying, with the idea that John should approve it first. But Jack asked to see it, and proceeded to sit down on the floor and read the whole thing from cover to cover. (We weren't in a hurry, obviously.) When he was finished, he silently handed it back to me. No questions whatsoever. Yep, I could cross "Tell Jack about the birds and bees" off my to-do list.
A week and a half later, the boys and I were at a local pizza place while John had class. It was quiet in there when Jack handed me the lid to his strawberry milk, and loudly chirped, "Here. Hang onto this for when you want to play sex." "What?" I asked, stalling. He repeated the same thing and my face must have looked blank because he went on, "You know--when a man and woman love each other so much the man puts his penis in the woman's uterus!" (Ouch.) I said, "Oh, yeah. That. I'd love to chat with you about that, but not right now . . . Look, our pizza's here!" So we ate for a couple of minutes, when Will, who had been mulling over Jack's anatomically inaccurate revelation, announced in his querulous high voice, "I don't get it. How can you put your penis in someone's body? That's silly!" Snort. Guffaw.
And no, don't ask me what the lid had to do with anything. In fact, don't ask me any questions at all about this. Not right now. Can't you see I'm busy?