Here are actual conversations with Franz, my 9-year-old son.
Scene One: Apocalypse Lego
FRANZ: (Playing with his Lego Castle set and setting up a battle) All right, troops, we’re going into battle. Many of you will not survive and may even be blown to bits. But we’re doing this. We’re. Doing. This.
ME: What are you doing?
FRANZ: Obviously, it’s a war, Ma.
Sound of various machine guns and explosions. Franz tears apart Lego characters, decapitating them and sprawling them over the living room carpet. Then the sound effects stop and he starts singing this slow, deep song with lots of Ahhhs.
ME: What are you singing?
FRANZ: It’s an intense moment in the battle. It deserves a song.
Scene Two: This Is How It Works
FRANZ: Ma, I lost a tooth.
ME: Okay. Good for you. Lemme see.
FRANZ: I’ll show you in a minute, but first, hand it over.
ME: Hand what over?
FRANZ: The DOLLAR. I know that parents are actually the tooth fairy so let’s just make this real simple. I lost a tooth. You give me a dollar. That’s how it works.
I hand him a dollar.
Scene Three: I Don’t Need To Know
MOXIE: Mom, so on TV someone asked what sex they are?
ME: Yeah. That means are they a boy or a girl.
FRANZ: No! No. No. You did not just say that.
ME: What’s the issue? That’s what you say. Like, what sex are you, Franz? You’re a boy. And Moxie’s sex is a girl.
FRANZ: That….that just isn’t right. I don’t like the image that it brings up in my mind. I mean, that WORD.
ME: What? Sex? There’s nothing wrong with that word. And it can have two meanings. There’s “having sex” and that means…
FRANZ: Whoa whoa whoa! Just stop right there. I don’t want to have this conversation.
FRANZ: Because I’m too YOUNG. I don’t need to know this stuff.
ME: Aw, you’re not too young. You should know how things work.
FRANZ: Eventually, Ma. EVENTUALLY. Just…change the conversation, okay? Like, NOW.
ME: So you don’t want to know where babies come from?
ME: Okay, okay. Do you want crepes or leftover Chinese food for breakfast?
FRANZ: Chinese food. And, thank you.
ME: You’re welcome.
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