“OK – enough already!” barked The Hare from the backseat.
The Tortoise, The Hare and I were on our way to Dairy Queen. The Tortoise’s grumpy disposition had not gone unnoticed, and when prompted, she blamed it on PMS.
“What is this PMS thing you keep talking about? It’s like you and sissy have some sort of secret language or something,” The Hare continued.
This made The Tortoise giggle.
“Well, it has to do with that whole babies and body talk you refuse to have with me,” I said.
The Hare turned ten this past spring and has done a great job at avoiding the subject of puberty. She acts like having “the talk” is equivalent to dragging your nails across a chalk board. And I’m not naive enough to think she doesn’t have bits and pieces of information already, after all, not only does she have a sister four years her senior, but she trains with all female gymnasts of various ages. Girls talk. But whenever I try to broach the subject, she bolts. Literally. I’ve even tried to start this talk in the car, since the likelihood of her throwing herself out of a moving vehicle is slim.Hopefully.
Damn earphones and iPod.
I had almost the whole talk by myself before I realized she had tuned me out. It was her too-good-to-be-true in-tune a Capella singing to an invisible band that gave it away.
All three of us stood in the parking lot of Dairy Queen, our mouths already salivating.
“Tell you what,” I said slowly, “you can order what ever you want as long as we can take a walk and talk about this PMS thing.”
She hesitated for a moment, sighed, then nodded her head in agreement.
The Hare ordered a large ice-cream sundae. The hot fudged bulged over the top of the dish, whip cream piled high. I love our Dairy Queen. It is just a walk-up window with a few tables, but it is on the edge of our little down town. There is a series of board walks accessible from this parking lot leading to the center of town. The quaint woody path follows the edge of a duck pond bordering all the historic buildings of our community.
We walked the path, enjoying the fresh air and last bits of summer sun. I started by asking her what she already knew, which surprisingly wasn’t much, and then proceeded to talk about the amazing changes our bodies go through.
“Do you have any questions yet?” I asked, surprised she had been so silent.
“No, just get to the whole baby part though, so we can get this over with.”
I was really confused by how different The Hare’s response to this talk was from her sister, The Tortoise. The Tortoise had been really interested and amazed, asking a ton of thoughtful questions and offered up her own analogies in order to better understand the process. The Hare just seemed annoyed, especially when I had to explain to her how a man and woman come together to make a baby.
She looked like she was going to throw up her entire sundae.
The Tortoise could see that I was floundering to make this less uncomfortable, and decided to throw in her own perspective.
“Sissy – it’s really not so weird,” she said, “It’s kind of like baking a cake.”
“What in the world are you talking about?” shrieked The Hare.
“The man has half the ingredients. The woman has the other half of the ingredients and you have to put them all together to make the batter. Then the whole thing bakes for about 9 months. And voila, you have a baby.”
“Well, I can tell you right now, that is one cake I am NEVER gonna eat.”