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Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

This weekend, out of nowhere Maddie said, “Ok, here’s something I don’t get.”

Uh oh.

“How is it that sometimes when people get married they don’t have a baby right away, but sometimes people have babies sooner?”

The adults at the table looked at each other.

“Well, hon,” I started, “Sometimes when people get married they decide not to have children right away; they don’t feel ready, and want to make sure they’re going to be really good parents, so they wait to have babies.”

“Yes, I know,” Maddie said, “But how do they do that?”

“Oh, you know,” I replied, “They just decide together that they’re not ready to be parents, so they don’t have children immediately.

“I know,” Maddie said, clearly frustrated, “but HOW?”

“Um, they just make the decision not to have children?” I offer.

“But HOW DOES THAT NOT HAPPEN?” Maddie shrieked. “I mean, do the boy and girl just not spend any time together? Because isn’t that how you have a baby: you get married, and then when you spend time together you’re going to have a baby?”


Not sure where she heard that, but it’s clearly coming from someone else’s house, from someone else’s feeble half-explanation.

We sort of worked the answer out, and I promised Maddie I’d explain it more to her when we had more time, and she was reasonably mollified.

I feel The Talk coming on. Help me, Lord.


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