I was checking out a Moms without Blogs post talking about death with young kids. Those are conversations we’ve had a fair bit recently, but as humanists (sounds so much sweeter than atheist doesn’t it? Yeah, same thing) our approach has to take a different tact. Anyway, that post got me thinking about another conversation we’ve had recently with Bean, which I’m interested to get feedback on.
I’m not really a Better Homes and Gardens kind of gal, but for some reason I had a recent copy in the magazine box by the sofa the other day. Bean found it, and as she is want to do with random reading material, started flicking through it. I thought nothing of it, after all Better Homes and Gardens isn’t the sort of magazine that comes in the brown paper cover, you know. Then, she got really quiet and focused on one page. She kept touching it, then touching her lip. I sat down next to her. The page she was focused on was one that looked pretty much like this:
Actually, maybe it was a bit more pronounced. Anyway, Bean didn’t seem disturbed by the image just curious and asked me about the girl’s boo boo. How do you explain a cleft lip to a two, near three, year old? So, I explained that when the baby was forming in her mummy’s tummy this bit didn’t form quite right, but that there was an operation that could help. Bean was really focused on it. She returned several days in a row, multiple times a day.
“Was my mouth like that when I was in your belly?” “Your lip have boo boo too?” “I get boo boo on my lip?”
“No honey, we were very lucky. This happens here a lot, but there is an operation to make it better.”
“She get the operation?” Okay Bean didn’t say operation, more like op shun, but you get the gist.
“We hope so. She lives in a country where there isn’t a lot of medical care. Operation Smile wants us to help.”
Finally, we checked out some before and after pictures and that seemed to help, but I’m not sure what message that sends? Everything is curable?
We talked about how it might be difficult to do somethings with a cleft lip. I think we’ll probably go back to this image, again and again. How else or what else to include in that conversation?