"Can we read this tonight, Mommy?"
Emma the Brave's standing on her desk chair which she's pulled in front of her bookshelves. In her hands is a big book I'd saved from my own childhood, one I'd purposely put up high out of reach: "Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle. Evidently she's grown.
I take the book from her hands. "I suppose we could. But are you sure this is what you want to read? It's not a story book, you know."
"It's about how babies are made."
"There's absolutely no story."
We settle on to her bed and open it up. The paper that lines the front cover is filled from top to bottom with cartoon sperm. The one in the center wears a top hat and is carrying a rose. "You're sure about this?"
She looks me dead in the eye. "Go."
I begin to read. The book begins by myth busting. Emma giggles at a picture of a baby being carried in a sling by a stork. "That's silly," she says. While Santa and the Tooth Fairy are still within the realm of possibility, a baby-porting bird is unfathomable.
The book goes on to properly name the private parts of the human body for both males and females. The giggles come again, not due to the proper names, which she's known for as long as she can remember, but due to the made-up ones they mention. She thinks the word 'boobs' is hilarious. I can't help but agree. If they ever need to name a fifth Teletubbie, 'Boobs' could be it.
By the time we get to the nitty-gritty, where 'tab A' inserts into 'slot B,' she's in absolute hysterics. "YUCK--" she cries, then pauses with sudden revelation: "You did that with DADDY?!"
I guess she did get a story after all.