Riley is suddenly interested in dinosaurs, specifically the Tyrannosaurs rex. Or as he’s known more colloquially in our household, T-Rex. We went to the library and picked out some books on dinosaurs and I’ve been doing my level best to indulge Riley when he repeatedly requests a drawing of a T-Rex, which unfortunately tends to turn out looking like this:


(JB: “What the . . . what IS that? My god.”)

(Riley: “Hmm. I think you forgot the spines. Or I think maybe that is an angry mouse.”)

Anyway, it’s been kind of nice to chat about prehistoric reptiles instead of pirates or Buzz Lightyears but I should have been better prepared for the inevitable moment when Riley would ask me what happened to all the dinosaurs, because when he did so I found myself just sort of sitting there with my mouth hanging open while my brain scrambled around frantically in search of a better answer than WELL SON THEY ALL UP AND FUCKING DIED, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SHIT?

I mean, mass extinction, there’s a happy topic for you. How do you even start with this? “You see, honey, there’s this idea of a catastrophic event, maybe a really really big rock that hit the earth and noooo of course that would never happen now ha ha ha ha OH GOD.”

Oh, and seriously one whole day later we were looking at his baby book and there was a picture of me all elephantine-third-trimester and we talked a bit about how he was a tiny baby in my belly before he was born and then he wanted to know how he got OUT of my belly. And for the very first time, I was incredibly glad for that C-section, because at least I didn’t have to tackle anything more complicated than, “Well, the nice doctors made a cut in my belly and pulled you out!” (which sounds like total bullshit but dude, I was there, that’s exactly what happened). Although I suppose if I had to I could always fall back on my brilliant artistic renderings in order to more thoroughly explain the process of a vaginal birth as I understand it:


The vast majority of my parenting experience to date has to do with diapers and tantrums and nutrition and Curious George, not so much the deeper issues in life. Man oh man, and I thought I was clueless before.


46 Responses to “Cliff notes”

  1. samantha jo campen on September 2nd, 2009 2:56 pm

    That baby is totally saying “TA DA!”

  2. Erin on September 2nd, 2009 2:59 pm

    That made me laugh out loud. You are awesome.

  3. Liz on September 2nd, 2009 3:00 pm

    Ha! We told Lilia that all the dinosaurs died a loooooooooooong time ago, before there were any people, and we don’t really know why. She said “Did Daddy kill the dinosaurs? Did bad people kill the dinosaurs?” She either cannot or will not understand the answer “I don’t know” no matter how loudly I yell it.

    Also, she thinks she fell out of me somehow.

  4. penne on September 2nd, 2009 3:02 pm

    Please tell me you’ll be illustrating the book of poems. Oh, and that you’ll write one called An Angry Mouse.

  5. Dawn on September 2nd, 2009 3:02 pm

    At least he didn’t ask how he got INTO your belly, right?

  6. Mimi on September 2nd, 2009 3:06 pm

    OMG, that picture is priceless.

  7. Maria on September 2nd, 2009 3:08 pm

    I can relate. I’ve been having the same issue with my nearly 4 year old daughter. Instead of real life questions, however, she’s looking for deeper meaning in Disney stories. What does that mean lady want to do with all those puppies? Uh…

  8. Angella on September 2nd, 2009 3:09 pm

    I think that last illustration should be animate with, like, jazz hands or something.

  9. BellyGirl on September 2nd, 2009 3:10 pm

    I actually thought that was a damn brilliant illustration of a dinosaur. Mine would have looked more like a deranged two-legged dog. Oh. I guess yours kinda looks like a deranged two-legged dog. Well, bravo to your artistic skills anyway.

  10. Ang on September 2nd, 2009 3:17 pm

    I think it looks like an angry mouse sneaking up on someone to steal their CHEESE!! Or something.
    And I agree with samantha jo, the baby is definitely saying Ta da!

  11. Lori on September 2nd, 2009 3:24 pm

    As an artist and a former art teacher, I actually think that’s a pretty good interpretation of a T-Rex. Hey, it’s green! Who needs spikes? ;)

  12. Stephanie on September 2nd, 2009 3:27 pm

    Love the illustrations! I fear this next stage as well. We are currently focusing on strangers and “privates”. Especially with that sick bastard and his wife that kidnapped that girl and kept her in their yard for 18 years, like 30 minutes from here.

  13. Becky Mochaface on September 2nd, 2009 3:29 pm

    Does T Rex have spikes? I thought that was the stegasaurus or whatever is the one with the spikes.

  14. Catherine on September 2nd, 2009 3:30 pm

    we just had the “how does the baby get out conversation” in the car. I said that the doctor made a cut and pulled the baby out (both of them, singularly though). Audrey says, maybe I will go to the same doctor when they “crack my tummy open to get the baby”. I say, hopefully you won’t have to have surgery to have a baby. She says, they’ll come out my belly button! I say, uhm no they’ll come out your vagina. Her brother, in his nearly six-year-old wisdom says, “ugh – I am glad I can’t have babies.”

  15. sundry on September 2nd, 2009 3:31 pm

    Becky: no, but Riley seems to think ALL dinosaurs should have spikes. *shrug*

  16. Shannon on September 2nd, 2009 3:36 pm

    OMG. Love the illustrations. Adore you, in a completely non-stalkerish way. Promise.

  17. Heather on September 2nd, 2009 3:40 pm

    Seriously. So funny. To make you feel better, I just asked my (nearly) 7 year old daughter what she thought the first picture was and she said “T-Rex” without skipping a beat. Also, I didn’t show her the second picture. Cause I’m a chicken.

  18. Beth on September 2nd, 2009 3:50 pm


    Oh how I know your world. We bathe, drive, watch TV, go to the park, take to school, eat … well you get the picture, do everything with dinosaurs in my house. My son even has a grasp on extinction!

  19. Jenny on September 2nd, 2009 4:00 pm

    I think the second drawing may be my next tattoo.

  20. Miss Grace on September 2nd, 2009 4:04 pm

    Gabriel calls a T-Rex a Dinosaurus Resk. I can’t bring myself to correct him.

  21. AndreAnna on September 2nd, 2009 4:05 pm

    Maybe you should have given the baby spikes.

    Which I suppose would be quite painful.

  22. Jessamyn on September 2nd, 2009 4:06 pm

    Katie keeps asking me if there were dinosaurs when I was little. No, it was a looooooooooong time ago. Oh, ok. So when grandma was little?

  23. caleal on September 2nd, 2009 4:19 pm

    Uhm. That is an AMAZING drawing of a dino, if you ask me. Better than I could do.

    I was obsessed with dinosaurs when I was little, and when I asked about the mass extinction, my parents told me, and I spent a few weeks terrified of comets and meteors coming to mass-extinct me.

  24. Smileen on September 2nd, 2009 4:41 pm

    That is hilarious. How DO you tell children about that? without a flood of other questions that possibly can’t be answered.

    MaryMac @ Pajamas and Coffee had a funny post about the vag & “wienis” convo w/ her 4 year old. I was cracking up. Who wants to branch THAT territory!

    Loving the birth doodle, If you want to take my temp. on the matter, I see it as either way, they came out of a hole! Not important which one. ;)

  25. Helen on September 2nd, 2009 4:48 pm

    My 7 year old asked about making babies, I started with the ” well you were in my womb” and he said ” yes, yes, I know all about that but what I REALLY want to know is how I got IN there”
    “Oh, I see, well Daddy has a seed and I have an egg and ”
    “Oh what are you talking about? That sounds completely ridiculous”
    I changed the subject because really, if we went any further how much MORE ridiculous was it going to sound?!

  26. Laura on September 2nd, 2009 4:53 pm

    More pictures please!!

  27. HollyLynne on September 2nd, 2009 5:23 pm

    I think your drawing looks EXACTLY like a T Rex.
    Angry mouse, indeed!

  28. Kate on September 2nd, 2009 5:42 pm

    First good belly laugh of the day. Thanks. I love that picture…”helloooo”.

  29. Deb on September 2nd, 2009 5:43 pm

    Is that baby saying “Ta Da! Here I am!”

    Ok, so the other day my 4 year old asked me where steak came from, and I said “it comes from cows” and he started laughing and rolling his eyes and said “you can’t eat cows, silly mommy!”

    What am I supposed to say to that? Well, you can if you kill ’em first?

  30. Lesley on September 2nd, 2009 5:49 pm

    I’m still laughing at “angry mouse”.

    Reminds me of this Sylvester the Cat cartoon where a kangaroo is mistaken for a mouse by Sylvester who tries to impress his nephew with his mousing skills.

  31. Traci on September 2nd, 2009 5:56 pm

    For the last year or so, we’ve been in a dinosaurs and outer space phase (when I say we, I mean my 4 and 6 year old boys… and their father). Can TOTALLY recommend a road trip to Vernal, UT to visit Dinosaur National Monument. We went in the winter as part of a longer road trip and had a terrific time.

  32. warcrygirl on September 2nd, 2009 6:14 pm

    We told our two when they asked that question “the doctor got you out”, which worked until they began to ask what c-section meant. That was okay…just wait until Riley starts asking how Daddy got the baby in you. Then the fun really begins. We caught our soon to be 11 year old googling stuff like “naked girls” and “boobs”. God help me.

  33. jonniker on September 2nd, 2009 6:14 pm

    This KILLED me. Killed me dead. I was just sitting here heaving and giggling, because, “WELL SON THEY ALL UP AND FUCKING DIED, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SHIT?”

    HAHAHAHAHA. Jesus, that is hysterical. The whole thing.

  34. Lora on September 2nd, 2009 6:35 pm

    I’m having a terrible day but reading this made me smile. Thank you.

  35. Swistle on September 2nd, 2009 7:02 pm

    AH HA HA HA HA! Listen, I have to go to BED soon, but now I’m all WOUND UP and LAUGHY.

    Oh, and the answer to “How did the baby get IN there, then?” is “It grew there.” (The answer to “But how did it START?” is “From an egg this teeny tiny teeny tiny teeny tiny!”—and then start distracting with “Isn’t that AMAZING?? Look how much bigger you are NOW!!”).

  36. Emily on September 2nd, 2009 7:21 pm

    You should check this out, for when the questions overwhelm:

  37. Penny on September 2nd, 2009 7:24 pm

    God that c-section picture is hilarious! I’d have that pic on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt or something.

  38. Becky on September 2nd, 2009 8:23 pm

    you slay me….

  39. Alison of a Gun on September 2nd, 2009 8:37 pm

    I swear I commented already but it’s not here. I’m paranoid that you don’t like me. :( This reminded me of your drawing:

  40. cindy w on September 2nd, 2009 8:39 pm

    I think your T-Rex drawing freaking rocks. Someday I need to do an MS Paint version of what it looks like when my 2 year-old asks me to draw Thomas the Tank Engine for the 18,000th time. (A daughter! Why do I have a girl obsessed with trains? WHY?!) My husband says it looks like a farting roller skate with a face on it.

    But dude, “angry mouse” killed me. So did your artistic rendering of a vaginal birth. And yes, as someone who had one, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what it was like. Spot on.

  41. ElizabethZ on September 2nd, 2009 9:15 pm

    The birth drawing is hilarious, I am imagining a bubble from his mouth with “hey, here I am” or “‘sup?”

    Also, you didn’t send that anonymous email to our favorite maytag hater did you? The whole thing doesn’t necessarily read like your wicked style and vocabulary. But boy there are several sentences that scream “I came out of Linda’s head.” Almost like it was written by you trying not to sound like it was entirely written by you. If that makes any fucking sense my bitch.

  42. Heather J. on September 2nd, 2009 9:25 pm

    That seriously looks like a Simpsons dino, like the end result of Mr Burns going back in time & scoring himself some Jurassic lovin’.

  43. Liza on September 2nd, 2009 9:33 pm

    THANKS for writing and drawing. I laughed out loud and I needed it.

  44. Lesley on September 6th, 2009 1:02 pm

    Yikes, something happened to your web site. Hope it’s fixed soon.

  45. Mary on September 6th, 2009 5:52 pm

    My friend’s little 3 year old gets that there’s a little baby in my belly, and when he asked his mommy and me how the baby will get out, Jen said “Well, babies come out of the mommy’s vagina.” And that shut him right up. He looked boggled for a moment, then ran off to play with his trains.

  46. Ян on October 18th, 2009 10:16 pm

    Любопытная заметка. Добавил в закладки. Не в каждом блоге сейчас встретишь столько ценных и полезных мыслей, которые можно применить на деле. Но понадобится еще время, чтобы осмыслить инфу. Даже сейчас, когда после прочтения текста Вашего поста, в тот момент, когда пишу комментарий, я думаю, о тех вещах, смысл которых мне теперь совсем по другому видится. Эх, что за день сегодня – полезный день.

Leave a Reply