Monday, April 23, 2012

Birds and Bees - a flash fiction from "Embarrassing Moments!"

Birds and bees
For the third time I was a father. A lovely daughter was now at the hospital with my wonderfull wife. Every child birth is an amazing experience and as a father, I´ve always recognized my responsibility to teach my children about everything there is to life, even some of the more… well… should we say the more intimite issues. That one conversation about the birds and the bees has never been one I feared, but I´d have to admit, I didn´t think it would be so soon coming.

We were on our way to greet the new baby. On the back seat were my 4 year old son and his little sister, aged 2. They had both been at my in-laws for the duration of the birth and even though they may not have understood everything about pregnancy and giving birth, I am sure they had the notion that something out of the ordinary was taking place. And so the car was steaming with joy and excitement.

Suddenly the cosy nature of our being together in the car was broken by my son, who had most likely been speculation a lot on our way to the hospital.

"Daddy? Where did little sister get out?"

Complete and utter silence filled the car...

"Ehm," I said a little embarrassed, pausing for as long as I could in the hope that he would quickly forget about it again. He didn´t...

"Daddy?" he asked again, "I´m asking you something..."

"Yeah, yeah, I know. I heard you…” My brain was exploding with over time. How on earth could I squeeze my out of that one? "I, ehm, I really have to, ehm, I really have to keep my focus on the road and the cars on it, so…"

There were quite a bit of traffic, so for now he accepted the feeble excuse without much further ado. Still, I had a feeling that I wouldn´t be able to postpone the issue much further.

I was right, because shortly after he was there with his question again… "There are no cars now, daddy… where did my little sister come out?"
"Well… ehm, yeah, ehm… she, ehm, wel.. she came out the usual way, you know..."

I knew very well it wouldn´t do, men somehow I thought to myself that a boy his age really didn´t need all those details...

"Yeah, but where?"
"Well, you know, it´s ehm," I tried to pull time as best I could, "She, ehm, she came out… ehm, underneath, you know..."
"Yeah, but where?"

I was sweating like a pig and the seat was more and more gluing firmly to my shirt and skin, as I was fighting for my life trying to figure out how to get out of this predicament. I mean, what ARE you going to tell a kid only 4 years old about sex and birth and all of that?

I was fighting like crazy to come up with something that could draw out time, so that he would forget about it and think about other things. Things more appropriate for a kid his age, like playing with Lego and that sort of stuff,but there were no help what so ever. Not inside the car, not outside of it. If only I had bought him a teddy bear or a book or something, anything to keep him occupied, but nooo, I had to save money everywhere I could.

I really felt like an idiot. That´s when I saw it, coming to the rescue. It towered up like a protecting castle among all other buildings og behind the hedges you could just see a glimpse og the parking lot. Phew, saved by the bell - well, the building, anyway.

"Right, kids, that´s the hospital," I sighed with relief, "all we need to do now is to find a parking space and then..."
"Then you can tell me!" the boy lit up and interrupted me.

Darn! Once again the light son the first floor in my head were flickering. I can´t believe, how stubborn that boy is! That´s gotta be something he got from his mother´s side of the family. It was more than difficult concentrating on the simple task of getting the car placed in some sort of order within the two white lines. I was glad Linette wasn´t here to witness my struggle with it. She would´ve lavhed her rear end off og and I wouldn´t have heard the end of it. After all I usually tease her about not being able to park the car in the streets.

"Yeah, yeah, take it easy, boy. First we have to figure out the way to where your mum and sister are,” I said with the ferris wheel in my head spinning like crazy.

On the way to the elevator I did what I could to bring to the children´s attention all the magnificents you can experience at a hospital. That is, after all, an important responsibility being a father, that you teach your children about the world? Wheel chairs lined up like taxis in an airport waiting for a new ride, doctors and nurses in white and of course the most amazing and exciting magazine stand you´ve ever seen. But for some strange reason none of it really made any difference. No matter what I did to make concrete pillars, nurse bagdes and flower pots seem like the most interesting things in the world, the boys answer was coming to me like a parrot in a shop. "Yes, dad, but where did my sister come out?"

We found the elevator and I allowed him to push the button. At leas the would have that to keep him busy, even if it was only for a short while. An elderly lady stepped in there with us and pushed for the thirteenth floor. Our destination was the sixteenth. She nodded her head friendly towards the children and me.

"What lovely children you have,” she smiled as the elevator started moving. If she only knew the hell, that kid had been pulling me through, I thought to myself, men of course I didn´t say anything.

"Are they your own?" she suddenly asked, "Well, I probably shouldn´t ask, but these days parents are getting older and older, so when you see such a fine young man with two children, you really never know, do you?"

I suppose she was right. It was a bit unusual having two, no three children at the age of 26 and 28.
"Yes, they are mine. We are on our way to say hello to our new little sister," I responded and hoped in the bottom of my heart, that the pending question of the boy could at least wait till we left the elevator and the lady behind us.

But alas, I was terribly mistaken.
"Dad! " He was almost jumping up and down like a mad man. "Please answer, I want to know!"
I did nothing and decided to pretend I didn´t hear it. One thing was answering such an embarrassing question but answering it in front of strangers was a completely different matter.

As it turned out, it was a bad choice, because now the lady looked at me with an even bigger smile than before.

"So, we are a little impatient, are we? " she said, "Well, I can certainly understand that. It´s not every day you get to greet a new citizen in this world."
I was just about to give her some indifferent, but polite answer, but the boy was much quicker.

"NO! " he yelled, "I want to know now, dad!"

At first, the lady was taken by surprice at this outburst, but then, for reason above my comprehension, she decided to lend me a helping hand. Bending slightly forward towards the boy; as much as she could without falling with cane and handbag and all; she saw him directly in the eyes and asked the one question that would open the gate to everlasting pain and embarrassment.

"Well, my little friend," she said, "What is it you want to know?"

Oh, no! I quietly dreamed my way to the bottom of a wooden box with the lid firmly fastened by nails and with a sign on it saying: ”Caution, live animals” and another sign stating an address in Timbuktu. Instead, I had to wake up right there at the front gate of hell to a question demanding an answer here and now, before things got even more out of hand.

"Alright! Alright!” I almost shouted, ”She got out of mums vagina, then! Are you satisfied now?”

It seemed as if time came to a complete halt and the only sound you could hear was the lady´s mouth morphing from a big open smile to the most sour chicken rump mouth I have ever witnessed.

The girl in my other hand suddenly woke up at the sound of a word she recognized. She let go of my hand, pulled up in her skirt and down went her diper and stockings all the way to her anckles.
"gina," she said while pointing to her ”you-now-what” absolutely thrilled by recognition and smiling at the lady as if she had just won the world championship in some popular sport.

Too much for the elderly lady she decided that she wasn´t getting of at the thirteenth floor anyway. Instead, she jumped off as the elevator stopped at the eleventh floor and the doors opened. With a surprising agility she squeezed herself in between two mentally handicapped men, who were cheering my daughter on clapping their hands and shouting ”hurray” apparently thinking she was very clever.

I kindly asked them if they could wait for the next elevator and luckily they accepted with a smile and a ”have a nice day.” As soon as the doors closed, I pulled up stockings and dipers and downed the skirt.
During all of this my son hadn´t said anything, but even though I didn´t see his face, I was struck by a hurricane of his thoughts ramming into my brain stem about how hopeless his father was. And then it came. Like a fist in my guts almost taking away my breath.

"I know dad!” he said, ”But where? Was it at home or here at the hospital???"

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