A couple nights ago at bedtime, Mike and I were (again) talking to Annie about when she was a baby. We got onto the point that everyone starts life as a baby. Mama was a baby, Daddy was a baby, Gramma, Bampa, everyone was a baby! This blew her mind.
“Mama, was even Rigby a baby?” She asked us.
We said that yes, Rigby had been a baby once, too. We then told her about the day we went to get her.
“Rigby’s doggy mommy had five boy and girl puppies in her litter. When we got there, three of her brothers and sisters had been taken by other families. Daddy and I picked Rigby, and an hour later another family picked up Rigby’s sister. Now they all live with other families just like us!”
Annie thought about this for a minute.
“So Rigby’s sister lives with another family? Like my sister?”
Mike and I looked at each other. And then, like we always do, we kept it simple.
“No, your sister doesn’t live with another family.”
I watched Annie’s face process this.
“Can I look at pictures of when Rigby was a tiny puppy?!”
Annie doesn’t have a concept of death yet. She does understand sickness, and being hurt, and seeing doctors in hospitals. I don’t want her to associate getting sick with dying, or to think that bad things happen in hospitals, especially since I am in them a lot right now. It’s not a secret – we’re just giving her the answers when she asks for them. So we’ll continue to answer her questions as she comes up with them, even though I am dreading the day she finally asks that follow-up.
I think that day is very soon, though…and no adorable puppy pictures are going to make it any easier.