Two new things were on BJ's mind today. He informed me, at least a dozen times, "Mommy, somebody wrote 'Chewy' on a bench."
This is, actually, entirely accurate. When we were at the park this morning, he noticed grafitti on the park bench. Some jerk had inked in the word "Chewy." A nickname, I'm guessing. But it turns out that it is rather complicated to explain the idea of graffiti to a 3 year old. And, unfortunately, our neighborhood is experiencing a definite uptick in grafitti incidents, so now that BJ knows about it he is seeing it everywhere. It seems that every time he notices it, he must mention "Chewy" too.
As if that wasn't distressing enough, to have him pointing out every incident and asking about it constantly, he has also been inquiring about death. He will ask, "Mommy, are you going to die?" Of course I am honest with him, and I try to only answer the question that he is asking -- but that's a heckuva question. He's asked that one a few times previously, but it came up (out of the blue) many times today. And then it was followed by the real doozy: "Am I going to die, Mommy?" Sigh.
Given the characteristically short attention span of a toddler, all this has led to some rather surreal conversations today. He'll go straight from, "I don't want to die, Mommy," to "Somebody wrote 'Chewy' on a bench, Mommy! Somebody will have to wipe that up, Mommy. I don't want us to die, Mommy."
I know it's normal developmental stuff, but it is disturbing to witness. (It would be funny, the particularly odd combination, if it wasn't so depressing!) This is definitely one of the more challenging motherhood moments so far. I feel as though his pristine, innocent soul has been sprayed with the graffiti of mortality. If only I could wipe it clean again.