If colonoscopies, nudity, and flatulence repel you, you are advised to read no further. :)
So, I picked up Oliver from school the other day and as we pulled up to our house, I explained, "Hey, when we go inside we're going to have to be a bit quiet because Papa is resting. While you were at school he was up at the hospital having a colonoscopy and he's pretty tired."
And then the inevitable question: "What's a colonoscopy?"
"Well, it's when a doctor uses a camera attached to a scope to be able to look inside your large intestine to make sure everything is healthy." At the age of two or three, Oliver went through a phase of looking through my Netter's anatomy book whenever he had a question about the human body. He was pretty keen on knowing how things worked and what they looked like beneath the surface. There was that confusion once between an asparagus and an esophagus, but once we worked through that, he was good to go. Having this to build on, I felt sure he understood the phrase "large intestine", especially since he had also successfully graduated from the anal phase around the same time.
He pauses a moment, digesting this (no pun intended) then wants to know, "That camera - is it pretty small?"
"Oh, yes. Pretty small." I say.
"As small as a crumb?"
"Well, maybe not that small, but small nonetheless."
We park the car and get out, walking toward the back door. I know he's imagining just how this procedure unfolds in the OR. "Was he naked?", he asks frankly, looking up at me.
"Well, sure but the hospital gives him something like a robe to wear over the top so he can have some privacy."
This reassures him a little but he suddenly stops at the door: there's one more thing he wants to know before he'll go inside. "Is he still naked?"
Suppressing a smile, I let him know that his father is fully clothed and it is, in fact, safe to proceed into the house.
The following is not the first time I have underestimated the Great Brain of the Firstborn.
Enjoying leftovers today after church, we're all seated around the table talking about this and that. The subject turns to stars and planets since Brooks has mentioned that the first photos of planets outside our solar system has emerged in the news recently. Oliver is naturally animated. He gestures dramatically with his hands and face as he speaks. Brahm, on the other hand, is more subtle. It's usually hard to know what he's thinking just by looking at his face. In fact, most of the time I wonder if he can hear me at all when I'm talking to him since at any given moment, he's usually involved in some kind of manual activity that absorbs his attention.
So the conversation is going something like this:
Brooks: "Which planet in our solar system is the smallest?"
Oliver, hand shooting up wildly before the question is entirely formed: "Oh, I know! It's Pluto! And did you know that Venus is the hottest? It's like 133 degrees or something. Wait, maybe 5,000. And it would burn you if you were even on that planet. Well, not it you had metal to protect you. It will burn everything except metal, like robots."
In my minds eye, I see droplets of saliva shooting through the air between us generated by the sheer force of his excitement coupled with his lisp.
Brooks: "And what about Jupiter - ?"
Oliver, interrupting again: "You couldn't even land on Jupiter, you know why? Because it's all made of gas swirling around everywhere. There's nothing you could even land on."
Brooks: "Except for the lava at the core - "
Oliver:" Yeah, except for the lava. And you know what? The lava is so hot, sooo hot, that nobody could even live in there. And you know what else?" He raises his hands to make a crushing motion with his fingers accompanied by the appropriate sounds. "The pressure from all the gases above you would smash you to death!" he explains, parroting something his father had said moments earlier.
Jenny, with her two bits: "And what's Jupiter classified as? A gassy _____."
Oliver, hand shooting up once again: "'Giant'! A 'gassy giant'!"
Brahm is at his seat, not having moved much in the last five minutes except to look around from time to time. He's too busy using his fork to shift the food around his plate to be bothered with the conversation. And yet, here I see his eyebrow go up and a smile start to curl at the corners of his mouth.
"A gassy giant? You mean like Papa's tooties?"
There's a brief moment of silence where his sudden comment stumps everyone, even the little brother. Then, we simultaneously erupt into laughter and with that, the conversation has come to a pleasant end. There is, it seems, nothing left to say.