Different than having your dog leap onto the bed demanding a walk.
Different than having your partner sleep-kick your groin.
I jolted up, my right breast throbbing, and opened my eyes.
Two inches from my face was Miss C.
"I just pinched your thimble," she informed me.
Thimble is her word for nipple.
I looked at the clock, which read 6:03 am.
Now holding my aching thimble, I looked at my daughter, who stood before me, matter of fact. As though she'd just stated that she'd like some Cheerios, with milk please, and a side of toast.
"Why?" I asked her.
"It was there, and I wanted to."
I think I'll hang onto this phrase lest I develop a penchant for kleptomania. It's simple and gets right to the point.
"That's not okay," I told her, as I swung my legs over the side of the bed.
She stood unmoved.
"Because, that hurt me. And also because those are my breasts."
"But can I touch them if I'm not pinching?"
It was 6:04 am. And since my little one has been highly interested in all body parts lately, I decided now is as good a time as any to school her a little further.
"Do you remember which parts of our body are private?"
"Like some playgrounds are private?" she asked.
"Sort of. What do you mean?
"The ones with a fence around them. Like Allison's."
"Yes," I said."Do we just go on Allison's playground?"
"No," she sighed. "We have to ask her."
"Right. Well, breasts are like that. You can't just touch someone's breasts."
"I have to ask?"
"Can I touch your breast?"
"Well okay," she said, thinking of a back-up plan. "Can we go on Allison's playground then?"
My clock clicked 6:05, and I decided there is no other job that requires such conversation before allowing you to get your daily caffeine.
"We'll see," I replied.
"Well," she still stood next to my bed, unmoved. "I don't have breasts. And dad only has thimbles."
"Yes," I said.
"So, what about our breasts?"
"Dad will not get breasts. Men don't grow them."
"Well okay. But will I grow them?"
"Yes, when you are older, as you become a young woman, you will grow breasts."
"Mama, can you say, 'Mmmm-kay?'"
"No, I'd rather say okay. Okay?"
"Mmm-kay. But I say mmmm-kay."
"Fine. Now please go get your pants on if you want some breakfast."