When the Bough Breaks

Sleepy time for Julianna tonight:

J (for those keeping score, she’s seven): Daddy, can you sing me a lullaby?

Me: Of course. I usually start with this one… Rockabye Baby, On the Tree Top…

[when I finish…]

J: Um, Daddy. What’s a “bough.”

Me: It’s a tree branch.

J: So, the branch breaks, and the baby falls?

Me: Well, I guess so. It’s just a song.

J: Who would put a baby in a tree? Did you ever put me in a tree?

Me: No, Honey. There are laws against that sort of thing.

J: Well, but, who would put a baby in a tree? (She’s clearly getting agitated.) Who would do that?!

[Crap! What kind of emotional scarring am I inflicting on my daughter. It’s a lullaby for crying out loud. To soothe kids into falling asleep, not undermine our parent/child bond.

But, seriously, who puts babies in trees?

And then, Julianna rationalizes…]

J: Oh, I know. The Mommy and Daddy birds made a cradle out of sticks for their babies. That’s how they teach them to fly. When they fall, they learn to fly!… Goodnight… Zzzzzzz.

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