After I strapped RG into her booster seat in the back seat, we left the zoo. I was having qualms about being so judgmental about bribes. The truth is, I thought, adults bribe each other all the time.

I discussed this with RG. I said, “It is hard for people to get along. Often people do say to each other, “I will do this for you if you do that for me. Sometimes that is good way to work out problems and arguments, but sometimes it is not.”

The silence from the back seat indicated to me that Grandpa was providing way too much philosophy to a little girl who just wanted to see some lions. (Soon it will occur to her that lions are possibly missing a trace element from their diet: a nutrient that might be provided by a Grandpa.)

Finally, RG changed the subject. At the time, I was completely caught by surprise. Later, reflecting on the discussion, I realized the line of questioning had been inspired by watching the baby animals in the videos on the television screen on the stage.

“Grandpa, how does a baby get out of the mother?” she asked.

While I was still considering an answer, she went on, “Is the baby in the mommy’s tummy?”

I said, “A mother has something inside her called the ‘uterus’ that holds a baby.”

“Then how does the baby get out of the mommy?” she pressed.

Unprepared for this line of nature education, I was thinking, These are strange questions for a little girl with two articulate and open mommies to be asking a grandpa.

At that point I probably should have talked about the “birth canal.” Though I have a lot of teaching experience, the lessons I offer don’t usually go down this path, so to speak.

I said, “Are you familiar with the word ‘vagina?'”

Silence from the back seat.

I am in deep water, I thought. “I think this is probably a discussion you should have with your mommies,” I said, heading for the side of the pool.