I Don’t Think She’s Ever Seen Sweeney Todd, But Now I’m Not Sure

04/04/2011 By Shawn Burns

“Daddy,” Erin began, around a mouthful of English muffin, “I would miss you if you died.”

Oh god.

“Well thanks, babe,” I replied, trying to keep my voice as calm as hers, my tone as matter-of-fact.

“I don’t want you to die,” she concluded, having thought about for a second.

“Okay then.” I couldn’t muster much else. Do I promise to never die? Do I start explaining that everybody dies? It’s Monday morning. It’s breakfast time. This is not how I thought the day would go.

“We should tell the haircutting place that you don’t die.” This one, I admit, baffled me.

“The haircutting place?” I asked. I started reviewing all of her activities over the last week, wondering if Sweeney Todd had been involved. But no, we head sent Sweeney Todd back to Netflix months ago, and I was sure Erin had never even glimpsed it. Is it Snip-its? Has she decided that Snip-its is actually a murderous cult? Is all of this a setup for when we try to take her for a hair cut and she wants some grounds to refuse?

“Because when you die, you have to go to the haircutting place and they cut your hair,” she explained.

“Do you mean the mortician?” I hazarded.

“What’s a mortician?” she asked.

“Well, after people die sometimes their family brings them to a mortician to get a haircut and some makeup to make them look pretty.” I began, uncertain that I should be saying too much about the process.

“Yeah! And then you’re so beautiful!” Erin enthused, and she did a little twirl. Um. Well, now things were getting weird. Weirder. And the stickler in me just couldn’t let it go. “Yes, except that after you die you don’t dance anymore. You just lie there, ” and I folded my arms across my chest and closed my eyes, mimicking  a corpse. What the hell was I doing?

“Ya! You just lie there! And you’re so beautiful!”

I gave up.

“Yep. Now finish your breakfast.”

Mondays are strange when there’s a pre-schooler on the loose.

(So, have you had a morbid morning? What did you tell your kids about death? Did the conversation go better than mine did?)