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Tatiana and her kids came over to spend the day with us. I love that my best friend and I have kids close in age. I just wish we lived in the same town so we could see each other more often. These get-togethers only happen once a month but it’s always fun when we do.

Nori and Aspen have always been close, ever since they were little girls. Sometimes I think Aspen might be Nori’s only friend since she rarely invites anyone else over. All of her childhood buddies are now in different cliques and she has trouble making new friends so she really looks forward to hanging out with Aspen just as I used to look forward to hanging out with Tatiana back in the day.

Poppy is a tomboy who loves doing the same activities as the triplets including basketball. She thinks of them like her slightly older brothers but she’s a lot closer to Everett than the other two. Hunter and Cohen are so much alike that they always do things together leaving Everett feeling left out.

My sweet Poppy never likes anyone around her to feel left out so she would purposefully spend more time with him which is how they became best friends. It’s really sweet actually. Tatiana and I are already planning their wedding, just for fun of course. They might not be as close as they are now once they’re grown but it is really cute seeing the two of them excited to see each other and practically inseparable the whole time.

With all the kids preoccupied and with Olive and Michael attending one of her volunteer group meetings, it left the two of us with some much needed alone time to girl chat.

“No way!” She laughed out so loud I was sure the neighbours could hear. “I can’t believe she walked in on you giving him…”

“I know, right?”

“Heh, that reminds me of the time Aspen came home early from a sleepover and caught Darren and me in the living room. Ugh! She saw everything, a full frontal view of you know what!”

“Poppy didn’t see anything. She noticed Michael didn’t have any pants on but she didn’t see anything other than his butt. Thank goodness!”

“Well, having them seeing you naked isn’t the problem. Your naked body is a natural thing. It’s when they start to ask all the why questions, like why are Daddy’s parts different from yours, which will probably happen sooner than you think after what she walked in on.”

“Nah.” I shook my head. “I doubt it. Like I said, she didn’t see anything.”

“That doesn’t mean the questions won’t come. My boys have already started asking us about where babies come from. It’s gonna happen, trust me.”

“Yeah, I guess. They’re all growing up so fast huh? All of our kids.”

“Yup, and I love it but I also hate it. Can you believe Aspen asked me the other day to put her on birth control?”

“Whoa. Seriously? You forgot to tell me that. I didn’t even know she had a boyfriend.”

“Some kid at her school she recently started dating. Ugh, he’s a total idiot!” She chuckled. “But he’s cute and popular so that’s probably why she’s into him. We met him yesterday and honestly speaking I think I need to put her on the pill if she’s seriously planning on having sex with him! Can’t risk her getting knocked up by a guy who’s as dumb as a bag of rocks.”

This was very surprising news to hear especially since Aspen was only a little older than my Nori. Would I have to deal with similar requests from Nori soon? Does she have a secret boyfriend I don’t know about?

Before I allowed myself to get freaked out by thoughts of my teenager having sex, I decided to go check on the kids outside. Cohen rushed past me as I was going out the door because he had to use the bathroom so I expected the other three to be outside on the basketball court only I found Hunter by himself.

“Where’s Poppy and Everett?” I asked him.

“They went by the pool.”

I thought that was strange. Why would they leave the game and go off on their own? I got a weird feeling that they were up to some kind of mischief. They were probably planning to pull a prank on Cohen and Hunter or maybe on Nori and Aspen. It wouldn’t be the first time for those two, but it’s always innocent fun. Then as I walked outside onto the patio, I realised what they were doing wasn’t as innocent as I thought.

Well, I suppose technically it was innocent. I was the only one freaking out when I caught them so obviously they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong. They just stared back at me like I was flipping out for no reason and I don’t know if that made me feel better or worse.

Tatiana and her kids left soon afterward and I sent Poppy up to her room while I waited for Michael and Olive to return home. I didn’t even give him a chance to settle down before I rushed to him. “Michael, we need to talk to Poppy!”

He looked concerned, sensing the seriousness in my tone. “About what?”

“It’s my fault!” I groaned, helplessly covering my face with my hands as I tried to process what I saw and how I would describe it to him. What if he got mad at me for allowing it to happen in the first place? “I should have been watching them properly!”

“What happened? Tell me!”

“She and Everett…they were…!”

“What? They were what?!”

“They went off alone and when I found them, they had their pants off. They were showing each other their privates!”

“Oh?”

“Yes! Where the hell did they even get that idea from?!”

“Were they…doing anything else?” he asked.

I shrugged. “When I caught them they were just standing there and looking. Why?”

He started laughing. He started laughing really loud like I had just delivered the funniest joke in the world.

“Michael!”

“That’s all?” he asked while trying to catch his breath after all the laughter.

“What do you mean that’s all?!” I cried. “This is not normal Michael! This is a big deal!”

“It is normal, babe! I could have sworn they were doing way worse than just playing a game of ‘show me yours, show you mine.’”

“That’s the thing, what if they were gonna do more and I caught them before it happened?”

“I doubt it. They’re just curious kids, babe. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

“Still, we need to talk to our daughter. Poppy and Everett are way too young to be doing stuff like that!”

“Agreed, but you need to relax a little. You look like you’re about to lose your shit.” He took hold of my hands and rubbed them gently. “Obviously, Poppy’s got some questions and we’ve gotta answer them.”

“Do you think this happened because of last night?” I asked, the thought now occurring to me.

“You said she didn’t see anything. Just calm down, okay. It’s not the end of the world. Nori and Olive had questions about sex at her age too. It’ll be fine.”

He was right about that, only Nori and Olive weren’t showing off their genitals to little boys. Or were they and I just didn’t know about it because I never caught them? Michael was right. I needed to calm down before I slipped back into freak out mode again.

“So, honey, first of all, we’re not mad at you and you’re not in any trouble.” I said after seeing that I’m-in-big-trouble look on her face. “We just want to know why you and Everett were doing what you were doing today.”

She shrugged. “I just wanted to know what it looked like.”

“You wanted to know what his private parts looked like?” I asked.

“Uh-huh. I know boys have different parts from girls so I wanted to see.”

“So why were your pants off?”

She rolled her eyes. “He said he would show me but then he chickened out and said he’d do it only if I did it too, so we did it at the same time.”

“Honey, if you have questions about anything, especially these kinds of questions, you’re supposed to ask us. We’re your parents, it’s our job to inform you of this kind of thing.”

“Okay.” She shrugged.

“Now, what you asked Everett to do was…not appropriate.”

She frowned. “But you saw Daddy without his pants on last night. What’s the big deal?”

Crap! I knew that would come back to bite me in the ass. I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. I’m sure what she saw last night put the idea into her head. I convinced myself that she didn’t really see anything but she probably did. I was at a loss for words and could feel my cheeks getting redder by the second. Why was this so hard for me?

Thank goodness Michael stepped in. “That’s different, P.”

“How?”

“Because it’s adult stuff. See, it’s kinda like how Mommy and I have special drinks at dinner that you and your sisters can’t have cause you’re not old enough. Well, it’s only okay for grown-up married couples to see each other naked. Your mother and I are adults and married.”

“Me and Everett are gonna get married when we grow up.” She said matter-of-factly.

“Oh really?” He chuckled.

“Yeah, I told him so and he said okay.” I admired her boldness. Poppy was never afraid to state how she felt or what she wanted and Everett always goes along with whatever she wants. No wonder this whole thing was her idea. “He’s gonna come live here with all of us,” she continued, “So he can have his own bedroom instead of sharing with Hunter and Cohen.”

Michael grinned. “Well, you’re not married yet so no more taking off your clothes in front of Everett or anyone for that matter or asking anyone to do so. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“And I don’t know how I feel about you marrying Everett.” He said playfully. “I mean, he’s a nice kid but what are his future goals? I need to know he can take care of my little girl before I give my blessing.”

Poppy giggled, “He doesn’t need to take care of me, silly. I can take care of him. I’m gonna be the most famous girl basketball player in the world! Everett can stay home and take care of the babies.”

“Well, Maia.” He said to me with a laugh. “I think our job is done. It seems our little girl has life figured out!”

She sure thought she did and I admired her confidence. My only hope is that she doesn’t lose her strong sense of self as she gets older. I love my sweet little Poppy-seed, who’s so energetic and bursting with optimism, but why the hell did she have to be so damn precocious as well?

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