There's only so much you can keep a child's vocabulary limited to all things bright and sunny. With more stories being told, videos being watched, conversations at camps and classes, our daughter has picked up a whole set of new words that always bring in awkwardity and discomfort - death, kill, dead etc.
Interestingly, she has not directly asked me the meaning of these words - and I have let her go explore her own meanings and plan to wait for her to come to me rather than offer my explanations voluntarily. During some fighting game she loves playing (read jumping on the bed on me at nap time) - she said, "Mommy I am going to kill you and then you pretend die, okay?"
I was like okay but "What do you mean by die?". So she goes, "Don't move - you are going to be trapped and you can't move or breathe." I just played on.
However, the other she took me by complete shock, when very casually as I was helping her put on her shoes to go out for her swimming class, she asked me, "Mommy dying also means going to sleep forever,, right? I am scared what if you and daddy die? Who will take care of me? Who will take me for classes? Who will love me?"
I was absolutely shaken and couldn't reply for a minute or so. Finally, I told her, "Don't worry - nothing's going to happen to mommy and daddy - we are going to be with you forever."
That has to be the biggest lie I have or ever will tell my child but still I decided that a 3 year old need not worry about the tryst with mortality at such a young age. God willing, I hope I'll get a chance to revisit that question with a more mature Manya.