I had to answer “Where do babies come from.” Maybe I should have seen it coming since we have been around a lot of pregnant women lately, but I feel pretty ripped off — I thought I had at least two more years until the whole miracle of life thing came into question. And then I got a double whammy because the question came in two parts, days apart, kind of like a really bad miniseries. At least they both happened while in the car, which is where all good thinking and difficult discussions should rightfully take place.
Sally: “That mommy, with the purple shirt. How did she get the baby in there? Did she eat something and then there is a baby in there?”
Me: No. At age 2?! Noooooooo. Okay, think. Concrete explanation, simple terms. I mean, I know how to tell a grown-up (Well, in theory. All I’ve actually told anyone is that babies come from delusional 30-year-olds who think parenthood will be fun. Or, alternatively, liquor.) You’re stalling too long. She’s going to know she’s not getting the full story. Say something! “Well, you have to be a grown up first. Then, when a mommy and a daddy decide they want a baby, the mommy can make a baby grow inside her tummy.” That almost sounded credible. Immediately after the initial relief, though, I feel guilt at automatically assuming a mommy and a daddy are involved and not incorporating the many differing options available, but decide to write that off under “simplicity’s sake” and save those talks for later.
Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Question answered.
One week later, Sally: “When the baby is ready to come out, how does the Mommy get it out of there?”
Really?! We don’t even tell grown women that or the human race would die out.
Me: “When the baby is ready to come out, the mommy and daddy — they’re grown-ups, remember — go to the hospital and a doctor helps the mommy get the baby out.” That’s cool, right?
Sally: “But HOW does the doctor and the grown-up mommy get the baby out?”
My Catholic upbringing is making me hyperventilate. But no, I will not be a prude mother. I will explain this matter-of-factly, just like I did when she put my bra on and asked “What is this thing for?” What followed was a very brief, overly simple–but medically accurate–description of childbirth.
Sally: “Then what happens?”
Me: “Uh . . . then you go home and the mommy and daddy are SO happy to have a baby.” Or they take antidepressants, it all works out, though.
Sally: “Wait, it comes out of her HINEY?!”
Eh, I tried.