|“Ahhhhhhh, she asked the dreaded question!”|
So I had THE question asked of me by my 6 year old daughter. You know the one, the one that turned me into a awkward and uncomfortable teenager. “Mommy, how does the baby get in a Mommy’s belly?” She asks me while we are drawing at the art table. Her brothers were napping, so this Mommy and daughter bonding just took a whole big turn.
I panicked, what do I say? What is age appropriate? I want to give her the right information, she came to me. I should be happy. I know that this is one of many hard questions to come and if I ignore or deflect away from the answer she might not come to me for the next question. But I don’t want to scar her. I mean, the logistics of baby making is not the most enjoyable conversation. Especially to my sweet, smart, inquisitive, beautiful, innocent 6 year old.
|Super Mommy, here to answer all of life’s questions|
I just let my instincts fly with this. I have gotten three children to grow, blossom, love and learn for 6+ years on instinct alone. I can do this. I let her lead the way. I answered what she asked, and when she stopped asking I tied this conversation up with a little bow by saying “If there is anything ever you want to know, ask me.” Nailed it.
What did I say you ask? This is a hard one, I am talking about my experience with my child and what I was teaching her. But I feel that everyone will have different priority’s and comforts on what their children will and should know. This is by no means a judgment on how to do things, or a lecture. This is just me, a Mommy sharing a interesting and realistic experience with you all. Take what I say as a way to jump start a conversation, or shake your head and call me crazy. We are a very straight forward and liberal family. My kids ask questions of any kind and we don’t say “because”. Why is the earth round and we don’t fall off?” My kids asked, queue the discussion on gravity and the motion of the earth. “Why do we have blood, and why can I see it in my hands (the veins)?” Here comes the discussion on the central nervous system, how our bodies work with the blood, our lungs pumping it. Yes, we go there every time. I want my kids to know that there is so much to learn and all you have to do is ask.
|hard to believe they were this tiny|
Well Nora asked. She knew the real basics, a baby grows in a Mommy’s tummy and then the Doctor takes it out. I had C-sections so this is how it was discussed in out household. But Somehow, somewhere she felt the need that there was more to the story. I assume that because she prompted more information she was ready to know more. We use the correct terminology for the human anatomy, elbow, nose, butt, toe, penis, all of it. To them it is all parts. There is no pepeeing from your weewee or whatever. So I began by explaining that the women has eggs in her tummy area, she is born with them and then when she becomes a Teenager they start getting ready for her to become a Mommy when she is an adult. And the Man has sperm, he uses his sperm to make the egg turn into a baby.
I know, awkward. I don’t know why this topic is awkward to discuss. But it is. Always is. We all never develop past an 11 year old in health class giggling at the pictures of a persons body. Animated or not, it was icky and weird. I thought I was in the clear with this discussion because then she went into asking me how she got Daddy’s small dimples and my hair. I explained genetics, a small dose of it. Explaining the egg has 50% and the sperm has 50% and when they come together they make 100% and the baby becomes part of the Mommy and the Daddy.
|When did this become so long ago? I sometimes feel like they were safest here.
The world is so unstable and big. I got to protect them best when they were here, under my heart.
Then she asked “how does the sperm get into the egg?” Oh goodness, well then….. “Well the Daddy puts the sperm in the Mommy to find the egg.” I was not using the word, you know S-E-X. For some reason I felt that it is still too early to bring all of that up. I felt that keeping it mechanical was the best course of action. And I chickened out. I don’t want her to look at me accusingly when she hears what you have to do, and the fact that I did it. I am her Mommy, her sweet, fun loving, cuddles and hugs Mommy.
Like I said we are very liberal. Love is love, a family is a family, our kids switch between marrying Brooke or Cole in this house. No emphasis on gender. But I could see how she was worried how everyone can have kids. I was proud of her for thinking of these things. She truly blew me away with some of her questions and responses.
|I conquered this question|
I then asked if she had anymore questions. She paused, smiled and said “Why are boogers green?” I smiled and realized I had no clue, she got me. I guess I did not have all the answers. But after that we went back to coloring and talking about random stuff with the words booger, butt, and stinky thrown in. This is 6 years old humor, don’t judge. I will talk about anything for those lovely giggles.
Once the kids were all awake and eating a snack I Googled having “the talk” with your kids. I wanted to make sure I had said enough, had been appropriate, and I wanted reassurance I did not just mess up my kid. I found out I did it all right! Go me! I let her lead, I only answered what she asked, I kept it basic, black and white, I did not shy away, and I reassured her that it was fine to ask me this or anything else. I was shocked by some people on forums or other places stating they just told their kids they would find out when they were married. Or that God puts the baby there. Look, we are Christian, we go to church, we read a children’s bible to the kids, and they go to a religious preschool. I believe in heaven and God that created us, but I take a more spiritual approach. He took care of our soul, our heart, our spirit, our warm and fuzzy pieces. But we are also realists. We all know that God did not put any baby in my belly. I could make a joke about men thinking they are that awesome, but I wont. Just let that sit…….
If my boys don’t ask questions I don’t know how I will handle it.When do I bring it up? I guess when the time comes I will know how to handle it. Mama instincts will kick in again. But I do want this to be a conversation I have with them. All three of them. I want to explain healthy relationships, protection, STD’s, all of it. If they don’t get the information from me, they will get it somewhere. Possibly wrong (we have all heard the fable of the can’t get pregnant in a hot tub thing, right?), but most importantly I want them to know that NO TOPIC is off limits.
|They each have their own path to walk in life,
I am just here to teach them how to navigate
I am here to guide them, teach them, show them life. Give them the absolute best start to them finding their way. I am helping them become full grown people, allowing them to discover who they are. And part of them being those things is falling in love, lust, crush, dating, and eventually S-E-X. Horrible and hard to imagine my little, tiny, perfect children will be that grown up one day. But I want them to be informed. On all topics, and that includes the mundane of why boogers are green, how a car drives, where we get our water from, teaching them about recycling and keeping the earth healthy, to how babies are made.
I realized that this “talk” I have known would come will be a multiple step, possibly never ending discussion. There will be even more questions. How the Daddy puts the sperm in, which she did not ask yet. Why people do that, and then many more about our bodies, how we grow and change. This one talk, I figured would be over and done is a lifetime discussion. A never ending talk. Maybe by the third it will be cut and dry, lay it out, no issues, lets get ice cream and chat kind of thing.
But I was proud to know I had laid the foundation for Nora coming to me, knowing I am there for anything she ever needs. I also know she will have the right information. When my husband came home from work I triumphantly stated “I did it, she asked THE question and I answered her.” He said “Glad it was not me” Thank you for the support oh dear husband. Maybe I should have “the talk” with him too?
Have your children asked this yet? How did you handle it, or how are you planning on handling it when the time comes?