Thursday, January 17, 2008

Handling

About 30 minutes after I had put the kids to bed last night (and I was half way through my second bowl of ice cream) ED came out in the living room.

“I keep forgetting to ask you 2 questions!” he says

“Ok”, I say, and notice how well spoken he is for a 4-year-old. He really is a boy now.

“I need to know how the baby got in there Mommy. And how are you going to get it out.”

Ice cream falls from my spoon back in to the bowl and my mind starts racing. What am I going to say? He is rather grown up, as far as four-year-olds go…should I give him some details? Should I make up some crap about the stork? He already mentioned that he knows that doctors deliver a baby (but then asked where exactly, they deliver them to? To their mommies at the “hostable”?) I really don’t want to use the word vagina. Am I sweating? Oh my GOD!

I told him that I need to think about it since it’s been a long time since I had a baby, and I really don’t remember. This satisfied him (for now) and he went back to bed.

I don’t know why Hub and I have not discussed, what, or how much, if anything we are telling him. I also don’t know what we were thinking getting pregnant with a very inquisitive 4-year-old around. This was a lot easier when he was just a year old and I was pregnant with CA.

I’d be curious to know what information you all gave your older children in this situation. Or what did your parents tell you about babies.

My mother was pregnant with my youngest brother when I was 10. She answered my questions by giving me a book, and sending me to my room to read it myself while she and my father watched the football game. Seriously. When she was pregnant with my 1st brother, she gave me the cock and bull “mommy has a seed and daddy waters it” which I repeated to ever last person I came in to contact with, since I was, you know, 2. This is the kind of situation I don’t want to get myself in to; ED blurting out something completely embarrassing in public. (more embarrassing than asking me loudly in a public restroom why grownups are “a little bit hairy”. Yeah.)

On a complete side note, CA was up at about 11:30 last night and couldn’t go back to sleep so I brought her in with me. She slept with her head propped on my belly (until I started choking on stomach acid) and later rolled next to me. I woke up at 2:30 AM finding her curled completely in to my side, with ED sleeping in between my legs and the cat sleeping in between his legs. Apparently, my bed is the community bed when Hub works overnight. I think I’d be better off on the couch.

10 comments:

bananafana said...

I have nothing helpful to say. I'm just crossing my fingers/dreading the moment O asks me how the baby got in my tummy. So far he doesn't care he just wants it to come out - PLEASE LORD LET IT STAY THAT WAY

Jess said...

My parents made a point out of being very open and honest with me from the beginning. They always had age-appropriate books that they both sat down and read with me from an early age on through adolescence, about pregnancy and puberty and all that other awkward stuff. I remember it feeling a bit awkward and forced at the time, but I definitely learned everything and always knew that I could ask my parents anything. And I don't think I ever repeated anything embarrassing to large crowds. I hope not, anyway.

CAQuincy said...

After the "the doctor helps get the baby out" speech pacified her for only ONE DAY, I ended up showing my almost five-year old one of my pregnancy books. I showed her the diagram of the baby in the belly--and showed her where it came out. "OH!" was all she said. And the topic did not come up again until a few months ago, when she was seven. Of course, I think I felt more comfortable using words like vagina (which is still "pee-pee" 99% of the time in my house!) because she was a girl.... I'm not sure if it would have been so easy to show the same picture and use the same words for the boy...!

Swistle has brought up this topic before and (if I remember correctly) has even mentioned an agge-appropriate book she likes to use.... Ahem, Swistle?????

Mommy Daisy said...

No advice. I haven't even thought about this. I guess we better hurry and have more babies before Zachariah is old enough to ask. That's the lesson I just learned from this post.

Love the bed story. Funny.

Misty said...

Since Brother was 5 when Jelly Bean was gestating, I read all the books, looked online and was so so ready to give 'the talk'. But the question never came about how the baby got in there, just how it was going to come out. And I want to be factual with my kids and teach them that certain body parts are wonderful and special and also very private, but never something to be embarrassed or ashamed about. So I told him that when it was time, I would go to the hospital and push the baby out of my vagina and that it would hurt a little bit, but the doctors would help.

Really just recently has there been talk about sex. First it started off with 'how babies are made' and I stated the process without getting into the mechanics of sex. But I made sure to say things like, "Does that make sense?" and "Am I answering all of your questions properly?" to make sure I was giving him what he was looking for. A couple of months later, he did ask about mechanics and I told him in a fact-based way.

I read once that if you are open and honest with kids about sex there will never need to be 'the talk' because the talk gets covered in so many other little conversations. Plus, I want him to feel like I am open to talking with him about important stuff in a non-judgmental fashion. So he can get fact-based correct information instead of whatever his peers might have to offer. Sorry this is so long, but I hope it is helpful.

LoriD said...

For the little guys, I just start the story when the baby starts growing in the tummy. If pressed further, I might say that it happens when the mom and dad decide it's the right time. I'm all for being open and honest, but I also know kids can get freaked out with too much information or information that's inappropriate for their age.

We play musical beds in our house most nights and sometimes wake up to all five of us in one bed (with two grumpy parents!)

Emily said...

Seems like I remember Swistle posting about a book on the subject too.

My parents followed the hand her a book let her read it alone method. And, I never did feel comfortable talking to them about that kind of stuff. But, I think getting an age appropriate book and reading it WITH him would be great.

Swistle said...

Here's the post I think CAQuincy is referring to: You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

William was 4 when I was pregnant with the twins. When he asked how the baby (before we knew it was twins) got in there and how it would get out, I started with, "Well. The baby starts out SO TEENY, like THIS!" (indicating teeny space with fingernails). "And then it grows and grows" (adding details as time allows) "until it's ready to be born! And then Mommy will go to the hospital and the baby will be born there!"

That's what I start with for a 4-year-old. Because sometimes that's all they want to know. You just pause, then, and see if they ask more questions, and if they do you add more information. You can kind of play it by ear, based on their questions.

Jessa said...

I've always just given body parts the appropriate names and tried to explain things in a generic term. Babies come from mommies. You need mommy and daddy to make a baby in mommies belly. It's hard when they are so smart and inquisitive.

Doing my best said...

When my precocious, oldest son asked that question, I told him something to the effect of: Boys have a wee wee between their legs, and girls have a special opening between their legs where the baby will come out when it's ready (hoping and praying he wouldn't ask what that "special opening" was called because I didn't want to hear THAT repeated loudly in the middle of a quiet moment in church =)!).
The thing that KILLS me about these discussions is that I could get over having to have the actual discussion, and using the actual terms, but I JUST NEVER KNOW when the discussion and terms are going to LOUDLY come back to haunt me, espeically since this particular child just LOVES to tell everyone all about whatever his newest tidbit of acquired information is.
Although, it was almost all worth it to see the look of shock and disbelief on his face the day I told him that his wee wee actually had another name =)...