My son turned nine last week. Every year, on the eve of his birthday, I tell him the story of how he was born. Not that it’s a terribly exciting story with any intrigue or suspense, but he loves to hear it. And I love to tell it. Over the years, it has become a ritual we both enjoy. This year, as I shared the story with him, his younger brother was listening in. Unlike my first born, the six year old was not so taken in by the emotions of the story, but was more interested in the technical details.
“How did he come out?” he asked.
Well, some babies come out when the doctor cuts open the mommy’s stomach.” their father prevaricated.
“Did they cut open your stomach?” he asked me.
“Umm. No. I pushed him out.”
“Out? Out of what? Your stomach? How?”
Oh no. Are we already there? Birds, bees and, stamens and pistules? Am I ready to have this conversation? I haven’t prepared. I haven’t read the 200 articles and blog posts about how to have ‘the conversation’. I am not ready.
“So. You know how boys and girls have different private parts? Well, a girl’s private part is called her vagina. I pushed him out out of mine.”
CP, is current primary school slang for genitals, and stands for centre part. Or centre point. Or centre park? We shall not get into the semantics of whether the genitals are technically the centre of the human body. I will pause while you giggle, smirk or roll you eyes.
“How?” they asked horrified? “How can a baby come out of that?”
I followed this question with what I hoped was a brief, age- appropriate description of the womb and birth canal. My husband felt the need to pitch in with extraneous details like “If you ever see a child being born, you might not want to have one yourself,” he shuddered.
“Oh, I’m sorry, witnessing child birth was difficult for you was it?” I snapped. “Well, seeing that none of you can currently have a baby without significant scientific advancements, I guess you don’t need to worry about that now do you?”
“This is sooooo creeeeeeepeeeeeeeee” gagged the 6 year old. The nine year old looked mildly put off that his annual, feel fuzzy story time was turning in to a science lesson.
“Did you have me like that too?” asked the six year old.
“No. You, the stork delivered.”
“No you dodo. I had you the same way. So… any more questions?”
“What’s for dinner?”
So, I have to say I don’t know if I was relieved or sorry that they didn’t have more questions and that they didn’t ask “How are babies made?”
However, considering that this question might come sooner, rather than later, I felt I should prepare myself. www.BookDash.org has a great book called “The Baby Book” by Diane Awerbuck, Alex Latimer and Christian Jaggers. The book is free to read, download and share! I have it on saved on my desktop, ready.
By the way, we did have one question the next day at dinner.
“Did you have to take your underpants off when the baby came out?”
Sarcasm, here we come.
(The writer’s parenting philosophy is: if there’s no blood, don’t call me)