The Awkward Questions Have Begun
June 9, 2011
I'm 20ish weeks pregnant and getting bigger (okay, looking fatter, not necessarily pregnant-er) and the kids are well aware of this predicament. I forget when we told them we were having a new baby - not right away, and not just because we wanted to make sure Third Baby was sticking around. Nine months just seems like a long time in Kid World and I didn't want to have to explain Where Babies Come From right away. If they asked. No way was I going to OFFER that information.
But the kids haven't wondered where babies come from. For whatever reason it makes perfect sense to them that there's a baby in my tummy. Whenever I'm not feeling well they say, "Is that because you have a baby in your tummy?" When I'm tired they nod sympathetically and say, "That's because you have a baby in your tummy." When they're feeling sweet they pat my belly and kiss it and tell my how much they love my baby. (It's always MY baby, not OUR baby.)
What they HAVE asked is how the baby comes out. The first time Jack innocently posed this question I looked at him wide-eyed and open-mouthed. UHHHHH... Finally I said, "The baby comes out of your bottom!" I thought this was great because 1) it's easy to understand and 2) it has the benefit of being true (ish). Until I realized that Jack now thinks, probably, that you POOP a baby out. Ugh.
I told this story to a friend of mine and she said, "Oh, I just told my daughter that the baby comes out at the hospital." WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS?
I am terrible at explaining this stuff to the kids. I'm totally not one of those moms who uses the Correct Anatomical Names and thinks of questions as educational opportunities. I figure they have plenty of time to learn where babies come from (preferably from other kids at school) and to learn (and mispronounce] the names for all the parts, just like their poor hapless mother. I turned out fine! Mostly!
But you can't just IGNORE the questions. You have to come up with some sort of explanation they will ACCEPT. I don't know about your kids, but Jack will keep pestering me until he feels I've given him all the right details. "But HOW, Mommy?" "But WHY, Mommy?" And in addition to being annoying as all get out, it's a CHALLENGE. A GOOD parent will have answers to these things! Right? Right. So I need to come up with something than better than "babies come out of your bottom" because... well, that could get confusing.
(Whereas "babies come out at the hospital"... totally true, not confusing, and BRILLIANT. Sigh.)
Now I catch Molly sticking Jack's teddy bear under her shirt and calling it her baby. She'll hide under the table with Jack and their "baby", then Jack will announce that he's going to work and Molly announces that she's going to put the baby down for a nap. People! They are watching everything I do! This was so much easier when I was pregnant with Molly and Jack was not even speaking English yet. I didn't have to explain a single thing to him then. It just happened. I had no idea how easy I had it!
I can't WAIT until they see me breastfeeding.