The Craftiviston Thursday, June 17, 2010
Well, it finally happened. My daughter asked me where babies come from, which she has been asking for awhile. I answered with my usual "they come from mommies tummies". Well this time it didn't work. She wanted more information. And I was totally unprepared.
I remember back when I was little and I asked my mother about the birds and the bees. She turned red in the face and promptly went out and bought me a book. This particular book, I can't remember the name of it for the life of me, spent a great deal of time talking about belly buttons and then it showed a picture of a half naked man and woman floating away into the sky. For years I was sure that one of the main reasons for roofs (aside from keeping out rain and snow) was to keep people from floating into the cosmos during sex.
Well I was bound and determined to give my kids a more realistic idea of that particular aspect of life. Our conversation went something like this:
Oldest: "Mom, did you eat the baby before he was born?"
Oldest: "You said the baby was in your tummy. Did you eat him?"
Me: *quiet chuckle* "No, I didn't eat him."
Oldest: "Well, then how did he get in there?"
Oldest: "Where do babies come from, anyways."
Me: "They come from mommies tummies." (oh please, oh please, oh please stop the humanity)
Oldest: "Yes, but how do they get in there, what do daddy's have to do with it all?"
Me: (oh dear God, is there a hole I can crawl into...) "Well, babies come from eggs."
Oldest: "Like chicken eggs?"
Me: "Well...sort of. Only much, much smaller and without the shell."
Oldest: "So you ate a baby egg?"
Me: "No, no these eggs are already inside of women."
Oldest: "How do they hatch?"
Me: "They don't. I mean, not exactly."
Oldest: *staring intently waiting for more information
Me: "Well, see, these eggs sort of turn into babies."
Oldest: "But how do they turn into babies?"
Me: (why don't houses come with escape hatches...)
Oldest: "Don't daddies have to do anything?"
Me: *turns to DH* "Help"
DH: *shaking head* "She's too young."
Me: "She's almost seven. Plus they say that you should tell them these things when they start to ask..."
DH: *still shaking his head* "Too young"
Me: (panic, panic, panic) "Well, ok, see, daddies have something called sperm (insert embarrassed groan from DH here) and the sperm fertilize the egg and then it turns into a baby."
Oldest: *looking confused* "Fertilize it?"
Me: "Uh, well yeah. See everybody has 46 pairs of chromosomes and the sperm contains half of those chromosomes."
Me: "Chromosomes. Uh...chromosomes are made up of genes."
Oldest: "Like the jeans you wear?"
Me: "Well...no. These are the genes that decide what color eyes you will have and what color hair you'll have."
Oldest: "How do they do that?"
Me: "Well genes are made up of something called DNA and...."
Me: "DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid..." (abort, abort, abort, this ship is crashing!)
Oldest: *looks at me like I just took the short bus from Mars*
Me: "Ok, you know what we're going to have to continue this conversation later. I have to run out to the store, there's this book that I have to pick up."
So that was a disaster. I went from babies in mommies tummies to trying to explain chromosomes and deoxyribonucleic acids to a six year old. I did manage to find a decent book that was accurate without being waaay too graphic or over her head at the library and it didn't show anyone floating off on clouds into outerspace surrounded by glitter. For the next two, I'm just going to skip the middle man and head straight to the library.