“Mummy, where do babies come from?!?”
Roughly speaking, I have spent thirty six months of the past eight years being pregnant. So, not surprisingly, the question of ‘where do babies come from’ has popped up more than a few times. Now, my husband often calls me ‘honest eddy’ (I’m not sure where the ‘eddy’ bit comes from but there you go!) This is due to the fact that I always try to give my sons an honest answer when they ask me a question.
This particular question though is probably up there with the most difficult a parent must deal with. My eldest was just seventeen months old when I gave birth to my second son so I got off scot free this time as he was far too young to question how this tiny little thing that looked a lot like him had suddenly appeared. Baby number three was a different story though! Now aged two and three, my two eldest were obviously wondering how this little miracle had happened. I had no planned speeches on how babies were made but I did know what I wasn’t going to tell them……
- A stork brought them
- I found them under a gooseberry bush
- I bought them from the baby shop
- They just appeared in mummy’s tummy and then popped out through my belly button!
So, without really giving it much thought I told them that mummy and daddy had a special cuddle and it made a baby. It was the truth. I hadn’t made anything up that they could later accuse me of misleading them with. I pride myself in being honest with my kids as believe that if I am honest with them now they will show me the same respect with the truth when they are older – especially in those oh so worrying teenage years! (I can only imagine the direction my blog posts will be taking when I have a house full of teenage boys!!!)
The ‘special cuddle’ explanation wasn’t without its difficulties however. It was followed up with questions such as…. ‘So, how does the special cuddle go mum?’ ‘Can two boys do a special cuddle mum?’ ‘Can I watch you and daddy do the special cuddle mum?’ There are times when I thought that the ‘gooseberry bush’ explanation probably should have been the one to go with! But all I have said in response is, ‘you don’t need to know the exact details yet. I will tell you when you are older but for now, just be happy to know a lot more about it than many kids your age.’
Kids love to feel that they know more than their peers so this line is a winner every time! The day is going to come all too soon when I do have to give them the gory details. But until that day comes I can feel content that they can’t accuse me of spinning them a yarn all these years. Kids aren’t stupid. Give an abbreviated version of the truth in an age appropriate way and you can’t go wrong.
Having said that, an innocent trip to the RSPCA on Wednesday did open a whole new can of worms when my seven year old read a sign about spaying cats. He looked at the two cute cats in the picture and slowly (and loudly to show off his reading ability to the volunteers!) read out ‘….cats can’t use condoms!’ He paused for a few seconds digesting this new found word and then shouted out along the corridor. ‘Mum, what’s a condom?!?’ Now, imagine me trying to find the age appropriate words to explain that one in my ‘honest eddy’ way!