Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reproduction for Preschoolers, Part 2

I was becoming a little concerned that Will didn't seem at all curious about how the baby would get out of my belly. I imagine it would be that, if nothing else, that I would wonder about if my mother was getting bigger by the day and somehow that belly was to transform into a living, breathing baby.

So I was relieved more than anything when she finally asked.

"How is that baby going to get out of there?"

"It's actually very interesting," I began.

"Will it hatch out of your belly like a giant egg?!"

That was logical. I knew Will must have come up with her own explanation.

"Um, no. Actually it will come out of my vagina. The baby's head is right here, and when it is ready, it will come down a tunnel and out. Of my vagina."

Will looked at me, her eyes wide.

"But what about your pants and underwear?"

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

As the weeks and now days count down to the birth, Will's concerns have remained focused.

"When it's time for that baby to come out, you need to get your pants and underwear off really fast!"

"But Mama, when the baby comes out, won't it fall on the floor?" (I explained that the midwives' job was to catch the baby so it didn't, in fact, fall.)

"When the baby wants to come out, get to the hospital, and then get your pants and underwear off right away!"

Reproduction for Preschoolers, Part 1

As my belly got bigger, I started waiting. I knew the question would come sooner or later: how will that baby get out of there?

But it was as if she had it all figured out in her 3 year old brain. Will showed no interest in how the baby would leave its current environment and join us in ours. She seemed to already have a theory she was comfortable with as the weeks went by.

She did need clarification on one little thing.

"How did that baby get in there?"

Her question took me by surprise as we were waking up one morning. Before I could answer, she got distracted by something and I took refuge in the Internet. ("explaining pregnancy to a preschooler" "preschooler asking how baby got in there" "reproduction for precocious 3 year olds" "HELP!!")

Will is quite nosey by nature, so I was convinced that a discussion of the "egg and seed" (which I had to practice saying with a straight face) was not going to be enough. But by god, I was ready, and of course, she waited for weeks before asking me again.

"Mama, how did that baby get in there?"

"It's actually very interesting," I began. "You see, the mommy has an egg, and the Daddy has a seed. And when the Daddy gives the seed to the mommy . . ."

Will's eyes lit up. "Then the baby grows and grows!"

"That's right!" I waited for her to ask where the egg and seed were kept, or how exactly the Daddy made the transfer.

She had other things to think about. "I wonder if the baby liked being a seed!"

"I have no idea."