Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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."

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