“You won’t believe what your son just asked me,” Tracey said to me.
Actually I had an idea but I wasn’t letting on.
It all stems from a conversation I had last night with my neighbour about something her kids are always saying.
“Show me where we came out of your tummy again!” they’ll demand of her.
Fortunately, she’s had two C-sections so it’s just a matter of lifting her blouse to show off her scar. “I always wanted natural births, but it’s times like these I’m happy things turned out the way they did,” she confided to me.
Traditionally, this isn’t a topic our kids bring up much but today I thought I’d jump the gun and see how things were looking. After all, with it being such a hot topic next door it’s only a matter of time before it comes up anyway. I asked Miss5 where she thought babies come from.
“Mummy’s tummy,” she correctly answered.
“And where do they come out?” I asked her.
She patted her tummy and said, “From the tummy.”
“Quite right,” I told her. “And how do babies get in there?”
“Excellent,” I assured her.
“That’s not right,” said Miss9 from across the room.
“What do you think the answers are?” I walked over to where she was reading on the bed. “And maybe you better whisper in my ear,” I added.
Thirty seconds later she was telling Miss5 she knew the real answers, thank you very much.
“You both got them exactly right,” I said, prudently leaving the room before they started asking me stuff.
The trouble with little kids knowing the answers to big questions is they aren’t necessarily discreet about where they bring it up, or who they impart this information to.
“I know where your baby will come out,” the neighbour’s kids like to say to pregnant women at the supermarket.
New parents-to-be are funny, aren’t they? So innocent and full of hope. So well rested and knowledgeable about handling kids. And so naive. I like to discreetly snicker at new parents-to-be when they tut-tut some poor woman whose child in lying on their stomach in Coles thrashing about because they want a bag of lollies. Until you’ve been there you have no idea.
When we get a screamer at the bank I usually don’t immediately notice. I’m so good at turning off to that nonsense at home. I know what you’re thinking – it’s a gift. So when I do notice I like to offer my support to the parent.
“Oh, come on,” I’ll say loudly to the screaming child. “You can yell better than that. Put your heart into it.”
Usually they’re so shocked at being spoken to by a stranger they clam up. Quite often the parent is also so shocked they don’t speak either.
So when my neighbour’s kids approach a woman with a bulging belly in the supermarket it’s interesting to note their varied responses to a four and five year old stating they’ve got a pretty good idea about how things work. Some handle it well, some don’t know where to look and one lady left her groceries at the checkout and shuffled away just as quick as her swollen ankles would carry her.
“Mind you,” said our neighbour, “it’ s all very funny because I know what their answer is. I probably wouldn’t be laughing if I’d given birth naturally and they were going to say vagina.”
Walking out of the girls’ room I spotted Master7 playing at the dinning table so I asked him about babies as well. He wasn’t as confident as Miss5 and Miss9 but he still felt he had a handle on things.
“Dad puts the pieces together,” he told me. He was playing with Lego at the time and I suspect this might have been influencing his answer. “Then puts them inside mummy and they come out the bum crack. Am I right?” he wanted to know.
“You should ask your mother,” I suggested.
And he did.
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