By Mr. Lady from Whiskey In My Sippy Cup
The best way to get your kids to stop asking you where babies come from is to let them play catcher at the birth of their sister when they are 7 1/2. No joke. The will never so much as ask you about corn syrup again after that. They may ask you about good therapists in your neighborhood, however.
If that is slightly too drastic a measure to take, what with that whole "person clawing its way out of you" and "impending college tuition" and what-not, there are easier ways to tell your kids about where babies come from. You know, S-E-X. Shhhh.
How you talk about "it" (snicker, IT) (yes, I am 12, why do you ask?) depends greatly upon the age of your child when the ask. If they are 2, and they are asking because they just saw daddy doing what looked like a great big no-no to you while they were SUPPOSED to be taking a bleeping nap already, the answer is always, "Daddy is bouncing on momma! You like to bounce! Do you want to bounce on momma, too?" And then daddy and baby can bounce on you while you die a slow, painful, horrible death under your covers. Don’t worry; your kid will think your horror-laden sobs are squeals of PURE GLEE, and baby will laugh almost as heartily as daddy does. ALMOST.
If your child is 4, and you are in the first stretch of a several-hour long car trip with no escape routes rest stops, and that child waits until there is nothing on the radio and no distractions aside from the errant tumbleweed blowing around out in the rolling distance to ask you, you have two choices. The first one, naturally, is ’stop the car and run for it’. Not much fun, especially in your nice shoes. Your other choice is to tell them. You can tell them the abridged, well thought-out, rehearsed version. "Well, buttercup, mommas and daddies love each other very much, and when you love someone like that, your love becomes magic and that magic becomes a baby in momma’s tummy! Isn’t that wonderful?" To which your 4 year old will reply, "Whatever, mawwwm. That doesn’t sound right." And then you have to start over, and then you’ll be cranky and uncomfortable, so I’d recommend just cutting to the chase. Tell ‘em. Tell him every nitty-gritty little last detail. Well, except the part about it being totally awesome; skip that for sure. If you leave that out, the whole thing sounds rather gross and slightly painful. Really, stop and think about it for a second. Pretend you’re 4. I’ll wait….See? I’m totally right. So, you tell them the whole thing, and then you just wait. In a minute, maybe two, they will look at your reflection in the rear view mirror, nod understandingly, and say, "Well, okay then. Hey, is that a red truck? COOL!"
You can tell them when they are 4 because you can then go home, put them in front of the tv for 2 hours, go do exactly what you just explained to them, and by the time dinner is ready you’ll feel significantly better and they will have almost totally forgotten all about it. Ah, the power of technology. Don’t ever say The Wonder Pets didn’t do any good for the world.
Now, if they’re 7 and you totally unexpectedly find yourself in a delicate way after your jerk of a husband swore with God as his witness that he was done making you stretch and bloat and eat chocolate dipped pickles for 2/3 of a year simply to perpetuate HIS family’s name and you don’t even like his last name anyway and dammit it, why didn’t you keep your maiden name, it was so pretty and looked amazing in cursive…
Where was I?
Oh, um, yeah. So, your kid is old enough to know better, and you or someone you know is obviously up to whatever it is makes babies. What do you tell them? If you tell them nothing, they’re just going to ask their friends and that one kid at school, you know the one , he’s going to tell your kid. You don’t want that. NO YOU DON’T. That is not your Get Out Of Jail Free Card, that is your Get Grandchildren Before You Retire Card. This is just one of those times in your life when you’ve got to suck it up. You HAVE to tell him. I would personally recommend laying it out, unemotionally, and unspecifically. Something like this:
"So, moms have half the baby stuff in their wombs, which is like a hotel for babies right here. (points) Dads have the other half in their bodies. Down there. (Points. Quickly. Moves on.) (Unless you need a tension breaker, in which case you just say, "in their balls" and everyone has a nice, long, nervous giggle.) To make a baby, dads have to put their half of the baby stuff into the moms, and then it all mixes up. It’s like chemistry. The genes come together and they grow and divide and blah blah blah….."
The trick is to focus on the actual, natural progression of the growth of the fetus, and not so much the ‘how it GOT there.’ Why? Because it makes sense; dad puts loads of things in other things. He puts oil in the car, he puts the trash in the cans, he puts his clothes in the hamper (theoretically), and he puts your really expensive eye cream you had to order from Australia in the trash because you ONCE forgot to put it away and he assumed it was empty.
And then, next Christmas, when crazy drunk Uncle Lee comes to stay for the weekend, he can "accidentally" leave out one of his Playboy’s, and you’ll never, ever need to have this conversation again.
Of course, if you have a little girl, you just ground her until she’s 30, and it will all be okay.
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