We have had the penis and vagina talk: boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. My older boy knows that babies grow in mommy’s tummies. However, he had never inquired about how the baby got into or out of mommy’s tummy. I was content to leave those details out of the picture.
At 6 ½ he asked the direct question: how do babies get out? Of course, it came at a random time and out of the blue. So, although I intended to give him a proper answer I needed to buy a few initial minutes of time. My first response was therefore, “Well, how do you think they get out?””
He looked at me. I could see him thinking, and then he pointed to the front of his pants. “You think babies come out of the penis?” I asked him, meanwhile my brain was going wow, careful with this line of questioning because we are on shaky ground. “No,” he said, “the vagina.”
Okay, I thought to myself. This isn’t too bad. It seems a bit young for this question but I’d rather he asks me or his dad. So, I explained that there is a special place in a mommy’s tummy for a baby to grow, and there is a tube for the baby to slide down and come out the vagina (I was of course aiming for an age appropriate but honest answer). However, I wasn’t expecting the next question: “Is it big?” He asked with a slight pause. “Is it big? How does the baby not get squished?” With a deep breath I responded as best I could. “The body stretches.”
A few minutes passed while he thought about this, and I thought his mind had moved on. Just when I least expected it he asked, “Does it hurt? You don’t feel it right?” Another deep breath on my part, “Yes, a mommy feels it, and it does hurt.”
Just when I thought he could not surprise me anymore he does just that! “You love me though, right?”
How do these little minds work? Anyway, later I told my husband about this enlightening conversation. My husband’s response summed up my thoughts as well. “Where does he come up with this stuff? Does he save it all up for bedtime?”
My final thought on this particular parenting adventure is that I am thankful that he did not ask how a baby gets in mommy’s tummy! I’m not ready for that conversation.
By Shari Marshall – 2018