It finally happened. My daughter put me in the line of fire the other night while out running an errand. Lately I’d been evading her “How are babies made” probing. Frankly, I hadn’t rehearsed any age-appropriate, honest response to The Sex Question.
“Mommy, how do babies actually get into the mother’s belly?” Nine year-old inquires nanoseconds after climbing into the car.
I was at a loss for words...for the first time ever.
“They’re made from the….ahhh… the joining of the….ahhh… mother and the father.” I nervously reply in an attempt to remain vague.
Suddenly, I divert the conversation toward the shrilling roar of a siren coming from an ambulance speeding by.
“I wonder if somebody got badly injured…did you see how fast it was going?” I question trying earnestly to engage her in a new topic.
“No, Mommy.” Girl squirms in blatant frustration.
Dialogue suspended as we enter toy store and daughter becomes distracted.
“Mommy, we need another boy Barbie because we only have one boy and like twenty girls!” Daughter exclaims.
“Wow, he must have a lot of girlfriends when you play…that’s no good.” I comment exploiting the natural segue way to bring closure to prior inquisition.
“I know, boys that are with a lot of different girls aren’t sincere.” Mature nine year-old confirms.
“You know, boys like that just like to “kiss and hug” them all and brag to their friends; but they don’t really care about the girls.” I add thoughtfully.
“Yeah…so, Mommy, how did you know Papi wasn’t like that and why did you marry him?" Girl presses on.
“Papi wasn’t with lots of girls when I met him and he showed me he truly cared about Me and my dreams, ….so that is how I knew he truly loved me for who I Was.” I reminisce proudly.
Minutes later we’re back in the car on way home.
“So, Mommy, how EXACTLY do the mother and father unite to get the baby in her stomach?” Relentless nine year-old asks.
I breathe in deeply. My mind goes blank and from the emptiness plead silently with the Universe to bestow an answer… QUICKLY. I'm not prepared to tell her a “kid-friendly abridged version of the truth”- knowing well and good that whatever I confess will later be conveyed to her four younger siblings.
Thankfully, answer arrives in the “nick of time.”
“Well, My Love, the mother and father kiss and hug alot and after their bodies blend together, they decide to make a baby. Then part of the father combines with the mother and the tiny creature is planted in the mommy’s belly.” I assert then wait with bated breath hoping that NOW we’re done.
Answer accepted victoriously.
“Oh, Mama, so you and Papi did that to make US? Well, I’m not going to do that until I meet a boy that really loves me and only after we’re married a few years!” Big grin.
“I think when we play Barbies from now on, I’ll make the boys brothers to all the girls. I don’t like them kissing and hugging so much because then we’ll have lots of Barbie babies everywhere, right Mommy?” Daughter chuckles while confidently defining her newfound position.
Overall, Round One was a success and hopefully my explanation will endure and pacify my curious children until a more in-depth account is demanded later on.
When Round Two approaches, I plan on being ready with well-versed contemplative responses!
Note to self: Let this anecdote serve as documented evidence to disclose when my child becomes a teenager and has a change of heart!