The day we found out the baby (who I need a new nickname for) was a girl, Smarty asked very insistently how the baby got in Mama’s tummy. The last time he ventured into this subject he was asking me how he came out of my belly. He wondered if there was a “crack down the middle of my tummy.” When I told him that babies usually come out of vagin@s, he said “noooooooooooo!”. I said, “yes, in fact they do. That is where you came out.” He then started *crying*. Through his tears he yelled, “NO mommy not I did NOT come out of your vagin@, I didn’t.”
He cried more.
I felt like such an asshole. Obviously I was traumatizing my kid, but I wasn’t going to lie to him. I refuse. I picked him up and comforted him, and after a while he calmed down and asked, “is there a hole in your vagin@?” I mean seriously. He was 2 1/2. I was terrified this information was going to end up at preschool…how his mommy told him all about the hole in her vagin@. But I answered “yes” and grimaced, waiting for the meltdown but he just said “okay” then asked “did the hole get really big?” I nodded. He nodded. Apparently, if there is a hole, the entire thing is fine.
I digress. This time he was asking how the baby got in there. We tried the whole ‘the baby grew in there isn’t that cool’ avoidance answer, but that doesn’t work with him. So we looked at each other, shrugged, and told him. These conversations always happen at very random moments, like in the car. Like when I was driving alone with him a few months ago and he pipes up with “why don’t I have a daddy?” But I digress, again.
So we told him that women have eggs and men have sperm and the sperm has to fertilize the egg, in the woman’s body (this was not the time for an IVF lesson). Then the baby grows from that egg. The end, right? Nope.
Smarty: “how did you get the sperm in her body?”
Us: [you see I want to avoid the vagina talk with him] “Our friend Rocket Man helped us by giving us sperm.”
Smarty: “But where did you put it?”
Us: [holding breath] “In her vagina, then the sperm swam up into her uterus, which is in her tummy.”
Smarty: “Yeah but how did you carry the sperm to Mama?”
Us: “We put it in a cup.”
Smarty: “yeah, I bet the sperm would fit in there.”
[Long pause. maybe we’re done?]
Smarty: “where does the man’s sperm com from?”
Us: [Seriously? Haven’t we had enough difficult surprise questioning?] “Um, sperm comes from…balls.”
And it’s finally over.