At a recent family dinner, my 6 year-old son asked my pregnant sister: “How is that baby going to come out of you?”
We all stared at each other, probably thinking the same things: Is he old enough to be told the truth? Who is going to answer this? Is there a Spongebob video I can rent that might explain this better than I can? (Okay, that last one was probably just me. And probably not an option. I mean, that Sandy seems a little frisky, but sometimes I can’t even tell if Spongebob is a boy or a girl.)
It turns out my 8 year-old nephew was faster than us all. Before I could say “Mommy’s special place,” he was on the floor with his legs in the air, grunting and giving birth to a teddy bear. My son looked at me and said, “No way. How does that even work? Please tell me I came out of your belly.”
Me: “Umm, no… you didn’t. You came out between my legs, just like that lovely demonstration we just saw.”
My Mother: “Don’t tell him that! It’s nothing like that! He’s going to think you give birth in the living room!”
My Sister: “Listen, I’m gonna tell you the truth. You see, a woman has three holes—“
Me: “Noooooooo! Don’t listen to her! I will show you what happens. Nobody move!”
Here’s the thing: While I appreciate science (and honesty), I did not need my kindergartener going to school and asking people how many “holes” they had on their body. (I was still trying to recover from the day he told his teacher I was cranky once a month because I needed ‘tamp-ins’.) I figured with a few items laying around the kitchen, I could get the general idea across without getting into the details. (What can I say? I like props. When my brother was 10, I gave him The Talk at our kitchen table using a bottle of Tylenol and an empty big-gulp-sized Gatorade bottle.**)
When I held up a funnel and a peach and said, “Now what do you think will happen when I try to shove a peach through this little opening?” my mother tackled me so fast I lost my breath.
Me: “What the heck, lady?! What kind of vitamins are you taking these days?”
Kiddo: “MOMMY! You’re ruining this! Stop talking. Auntie, please continue. You were talking about holes?”
Sister: “Hmm… Maybe the baby will come out of my belly. That’s always a possibility. Hey, maybe I can ask for a C-section!”
Kiddo: “Auntie, a ‘C’ is not a good grade. I’m really worried about this. Also, if the baby comes out between your legs, are you worried it might fall out while you’re going to the bathroom?”
Me: “Huh. You know what would help to explain that? A PEACH IN A FUNNEL!”
In the end, it was my son who put a stop to the madness by admitting his biggest concern: Whether or not my sister would get hurt while giving birth. Clearly, he’s more mature than us all– which means the Tic-Tacs and candy cigarettes I had lined up for his ‘Just Say No to Drugs’ speech might have to be reconsidered.
**There may have also been a reference to “putting the Power Tool in the Tool Shed.”.