Being a seasoned mother now, and having lived through my firstborn asking me scary questions like that, I calmly answered: "Remember - you grew in my tummy before you were born.".
Whew! That answer totally satisfied her and I didn't have to tell her anything more than that.
But hearing her ask me that question brought back the memories I am about to share with you.
Since Elizabeth was the first baby we had.....she got to live through me being pregnant with Alexandra. And, she was 3 1/2 by the time Alexandra was born, so she was old enough to understand a few things:
- There was a baby growing inside Mommy.
- It got there somehow.
- It was coming out someday.
And then, a few weeks before I was due, we were in the car, driving to the babysitter's house and I heard this from the back of the car: "Mommy, I just don't know how that baby is going to get out of you."
So, becuase I wanted to be the kind of mother who told her kid the truth (yes, I was naive and stupid - believe me, I know better now and have no qualms about lying - and often), I said: "Well......there's a spot on your body where the baby comes out of. It's sort of near where you go potty."
Now, before you go judging me, remember some of the crazy things you've told your kids. Like I said, I just wanted to be truthful! What's wrong with that?
Anyway, after I told her that, this is what I heard from the backseat: NOTHING.
Well......that may have been a bit to much information for a little kid. I thought to myself: "Self.....try a different approach next time, OK?".
I ended up having a c section when Alexandra was born, so fortunately, there was no more talk about how babies come out of their mommies. Thank goodness! Well, except for the time I overheard her telling Alexandra that when babies are born by "c session" it means that they're ripped out of their mommies tummies. But that's another story.
Right. No more babies coming out of their mommies talk. Until that day in the laundry detergent aisle in Meijer.
There we were. Near the liquid Tide. Elizabeth was sitting in the little seat area on the cart, facing me. There were a lot of people near us, because it was a Saturday,......sorry for all the details, but you know how you remember a lot of "stuff" surrounding important moments - like what you were wearing when you met your husband for the first time? Well, that's how this moment was. I remember it all.
Anyway. Near the Tide. Elizabeth and I are chatting along and all of a sudden, she says, pretty loudly: "Mommy, how do babies get inside their mommies tummies?".
Well. First off, I have to mention that all of the people near us stopped to listen. What is this poor mother going to say to her kid? Then, remembering our earlier discussion of how babies come out of their mommies, I took my time answering. I decided that a toned down truth might work. So I started with: "Well, in order to have a baby, you need a mommy and a daddy....."
To which Elizabeth said "OK! OK!" and sort of waved her hands at me as if to say "that's enough!".
I asked if she wanted to hear anymore and she said "NO". I followed up with something about being able to ask me anything anytime and if she had any questions she should ask me.
And, that my friends, is the last time Elizabeth has asked me anything having to do with where babies come from.
I'm pretty sure that we're going to be coming back to this - she's 7 years old now and has got to be hearing things at school. I ask her every once in a while if she's heard anything she wants to ask me about, but she always looks at me like I'm a little weird and says No. Am I supposed to just tell her even if she hasn't expressed any curiosity? Do I wait for her to ask? Do I worry that she'll tell Alexandra everything and then Alexnadra will tell everyone else in the world because she can't keep anything to herself and all the parents at her school will be mad at me because my kid tells their kids about where babies come from?
So confusing, this parenting thing!