I have this rule when it comes to my kids- If I don’t listen to the small stuff, they won’t tell me the big stuff. And I always tell them they can tell me anything. Good or bad, TELL ME. So I need to listen to everything. For example, I need to know how much damage each Pokemon card does apparently. It’s not important to me but it is to them, so I have to listen. Even when, sometimes, it feels like my ears are bleeding.
Apparently, tell me anything goes hand in hand with ask me anything. Last year, Aiden asked how exactly he got out of my belly. I was totally caught off guard and felt ill prepared to answer this question, but I ran with it. I told him that the doctor didn’t actually take him out of my belly like he thought. Instead, I pushed him out of my body.
“What do you mean? Pushed me? Pushed me out of where?”
How do you explain to a 7 year old, without going into too much detail or causing 20 years of nightmares, how they came out of your body? I told him that I pushed him out…… from the same place I pee. This is not anatomically correct, I know, but he was7 and it gave him a general idea of how he came to be in this world. I’ll never forget the look on his face. It took about 3.8 seconds for his face to transform. Distorted by the mental image of him as a newborn baby, being forced out of my body through such a tiny opening.
“YOU PUSHED ME OUT OF YOUR PENIS?????’” He looked like he might vomit. Then he remembered from our earlier conversations that, as a girl, I did not have a penis. “What do you have, again? A hole, right?”
Dear earth, open up and swallow me whole. Please.
You see, I’m a relatively private person. It was the way I was raised. We didn’t really talk about sex or anatomy in my family. At 38 years of age, all I have to do to end a conversation with my father is to say I got my period or have to go bra shopping. And my kids know I’m private too. They don’t see me without so much as my shirt off. Or even in a towel. If they happen to walk in and catch a back or side view of me in my ‘booby bra’, it’s like they hit the jackpot. Their mouth drops and they run out screaming to the other of what they saw 😉 But as private as I am, I want my kids to be comfortable with talking to me about everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Even things that make me squirm. And obviously they feel that level of comfort, based on the questions they ask.
So back to the question at hand….. What did I have again? I had to be quick. I couldn’t use the word hoo-haw or muff or cookie. No. He deserved the truth. Deep breath, Mommy, you GOT THIS. So I told my 7 year old child that I have a vagina. Moving on, who wants ice cream?!?!!
By this point he was so intrigued. I could see it on his face but he didn’t make a big deal of it, instead he apologized for the pain he must have caused me and asked if it hurt. “YES. Yes it hurt. A lot, buddy. I felt like my body was being ripped in half and set on fire. I screamed and cursed so much I had to write an apology letter to the nurses.” SHIT. That was too much. I could tell by his face. He sat in silence for a long time. Poor thing started apologizing profusely for the pain and suffering he caused me. Said he’d spend the rest of his life making it up to me. I laughed and told him he was worth it and tried to change the subject to prevent the nightmare that ensued. Oops.
Since then, Aiden will often bring up his knowledge of where he came from. One day I told him that because I carried him in my belly and felt him kick and heard his heartbeat, it meant I knew him the best. “Welllll, mommy, I didn’t actually come out of your belly. I came out of your crotch’. I laughed til I peed (thanks for that too, Aiden). He wasn’t wrong, I couldn’t argue that. Then today, out of the blue, he was trying to one up his brother and felt the fact that I pushed him out of my ‘pee hole’ instead of him coming out of my belly gave him the upper hand. Camryn was NOT impressed (mostly with me). The same look of terror spread across his face that I had seen on his brother a year earlier. “Mommy! How big is your hole?’ I laughed so hard I nearly drove the car off the road. How, how, how do we always end up back here? It’s bad enough I’m reminding them daily to stop saying all words relating to butt and poop but now pee hole and birth canal? Seriously. It’s too much. Ice cream, anyone?! Dear lord. Pikachu, Charizard…..all things Pokemon, please, let’s talk about that. I’ll never complain again. LOL
As if that wasn’t enough, I had to explain breastfeeding to my boys. It doesn’t seem like a natural thing to my kids as I never breastfed, so the whole concept is foreign to them. There was no medical reason why I couldn’t breastfeed, other than that it wasn’t good for my mental health, so I didn’t. Case closed (#fedisbest). I did what was best for me, and that involved a bottle. It was probably last year when Aiden, now old enough and curious enough, saw someone breastfeeding and asked what in the world was happening. I told him that mommies produce milk when they have a baby and can feed their babies from their ‘boobies’. Well, that was it. He was beside himself. Didn’t know WHAT to think. He stared at me, or maybe my chest, like I was either a cow or an alien. He was in shock. Mind. BLOWN. Naturally, he wanted to know if I could still do it. Was I still a milk making machine. HA! That’s a hard no, kid.
There’s never a dull moment with my kids. I’m not quite sure what else they will ask. Or when. Aiden will probably have his hand up the entire time during 5th grade health class. Or he’ll try to teach the class himself based on all the wisdom his mother has bestowed upon him. I can’t wait for the birds and bees talk. I need to be prepared for that one. I might as well get started now. I know there was a ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ book, but can someone tell me if there’s a book simply titled ‘HELP!?’ Or maybe Parenting for dummies? I bet that exists. I’ll start there.
Until then, ice cream anyone?!