For as long as I possibly could, I avoided any discussion of the birds and bees with my kids. The thought of having to explain babies, how they got in there, and the horror of how they get out, made me want to grab a gin and tonic and fan myself furiously.
I had been fairly lucky and so far have only had to tell the kids that babies came from a cabbage patch by the power of Jesus. Okay, maybe not the cabbage patch part, but really, I think kids would be more likely to believe that vegetables bring babies than what really happens.
Kids: It comes from where? And it got there how? (psychologically scarring thoughts ensue)
Me: Vegetables. Just think of the vegetables.
Then, one awful night, my world came crashing down around my ears. It all started innocently enough, with a bedtime story about some secret agents sent to heal my son’s stomach ache. When they reached his stomach, my daughter pipes up with, “And I came out of your tummy! They cut you open and I came out.”
I tried to casually explain that I did not have her cut out of my stomach, but that she had been born naturally.
“How did I come out?” she asks innocently.
“Doctors helped you come out,” I replied as vaguely as possible.
“But, HOW?” she persists.
There was no way out of this. She would hound me until I gave in. I could avoid her, but I know she would sneak up on me when I was weakest, and ask, “How did I get out of your body?”
I made a daring decision, to tell them the truth. Most of it anyway.
Me: Okay, guys. There are three holes.
Kids: <Giggling already>
Me: There’s the pee hole and the poop hole.
Kids: <Laughing uncontrollably> Mommy said pee hole! And poop hole! <snicker, snort>
Me: And that’s where boys end. They just have the two holes.
Girl: You have two holes!
Me: Girls have three holes. The pee hole, the poop hole, and the baby hole.
Boy: Wait. Where’s the baby hole?
Me: It’s between the pee hole and the poop hole.
Girl: You pooped me out of your butt hole?
Me: No. You came out of the baby hole. There’s the bladder, which connects to the pee hole, your colon which connects to the poop hole…
Then I start thinking to myself… I really need to study anatomy. Is that even right?
Me (continuing): …and the uterus leads to the baby hole.
Girl: What’s a uterus?
Me: Oh, Lord. Okay, it’s where the baby lives until it’s time to come out.
Boy: <snickering> You have a uterus! <snort>
Girl: Three holes! What?!
Me: Yes. Boys have two, girls have three.
Boy: Ha! I only have two!
Girl: But mommy had me and that’s why she has the jelly now.
The jelly is what The Girl calls my period. She thinks it’s because I gave birth. I am not ready to open that can of worms yet.
I stopped there, and tried to steer us all back to the story. Finally, the laughing subsided and I wrapped up the tale of the secret agents. But, obviously the big tale of the night was that of the three holes. I only hope it wasn’t nearly as scarring to them as it was to me.