I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

A Day in the Life: The birds and the bees…

[Just a note: this was written originally in December of 2011, my kids are a bit older–and more inquisitive–now.]

I’ve mentioned before that I have two young children—both boys. The oldest just turned six and the younger one is nearing five, both to that prime age of questioning…

On a lazy afternoon in August, I was flipping over a grilled cheese when all of the sudden, my oldest son, Eddie, runs into the kitchen. “Mom, how does the egg get inside the penguin?”


“On the movie. The penguin has an egg inside of her. How did it get there.”

The grilled cheese that I had been holding on with my spatula—about to flip—falls back into the pan. “Eddie, can we talk about this later?”

“No. I want to know how the egg got there.”

“Right.” I sigh and put that grilled cheese on a plate, then put the next one in the skillet. As if out of nowhere, a thought occurs to me: he’s watching the penguin movie with his dad, why is he in here asking me how the egg got inside the penguin? Resuming one of those 1950s moms stances where the mother puts one hand on her hip and points at the child with whatever kitchen utensil she happens to have in her hand, I point at my son. “Eddie, why didn’t you ask your dad about this?”

“I did. He said to come ask you.”

Of course he did. I turn my attention back to the grilled cheese for a minute and take a deep, calming breath. What’s the big deal? I read and write books that have sex in them. So why is it so hard to speak about it? I glanced over to my son. There’s NO way I’m about to tell him all the details. Granted, I never actually had that particular conversation with my mother, which created an even more awkward situation later, but he’s not even in first grade yet. All the details are unnecessary, aren’t they? I cleared my throat. “Well see, son, it’s like this. The mommy and daddy penguin lie very, very close to each other.”

“Oh!” he said with an excited nod. Then leaves the kitchen.

That was it?!

A wave of relief passes over me and I go about making the rest of the grilled cheeses. All the while, I’m grinning, nodding, and inwardly congratulating myself on being the best mom—ever.

Five minutes later, I walk into the living room just in time to hear “mood music” followed by the penguins…uh…lying very close to one another.

Needless to say, my kids were very fascinated by the next ten minutes of March of the Penguins, then I spent the following 15 minutes answering even more questions.

Fast forward 4 months and arrive at Tuesday.

My boys’ school requires a physical for their new students and through a series of unfortunate events, yesterday was the earliest I could get us in. I’ll spare you one of the conversations we had to have in the office, but the other is relevant.

Up on the wall was a giant poster with several baby-in-womb and birthing diagrams. At first, his obsession was the baby and the rope.

“What’s the rope for?”

“That’s the umbilical chord. It’s how the baby gets it’s nutrients.”



“Oh, so the baby eats the rope?”

“No. Nutrients pass from the mom into the baby.”


“Very carefully.”

“Mom, why isn’t the baby wearing any clothes?”

“Because babies aren’t born with clothes.”

“Born. What does—” his eyes look to the right of the poster at another diagram— “What is that?!”

“Uh, why don’t we read a book?”

Shaking his head wildly, he starts pointing to the diagram. “What is that thing?”

“That’s the baby’s head.”

He points about an inch or so higher. “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure, it’s not labeled.” Note, I did NOT lie, there wasn’t a label and arrow.

“How is the baby coming out?”

Where is the doctor?! He really shouldn’t keep his patients waiting like this. “Well, the mom is pushing him out. Kind of like when you have to go to the bathroom.”

“Oh, she’s pooping him out.”

“More or less, sure.”

18 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: The birds and the bees…”

  1. LOL….luckily I’m still able to use the “you came out of my tummy” answer! I know it’s only a matter of time though.

    1. I can use that, too, with my youngest and it’s not a lie. He did. They used a very sharp knife and cut him out. The end. Fortunately, my older one hasn’t questioned the details of his birth yet.

  2. OMG! I loved this post! It reminded me of when my oldest son was 5 and I was pregnant with my third child. My son was very young when his little sister was born, so he didn’t remember it, but by age 5 he was very curious. I was very large, and when he asked me how his baby brother would come out, I had to really think about how I was going to explain without freaking him out. I didn’t get to say anything because he suddenly had an idea. He must have been thinking of the last time he had a stomach virus because he suddenly stopped. His eyes bugged out and he grabbed his throat and said “better you than me”! I still laugh when I think about it. My oldest son is now almost 17, and he cringes when I regale the story to him. :0

  3. Yet another positive argument for c-sections. However…on our way to visit a new baby, my daughter (3 at the time) asked if it hurt the mommy when they cut open her tummy. Before I could respond, my husband said, “they didn’t cut her tummy, she did it the natural way!” I was stunned, because I knew the next question. Sure enough, it came. He looked at me to answer, and I said, “you opened that discussion, you can answer it.” My daughter was afraid to go poo… 🙂

    1. LOL Ironically, after I had my first child, who was not an unscheduled c-section like my second– I was the one afraid to go (which, TMI here resulted in another trip to the hospital a week later for a different a whole different reason).

  4. Hi Rose –

    Your story took me back to when my 2 sons were even younger than yours. My husband had decided (knowing him he had decided even before the boys were born) that HIS children weren’t going to use ” a silly name” for their “parts” which ended up leading to them saying some things later that made you either want to blush or laugh.

    My 3 year old loved to dig holes int he sand at our little beach that was only 2 blocks away and his younger brother who was 1 was still in diapers and one day while I was changing him the little girl who was about 5 came over to see what I was doing – at of course the wrong time. She stared at him and said “What’s that” to which my older son said loudly “that’s his penis – all boys have them”!

    Ah, the innocence of the young! Needless to say she went running home calling out to her mother – “Mom, guess what I just saw”!

    1. Oh Jeanne! Your stories always crack me up!

      As I was writing one of my earlier books it was at the time I was teaching my youngest son to use the toilet and just out of habit (and I guess because I thought it was easier to say at a public bathroom) I referred to it every now and then as a pizzle. It only took a few times and the name caught and we ALL now call it that. Which really isn’t as bad as some names I’ve heard others call it.

      Too funny about the girl at the beach. I’m sure her mom was really pleased!

  5. And here you probably thought you were safe from that conversation because you have boys. I know that was one of the reasons I was glad to have all boys, but my almost 8 year old still insists on asking me all the baby questions. Of course he remembers me being pregnant with his younger brother and that is when all the questions began. Like Tami, I was “lucky” enough to just have to tell him about the doctor’s cutting me open to get all the babies out of me including him. Every great once in a while he will still say to me “I just don’t understand how the baby got in your tummy in the first place.” So far I have gotten away with telling him it’s just something special mommies and daddies do when they are married. My eleven year old twins have not asked any questions about babies, one of the blessings of autism I guess. Of course whenever my stomach is sticking out more than usual one of the twins will always ask if there is another baby in there, but since I get asked that about once a week from a stranger, what am I going to do?

    1. Sarah –

      My first son was 9 lbs. 9 oz. 4 weeks early and I only weighed 98 lbs. so fortunately they “birthed” by C-section! As he was growing up when his friends asked him when he was born he would tell them it wasn’t that he was “ripped from my womb”! (His younger brother who was also a C-section was much more discreet – I think it must be something about being the 1st born son and they are just born that way!

      I think I’ll blame my husband for that one as well (note who is also a first born son).

    2. Actually, I think boys are more curious because they don’t understand it as easily. I once overheard a teenage boy (while I was a teenager, too, this wasn’t just me hanging out with a bunch of teens) who was asking his girlfriend where babies come out. That was a little much. At some point they have to know, but I didn’t think 5/6 was the best time to tell my kids, mainly because neither of them have a filtering system on their mouths and know when not to talk about certain things. Who knows what kind of education they might have given their classmates.

  6. I had c-sections with all four of my sons, and I did tell them in detail about that. But to be fair, I also bluntly came out and told them how babies are conceived and vaginally born. I guess I have no shame. LOL I do add the disclaimer, they must be married first each time the topic comes up. Right now, they’re convinced they will never want to have sex, just as I did at their age, but like my mom told me, “You’ll change your mind when you’re older.” (My mom was blunt with me, too, so I think my reason for being so open about it stems from her.)

    All that aside, I got a good laugh out of this post. 😀

    1. LOL I always thought I’d be really straightforward with my kids and most times I am. Unfortunately, they have no real filtering systems on their mouths, and I’ve already gotten a few phone calls about drawing portraits of themselves–anatomically correct. Or discussing private things in a public setting.

      Hey, I wouldn’t be knocking their claims to never want to have sex. I recently saw one of those pictures on Facebook that said, “Forget a bumper sticker that says I’m the proud parent of an honor roll student. I’m just thrilled my child graduated and didn’t make me a grandma!” Or something like that.

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