So Ethan just asked me the other day, “Mommy, how did I come out of your tummy?” These teachable moments already bit me in the ass when my son questioned me about Elvis Presley, so I was apprehensive on this one. But I don’t ever want to lie to my child. However, it may be a little too soon to tell him the truth about this one. I mean, he came out of my vagina. That’s crazy to a 4-yr-old. Unfathomable even. Perhaps I should say he was cut out of my tummy? That’s scary and gross though. Do I say he just jumped right out of my stomach? That’s weird. I literally had less than 20 seconds to figure out my strategy and since it all sounded ridiculous, I went with the truth…
“Mommy, how did I come out of your tummy?”
“I pushed you out,” I said thinking I could be vague.
“Pushed me out with your hands?”
“No, I pushed you out of my vagina,” I replied too fast.
“What’s a vagina?”
TOO SOON I thought and said, “I pushed you out of my pee-pee.”
“With your hands?!!” he was so confused and I was screwed.
“No, I just pushed you out of my pee-pee sorta like when you push out your poo-poo.”
“What?! Haha! NOOO!?!” he laughed hysterically.
“Yes! I pushed you right out of my pee-pee!” and I gave him my serious face and a nod.
“NOOOO Mommy. Ahaha! You’re SO FUNNY!” he thrust his head back in laughter.
“You got me…JUST kidding! You were cut out of my tummy and jumped right out! Ya.”
“That’s what I thought Mom! You’re silly.”
How much can I reveal to my little one and when? There is a fine line. That night when I was asked how Ethan came out of my tummy, I concluded that everything can be explained in a toddler-like-fashion, but in the right setting (when I am not caught off guard and have time to THINK of a constructive way to teach).
But then, just last week my son surprised me with THIS question: “Mommy, how did you and Daddy make me?” And this is how I responded (click to read another teachable moment).