I just had a conversation with Peanut and now I think I've swallowed my tongue. Luckily, I don't need it to blog. Okay, if anyone is reading this and is uncomfortable with "the birds and the bees" you might want to look away from your screen. Yes, seriously, that would be the conversation that I just had my son. Did you know he's not even four yet? Yeah. Now you know why I swallowed my tongue.
Let's go back in time a few days to when this all began IN. THE. GROCERY. STORE. Here we go...
Peanut: "Mom, do you remember when I was a tiny baby?"
Peanut: "I was inside your body?"
Peanut: "Well, how did I come out?"
Me: Leaning in very close to him in the peanut butter aisle. "Mommies have a special place in their body where babies come out."
Peanut: Loudly, not respecting the peanut butter aisle. "Well, what's it called?" We've never actually named any parts of the female body. He knows that he has a p*nis, that's what we call it, he's fond of talking about it, and we've kept it at that.
Me: It's not that I'm stumped, but I mean it's the peanut butter aisle! I can't say THAT in the peanut butter aisle! We want him to know anatomically correct names and not be ashamed of using them, but not NOW! not here! not at three! I continue to think frantically. He continues to ask loudly, "What is the special place called?"
Me: "We'll talk about it at home, buddy."
My reprieve was over at naptime today. He told me that he wanted to talk about tiny babies again. My face smiled at him. My insides screamed.
Peanut: "Where inside your body do babies grow?"
Me: "It's called a uterus. Can you say that?" (Of course he can.) He stops and thinks.
Peanut: "Yeah, but how does the baby come out?" When I asked how he thought it worked he of course thought that babies came out of bottoms.
Me: Much internal wailing and gnashing of teeth. "It's called a V----. Can you say that?" (Clear as a bell. Super. An octogenarian with hearing problems would be able to understand that.) See, this is where I think the conversation will stop. But no. My child has questions. Perfect.
Peanut: "Well, where is the V---?"
Me: Seriously? "You have a p*nis, but girls have V's and they're in the same place. (pause) Kind of." (I mean, we're REALLY done with the conversation now, right?" Nope. He's got more questions.
Peanut: "How does a baby get IN the uterus?"
Me: See my brain start smoking. Wait, what? No, please tell me that wasn't his question. I believe in correct terminology, fine, but this is getting out of control. I didn't really want to answer this and so I asked him what he thought. He thought that the mommy must have eaten the baby. I felt it important to clear that up. We talk about how tummies and bottoms are just for food and not for babies. "Mommies and Daddies make the baby together and it goes in the uterus."
Peanut: Looking very confused. "I don't think that's right. Grownups can't fit inside a body to put a baby there."
Me: RAHHHHH! "Okay, daddies have something called sp*rm inside their penis and that helps make the baby." As I'm speaking I'm trying desperately to end the conversation. Seriously. I'm drawing the line at telling him about sex. That just ain't gonna happen. I don't know what the actual age is that you tell a child about sex, but it should at least be after they don't believe in Santa Claus anymore, right?
Peanut: "Hey, mom?"
Me: I'm absolutely cringing inside, death is imminent. "Yes, buddy?"
Peanut: "Can I see a Vag--a?"
Me: That would be the point where I swallowed my tongue. (I did unswallow my tongue long enough to rehash a previous conversation about private parts of the body.)
Lord have mercy on my soul. And so then I hightailed myself over to Amazon to check things out. I had to know what kind of information was in books directed at his age. Did I give too much information? Is my son hyper-aware? Have I just damaged him for life? Am I damaged for life?
The jury is still out for me, but it turns out that most of the books that I saw went into the same level of "detail" so far as terms given without actual describing sex for the 3-5 year old bracket. And of course there were parents that said it was too much information, but there you have it. Peanut is (clearly) an inquisitive child and so I know we will discuss this again and again with him. Hopefully, we can keep it out of the grocery store though!
I also ordered this book for him/us. It's from a Christian perspective about how God made everyone different. It talks about the differences between girls and boys using correct terminology. It talks about people being different sizes and colors as well and it mentions that while lots of children join their families through birth that some children are adopted as well. (Peanut was able to tell me while we talked that Little Miss did not grow in my body, but she grew in the body of her first mom and he used that term which made me happy.) It's supposed to be very positive with a "you are special" vibe to it. Glossy pages with pictures of people of various elasticities, but going back to simple drawings for anatomy illustrations. It also goes into how a baby grows inside a body. At least that's what it's like per the reviews. We'll see when it arrives!
Also, for the overly concerned the reason that I used --s, @s, and *s is not because I'm so prudish, but because there are somethings that I don't want to show up in Google search results for....