Friday, August 15, 2008

Mommy, How do you make a baby?

This question has been in the works for a long time coming.

When Angel first learned that my sister-in-law was pregnant (nearly 2 years ago, so Angel was just under 2 years old!!) she furrowed her brow and asked, "Mommy, Aunt Niesha didn't eat the baby, did she?" "No...." "How did it get in her tummy then?" "Heavenly Father put it there." That seemed to satisfy her under-2-year-old brain and I thought we were good.

Over the past few weeks, though, it has been coming up with increasing frequency, partially because she is 3 going on 15, partially because she is very excited about her new baby sister growing within my increasingly large belly.

Lately she has been very interested in how things (ie cars, trains, etc.) work and how EVERYTHING is made. This led to a discussion on man-made things, and how people cannot make living things ("But Heavenly Father is a person" she said, so we went into how He and Jesus are the only 'people' who can create life, etc....). We've also been reading books on animal lifestyles, which talk about how a mother lays eggs - "Where do the eggs come from?" - and the father fertilizes them - "What does fertilize mean?"

So today, completely out of the blue, she asks "Mommy, how do they make babies?" "Who" I ask, stalling. "Heavenly Father and mommies and daddies." "Uh..." I tried to repeat the same "Heavenly Father puts it in the mommy's tummy and it grows until it's ready to be born" explanation that worked so well before, but that didn't work this time. I've been trying to prepare for this question but I truly didn't expect her to be quite so curious at this early age. I finally answered that when a mommy and daddy love eachother, they get married and then, at the right time, they each put a special little part of their own body together and then Heavenly Father puts a spirit into it, and it all goes into the mommy's tummy to grow.

"How does the baby come out when it's big enough?" "The mommy pushes it, really hard." At least that answer worked for now.

So, I'd love to hear, how have you parents handled these situations? We want to be open and honest with our children - but not TOO open at too young of an age.


Anonymous said...

Wow. It must be the medical interest of her parents that causes the inquistiveness! We didn't have to deal with that much that young.

I think what you've said so far is great. But you're right - how much do you really want to say to someone so young? I might try, when it comes up again and your answers aren't satisfactory, saying that as we get older we get to do and know more and more things. Kids seem to understand that idea, and I recall a roommate of mine in college saying that her mother would tell her, "There are things (about this subject) that I will tell you when you're engaged, but I'm not going into the details right now."

Then again, you could use the line from the movie "Love Comes Softly", where the pregnant stepmom says to her inquisitive stepdaughter, "It spills over." Stepgdaughter says, "What spills over." Flustered stepmom says, "It. You know, the love." Yep, pretty much that's what happens.

Good luck with all that Dr. Mom. Looks like years of fun lie ahead for you!

Jennie said...

She is very inquisitive! Good job on your explanation. We pretty much said the same thing to Brynlee.

Ma Fitz said...

Hmm. I'm not sure how come that showed up as a comment from Mr. Bishop, but it really was from me. I don't recall logging in under his name - Google is playing nasty tricks I guess.

Just wanted to clarify that!

Natalie said...

My comment is similar to the first comment. While I don't think you should lie, I think it's perfectly acceptable to tell your kids that there are some things they can know more about or understand better when they get older.