Recently my 5-year old has enjoyed hearing stories about when I was pregnant with him. He knows that he “grew in my belly” and he thinks it’s absolutely hilarious that he used to kick and punch me from the inside. He is fascinated when I tell him that I used to see his little fists and elbows poking through my tummy. So yesterday afternoon, driving home from Pre-K, the inevitable question arose.
“Mommy, how did I get out of your tummy?”
Dude. I got this.
“Well, honey, Daddy and I went to the hospital and the doctor took you out, then we went home and ohmygod you were so cute and we used to wrap you up in a little….”
He interrupted. “No. But HOW did the Doctor get me out? HOW did I get out of your tummy?”
Oh God, no.
I was not prepared for this.
I started to sweat.
I cursed myself for not initially going with the stork story. I needed more time to think. I needed to consult with my mommy friends, do some internet research, read a few books. Could I ask him to please standby and I’ll get back to him at a later date (preferably 16-17 years from now)? Would he believe the doctor waved a magical wand? Fairy dust? Yeah yeah, that’s it. It was magic Jacky.
But it wasn’t magic. Nor did a stork drop him off at my doorstep (which would have been awesome by the way, and have saved me a ton of pain and trauma).
So, I took a deep breath and said it.
I said the following words to my 5-year old:
A baby comes out of a woman’s vagina.
(Yes, he knows what a vagina is.)
He burst out laughing.
“Yes, Jacky, for real.”
He laughed again.
Then, quietly, “Hey Mom…?”
Ok, bring it on baby, we’ve gone this far, I suppose there’s no turning back now. Go ahead, son, ask me whatever you want.
“Can I have a marshmallow when we get home?”
I exhaled and with a huge relief said, “No you may not.” And the standard argument commenced. We settled on a deal of a half a banana for a marshmallow.
And I started breathing normally again.
Was that statement too much for my 5-year old? Not age appropriate? Did I scar him emotionally? I don’t know. Telling the truth just felt like the right thing to do at that moment. But for the love of god Jack, please do not ask me how a baby gets into a mommy’s belly, because I will totally go with the magic wand story on that one.