Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Having THE Talk... well, almost

Thursday, May 10, 2012 By

Emerson is a happy child, who laughs a lot. But that doesn't mean that she hasn't been impacted by the changes in our lives. She sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night and peppers me with questions. Sometimes it's related to court proceedings or generalized fears. But the other night, it was a question of a different sort.

"Mama? How does the baby get out of your tummy?"


Hold the phone.

The difficulty with this question isn't the question itself; nor even the answer. It's what happens when you follow the question to its logical origin: How does the baby get into your tummy? And then we're having THE Talk. About sex. In the middle of an acrimonious divorce.

At this point, my best option is to fake a seizure, don't  you think? I would really rather spend $1,000 on an ER visit than have this conversation twisted and played back in court like my worst nightmare. 

That's the real bastard of contested divorce proceedings. It restricts the decisions you make as a parent. Because I've always promised Emerson that I would tell her the truth. If the answer is available, I give it to her straight, but phrased in an age-appropriate manner. If I don't know the answer, I say so - and we look it up. If I'm not comfortable talking about it, or if it's the wrong time for the question, I say that, too.

But when I know that my discomfort with talking about a subject is in conflict with expert opinion - or is simply ridiculous - I try to push past it.

"The baby comes out of the mommy's tummy through her vagina."

"WHAT?!" Emerson shoots straight up in bed. "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!"

I snort into my pillow. "Nope. That's how it happens."

"Ohmygosh! ... OhmyGOSH!" she laugh-shrieks. "... That is jus' blowing my MIND right now!"

She repeats that a few more times - "ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh" - and kind of hops up and down on the bed. She's freaked out, but also excited. She has learned something significant. She has glimpsed the knowledge of grown-ups, and can't decide where to settle her mind.

"This...! This...! This is... SCIENCE!" she finally exclaims.
"Yep. This is called biology, which is the study of living organisms. Part of that is how they reproduce," I explain. This conversation - this scientific discussion - I can handle. I table my idea to fake a seizure to get out of this conversation.

"So... the babies come out of their mothers' vaginas?"
"Yes, in animals that don't lay eggs, or reproduce through cellular replication - which is a whole other thing, nevermind," I answer.

"So.... did I come out of YOUR vagina?"
"Oh, yes."

She stares at me, fascinated, occasionally glancing down, much to my amusement. My promise of honesty stops long before a pelvic examination.

"Well... when a mommy's body is ready to have the baby, everything gets kind of... stretchier," I explain, oversimplifying by about a million percent.

"Like... it opens up a little bit?"
"Yes, a little. Although not enough to make it easy, that's for sure."

She laughs, heartily. "Is it like when you poop?"
"Well, sort of. But it doesn't come out of the same place, obviously."

"Yes. Girls have three openings to expel things."

"And... boys only have two? One for poo and one for pee?"

She considers this for a few minutes. And then...
"Nothing good comes out of a boy's body, does it?"

And THAT is when I faked the seizure.


  1. Well, you know, if you could manage to teach her that nothing good comes out of boy's bodies, you could avoid a whole lot of problems, ha ha!! She is so amazing.

  2. LMAO! Good for you, I am glad you didn't bypass this question!