"When Nicole, my second child, was 4, she said, "Mommy, could you hurry up and kiss daddy so I can get a new brother?"
Hmm, okay, we'll see..
On to the next question:
"How can a baby go inside your tummy? Does she have to rip your belly apart?"
Okay, well, you see...
Three kids and countless stammered answers and perpetual blushing have taught me only that however weird you feel, it would be weirder to ignore the subject entirely. You just have to take a deep breath and bravely plunge in.
|Children's Play bymarin|
When they were little babies, they all look alike. And so, us mommies go on wild shopping sprees and buy only blue sporty shirts if our tiny one is a boy or we overdose on cute pink bows and dresses if a girl.
The big surprise: Curiosity does begin early! At first, they just need to know what their boy parts and girl parts are called. Simple enough, right? But you will be floored at what will happen when your daughter suddenly runs on a boy who left the bathroom door open. On vacation in Manila years back, my two daughters who were around 2 and 3 ran on their two-year old cousin in the bathroom screaming to my mom, "Lola, what is that???" They can't believe how he can pee standing up, too. (and I caught them a couple of times trying to pee standing up!)
At this stage, you will realize that this big question does not require a big answer. A lot of us mistook preschooler questions like, "Do boy babies come from birdies and girl babies from flowers?" as a cue to go into the mechanics of human reproduction.
The Surprise: Now I know that when my little boy asks, "On the first day that you got married, did I pop out of your belly?" my correct answer is simply, "No, because it takes nine months to grow a baby inside my belly-and I also had to grow Paula and Nicole first!" But I am not yet done with my answer and he is already off changing to his new clothes and marveling about how cool he looks in his new clothes.
The surprise: How quickly those clever kids put two and two together. Eventually they want to know how the seeds and eggs get together. That's when you say, "Go ask your father." Some parents are comfortable with touchy-feely euphemisms about mothers and fathers "loving each other", while others prefer more scientific explanations of fertilization. (I rely on those quirky illustrated kids' books myself.) But whatever your own level of discomfort, for a few blessed years anyway, you can bet the typical response of your curious little babes will be "Eeeeewwwwww!"
Unlike my generation, this generation freak-dances around innocent kids.
The surprise: You realize you are getting old! While your tween will discover lip gloss and training bras, you are spending a lot on anti-aging creams, Obagi and Lycra body shapers.
I'd be depressed-if I weren't busy laughing and feeling glad I am not a tween again. I have a ten year old nephew, for instance, who whispered to me in the middle of Sunday mass, "Tita, Katherine is now my girlfriend." I asked him, "Since when?". His answer: "Last Thursday. But she does not know it yet."