Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More Lessons from my Minivan

Driving the kids home school the other day, Charlotte randomly blurted out this question...

Mom how do you know when you have a baby in your tummy?

I decided to try the easy answer first. 

Well your tummy gets bigger.

She wasn't buying it. She wanted to know how you know before your tummy got big. So I gathered all my wits about me and dove in deep. Not so deep as to discuss the actual baby making process, but a biology lesson of sorts for a four year old (and seven year old because of course he was listening at this point too)!

Thankfully my kids already have some background knowledge on menstrual cycles. NO they don't know the words "menstruation" or "period". But after one too many bathroom intrusions at inconvenient times, I decided to tell them factually what tampons and pads were and why women need them (this was probably about a year ago).  So before today they knew the following facts:

1. The body makes blood to carry nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body. 
2. Women have a uterus for carrying babies. (Although clearly this fact/term was forgotten by Charlotte.) 
3. Every month a woman's body makes extra blood to prepare for a baby in the uterus. Because a growing baby needs nutrients and oxygen too!
4. If there is no baby growing in the uterus then the woman's body gets rid of it. Hence the need for feminine products. 

So today I quickly reviewed facts 1-4 with the kids and then we made the small (and obvious) jump to what changes when a baby is in fact growing in a woman's "tummy". The blood stays in because the baby needs it. And that is how a woman knows there is a baby. 

It turned out to be a pretty easy conversation to have. And they understood almost immediately (or at least I assume so due to the lack of follow up questions). 

Science for the win! That's what happens when you live in a house with two medical parents:) 

I have to admit, I felt like a parenting genius being able to answer this question so easily and factually. Does that mean I am ready to answer the "how are babies made" question?! Um. No. No! NO! I fear the day I am asked that one! For now I have skirted this topic by giving a generic "God decides when a mommy will grow a baby" statement. True. But far less scientific of me:) 

Maybe I am not a genius. Maybe all parents teach their kids these facts from a young age. I don't know. Regardless I thought it was an easy way to discuss a somewhat uncomfortable topic. Now if only my four year old would accept my explanations as to why she has to wear a coat on cold days or take a bath (every great once in a while!) or eat food. Then I really would be a parenting genius! 

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