"So Aunt Lyns, when Patrick gonna get cut out of you?"
We froze mid step, processing the comment.
When my nearly four year old uttered this phrase to our expectant friend about a week ago, I guess this should have been that teachable moment.
You know, the one where I give her the truth about reproduction and childbirth.
Instead, I looked to my friend Lynsay wide eyed in a state of fear and confusion. She returned my glance with her own blank stare.
"Um, we'll see Mo" she uttered, her eyes fixed on me, looking for direction.
"Yeah Mo," I started, "It's still only March. Patrick won't be here until after your birthday. Sometime in April, he'll be born."
"So that's when they'll cut you, right?" she asked.
"Yeah" nodding along, "yeah, that's right. Um...who wants lunch?" I pleaded, changing the subject.
There was no way I was talking reproduction with my nearly four year old in the breezeway in our local downtown.
Later I rehashed the conversation with Bry. Between dramatic eye rolls and excessive head shaking, he stuttered, "Should we prepare ourselves, you know, in case she asks more?" Visibly shaken and in a state of disbelief, as he continued, "I mean, seriously? How many kids her age ask about stuff like this?"
"No way." I said. "I am NOT having the birds and the bees conversation with her. She's too young. I don't need to be THAT mom. Plus, she saw my c-section scar this morning when I was getting dressed, that might have been on her mind. That's it. She won't ask."
"You sure?" he asked, "You're the teacher". His deference apparent in his voice.
"No way would she ask" I countered."No way, I sincerely doubt she will ask anything more."
Damn you kid!
Descending the stairs Saturday night, the hurried cadence of his footsteps let me know something was wrong.
"We've got a huge problem, " Bry started, "you might want to turn off the TV for this one. It's all your fault." His brow furrowed, as he melted into the couch. "You said we'd be okay."
In those few seconds, my mind wandered frantically, fear over what it could be.
"What is it?" I asked, switching off the television. Turning towards him, I noticed the look of disgust on his face.
"You said we'd have time. Just a few days ago, you said not too worry." his voice a little louder than a whisper, as he shook his head side to side.
"Well what is it? Is it Mo? Maeve? Is everything okay?" I pleaded, attempting to suppress the panic in my voice.
"No. She asked" as he gulped air, "where babies come from?"
"Excuse me?" I said, "She asked what?"
"She wanted to know how PJ got in Aunt Lynsay's belly."
"So what did you say?" my own eyes widening in anticipate of his response. "What did you say?"
"Well, I had no clue. I mean, you told me, 'Don't worry Bry. She won't ask' " he said, using his best fake Jackie voice, " 'There's no way she'd ask'. Well, guess what Jac, She DID! And I was stuck, like a bumbling idiot, just stuck!"
"What did you say?" I asked, my stomach sinking.
"I told her mommies have eggs and daddies have seeds."
"Seeds?" I questioned, suppressing my laughter, "Seriously, you went with seeds?"
"I was not prepared for this Jac," his eyes focused and serious, "I thought it was better than SPERM!"
"True," I conceded, "so what else did you say."
"I told her daddies and mommies kiss. Then the daddies give the mommies their seed for their eggs. But then she got all confused, and I got flustered. I shouldn't have mentioned kissing. Seriously Jac, we should have talked about this. You should have been the one talking."
"Why didn't you ask her what she thinks?" I said. "Remember, we said that before, ask them what they think first! Always ask them what they think!"
"I was shocked, I mean, seriously, you told me not to worry about this" he strained, the stress of the event written across his face. "I stopped with the kissing, because she seemed confused, and then I figured, she'd be thinking a baby would end up in her belly if she kissed Maeve or me. God knows we don't need to stress her out anymore."
"True, so go on."
"So I went back and explained that kissing does not bring a baby. I told her the daddy gives the mommy his seed and then baby grows. Then she said something ridiculous."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"She asked where mommies and daddies do this. I was honest and told her in the house. She then asked if she could watch."
I couldn't hold it in anymore, as the laughter filled the living room.
"Laugh" he smirked, "you weren't the one dealing with this."
"So what did you say? I mean she asked to watch her parents have sex!" I laughed.
"I told her it was private, and then she asked where she would be when it happens. I told her in her room. She then asked if it could happen when she had a sleepover with Grammie and Popsie, and I said sure, it could. She then asked if it could happen when she's with Grammie with the Bracelets. Again, I said sure. Then she asked where she could sleep at my mom's and I realized the conversation had shifted. I told her we'd let her sleep in Casey's room, with Maeve in the pack and play. She then said that was a good idea. I asked if she had any other questions, praying she was done, when she said no, kissed me on the cheek and told me she was ready to go to sleep. I don't believe it Jac. I can't believe this." he finished.
"So, in a nutshell our kid now thinks Dads have seeds, Mommies have eggs, and she can't watch daddy put the seed in mommy, but she'll be most likely in the house when it happens, right?" I asked. "Did I miss anything?"
"No, Jac. That's about it." he said, shaking his head in disbelief. "I do have one thing to add here. I will not be putting the girls to bed the next few nights. I can't handle anything more."
"What more could she ask, babe?" I asked. "I think you covered it all".
"Just in case," he said, "you've got bedtime the next three nights. I need a beer."
And that my friends, is how Mo learned about reproduction a week before her fourth birthday.
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