(Cross posted from my personal blog)
I'm a coward. A complete...utter...yellow-bellied coward. I pretty much refuse to talk about anything related to "the birds and the bees" with my three year old. Add to that anything that has to do with what makes girls and boys different. Thank goodness Lil Buddy is to young to ask...for now. Sorry, I take it back...I don't refuse to talk about it...I just divert and walk circles around it.
It all started back when Lil Buddy was born and I was nursing him. My adorable little SweetPea poked a finger at my, well you know (see I can't even say the word now!), and asked "Mommy, what's THAT?" My answer..."um...it's Mommy's chest". Not boob (too silly), boobie (not what I want her running around calling it), or breast (accurate, but somehow too technical for a two year old). Yep...chest was the best I could come up with...and she was OK with that, so I let it ride. I thought I was safe, until Lil Buddy hit about a month old and SweetPea became fascinated with poking at his nipples and asking "what are those?" I can't tell you why they were so intriguing to her...I wasn't going to ask...I certainly didn't see myself uttering the word "nipple" to my toddler...so I came up with the ever so brilliant "that's part of HIS chest". Wow, am I good or what? She left that one alone for maybe another 6 months, until she decided one night in the bath to point at hers and tell me "look Mommy, I have moles". Moles? Yeah, that'll work. Of course you have to know with a boy and a girl in the family that the issue would eventually come up about "why does he have one of THOSE?" (yeah, you know what I mean). The funny thing was, in all of the diaper changing SweetPea had seen, she'd convinced herself that her brother's boy parts were just poop that I, ever so negligently, seemed to always leave behind. "Mommy, Lil Buddy has poopy". So here we go...how do I tackle that one? "Sweetie, that's not poopy, that's his boy heiney. Boy heiney and girl heiney are different." Nice way to answer and still dodge the question. I'm just thanking the universe that she wasn't in her "why" phase. Again , this answer seemed to end her curiosity about things...for a while.
Fast forward to the past month or so. Up until now, we'd established and accepted that we all have chests that have different parts to them...and that once upon a time Lil Buddy used to drink there...something she likes to remind me when she casually pulls open my shirt at the collar and peeks down to look at them...we've abandoned the theory that nipples are moles, though we still are just calling them part of the chest...oh yes, and there's the fact that there are boy heineys that are on the outside...and are not poopy... and girl heineys that are on the inside. Lately, SweetPea has been more observant about pictures we have of both kids as babies and she's gotten curious again. I know she hasn't outright asked me "where do babies come from" but for some reason we've had to had reason to talk about it (honestly, I can't remember anymore) because she told me the other day "Lil Buddy used to be in your belly...under your shirt" to which I added "he sure was...and I went to the hospital and the doctor got him out". In hindsight, I realize that opened me up to a slew of questions I really, REALLY didn't want to answer...but she didn't press it (PHEW!) Then out of the blue she's decided to renew her nipple admiration...and has started drawing nipples and belly buttons on all of her drawings of people (sorry, I tried to scan one in to show off, but it wasn't scanning very well). As far as I know, she only draws them at home. I'm just waiting to pick her up from preschool one day, happily showing off a nipple person picture and trying to explain it to the teacher.
What can I say...I'm one of those people who are a little squidgy about talking about topics of...well...very intimate physical nature. I can't say I remember my mom telling me whether I'd been curious about those things when I was SweetPea's age, but I do know once I hit about the fourth grade, I was so UN-curious about the whole birds and the bees thing...and not asking questions...that my mom marched up to me one night with a book in hand, telling me I needed to read it and ask questions if I had any. It was a book...if I remember correctly, it looked like it was written circa 1965...all about where babies come from...less any of the real...cough, cough...actual mechanics of it. I think I thumbed through it and went back to playing with my toys. When I hit Junior High and the health class teacher started going into the real nitty gritty details, I was so disgusted that I had vowed to never let a boy do those things to ME or have kids...EVER. OK, so things change, but I can tell you I was a VERY late bloomer in the...hem, hem...boy and girl intimacy department (has anyone noticed how I've managed to completely evade the S-E-X word?)
The days go on...and I continue to bob, weave and duck all of the uncomfortable questions. Eventually I'm just going to have to fall back on "go ask Daddy"...or wait...maybe I won't!