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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday: "Mommy, where do babies come from?"

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Touchy Topic Tuesday

"Mommy, where do babies come from?"

Okay, it's no secret that there's something growing inside me. Call it a baby if you will, though, at this point in my pregnancy, I'm becoming bitter about the pain and discomfort, and he's a bit more like a parasite.

As a matter of fact, I have only around 7-9 weeks left of this pregnancy.

A confession: I have a really hard time keeping my mouth shut about anything and everything. So, my children have known about my little bundle of naked joy flipping around in there since he was nothing but a quickly dividing clump of cells.

Of course, as children do, it wasn't long before my two oldest were cornering me with questions about how the baby come OUT of my belly.

Well, for US, the answer was pretty simple. We started from the very beginning by calling our children's "private parts" by their correct names. Frankly, it drives me absolutely crazy when I hear a child refer to their vagina as a "cookie" or a "sweet spot" or a "pee pee" (or even grosser, in my opinion, for boys: "Peep"). I mean, as a married adult, I have all kinds of hilarious and derogatory names for my girly bits, but those are used amongst my friends or during those times that we call "behind closed doors", not when we're referring to our children.

I guess when it comes down to it, I was simply not raised to be bashful about the things that are simply facts of life. I mean, I tried very hard to resist that. I gagged every time my mom and dad kissed, I refused to mention it to my mother when I needed new sanitary products, and I would rather insist that I wear the same bra day in and day out rather than go with my mom to buy any extras. (Still, she kept my underwear drawer well stocked and full of clean new items, which is what I'll strive to do with my own children: Thanks mom, for that example!)

But I guess some of my mother rubbed off on me, because now, the casual mention of my son and his penis, or my girls and their vaginas make me wince a whole lot less than the adult woman who openly admits that she teaches her daughter to refer to her vagina as a "treasure box."

The answer, for our children, was simple. It takes a mommy and a daddy to make a baby, which grows in mommy's tummy until it's big enough to live outside, and then, with the doctor's help, the baby is born by coming out the mommy's vagina. Does it hurt? Yes, but if it hurt TOO much, then mommy would only have had one baby, and that would be it. They're still too little to be taught the specifics of sex, but when I feel they are old enough to know, when I feel it's necessary, or when they ask with more of a mature intention, my discussion will be just as honest, forward, and most assuredly will come from me and my husband as opposed to other children at school or online sources.

As an expectant mother, I belong to a few birth boards, and all my loyal readers know I have a very complicated love/hate relationship with the whole idea of birth boards, but I find it passes the time, answers odd questions i have about whatever pain or sensation I may be dealing with, and somewhat fulfills my need for social interaction.

Of course, this subject has been addressed, probably too many times to count, where a mother is wondering exactly how to break the news to their older children without causing psychological damage.

Admittedly, I am infinitely appalled by the many women who simply tell their children that they go to the hospital and buy a baby. How dumb do they actually think their children are? What's even more ridiculous is that they are convinced that this type of answer appeases their child, and the kid stops asking questions because they have been given a satisfactory answer. As a matter of fact, though, those are the kids who say to themselves "Okay, mom's crazy...I'm going to ask Michael, at school, who seems to know everything about everything." These also happen to be the kinds of parents who never discuss the birds and bees with their children and then are horrified and extremely angry when their 15 year old comes home pregnant.

Many parents just tell their children that the doctor cuts open their belly and pulls the baby out and then sews her back up.

Well, that's fine and dandy...IF that's how your baby will be born. But it's honestly a bit disgusting to me that parents can be so terrified of saying the word "vagina" that they'd rather fill their child's head with images of doctors with knives. And yes, it happens a lot. I'm telling you, that would be far more traumatizing to MY children than learning that the baby comes out of a part of my body that is MADE for delivering babies.

All in all, I guess that's my policy: Honesty. Kids aren't stupid. And discussing labor and even conception with even very small children does not have to end up being sexually explicit. But you're insulting your child's intelligence when you lie to them.


Give us your opinion!!! Let us know how YOU feel about 'the talk' and while you're at it, tell us what kind of names YOU have heard those delicate parts referred to as- be they YOUR names, funny names, or whatever!!!


Lindsey said...

Wow, first comment! I totally agree with you Brae. Quinn was taught to refer to her private parts as her vagina, although we haven't gotten around to discussing what a penis is since that hasn't been an issue in our house. When that time comes I'll be just as straightforward. I have been getting slack from a friend's mother for letting her refer to her genitals as her vagina, as she thinks I should be teaching her the word labia. I think the generalization works just fine for now.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Labia? Okay, lets just break out a biology book and be infinitely specific, why don't we? LOL. Why not go ahead and use 'urethra' when we teach them how to wipe. Haha! Okay, really, I still think that teaching your child "labia" would be better than calling it a hoo-ha (I do all the time because it's HILARIOUS, but not to my kids) or a cookie. But "vagina" covers the whole thing as opposed to just a specific spot.

There are stories about my grandmother (my mom's mom) Her word for vagina was "tootie wootie" and her word for penis was "din-din".LOL.

Natasha and Ethan said...

I totally agree with being honest, but I don't use the actual words. I can't bring myself to use them. On top of that, when my son says penis, I just want to laugh because it sounds so cute and funny coming from his mouth. I don't use words like cookie or anything like that. Boys have a pee pee and girls have a who ha. I know that we are supposed to use the words, but for some reason I can't. My son has gone for a short version and just calls it his pee. I will be completely honest with them when I explane about babies. I think they deserve that. I want my kids to know that the reason we are having another baby is because we love eachother so much and we want to add to our joy. I did have a friend that taught her daughter the right words, but her daughter ended up walking around nursery saying penis over and over. She stopped using the correct words right there.

Tara said...

I taught my boys to use the word penis from the very beginning (which is infinitely hilarious whem they start running around the department store yelling "my penis is hard!" because they've experienced one of their first erections). My husband flinched for a while after we first got together. He just refers to his daughter's parts as her "private parts." I was ok with that until she came home from one of her visits with her mother and called it her "muffin" and told us "you know, like Lady Gaga." Ok, we're done with that mentality...

*side note: my sister calls it a hoo-hah, and I, too, think it's incredibly funny.

I have told my kids in the past that the baby comes out the same way it got in and watched them blink as it sinks in. I have never been one for telling my kids that I'm "buying" a baby or some other such nonsense. My kids have been to the hospital enough times and all of them have been with me to get ultrasounds in the last couple of months, I doubt they'd be traumatized by a general explanation. An actual first-hand view on the other hand... :P

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

I haven't ever had my children run around screaming anything related to their private parts, penis or vagina. There was ONE time at the store where Mahone said "mom, my penis is wiggly" and i just told him not to touch it and it'd go away. One other time, right after I found out I was pregnant, Mahone told someone in line at the store that the baby would come out my vagina. I blushed, appologized, the woman nodded and said "congrats! You're going to be a big brother!" and then we had a discussion with everyone about how it's a-okay for them to ask mom and dad about absolutely ANYTHING they want to, but that talking about it outside our home or with people they don't know isn't okay- we haven't had any trouble since.

Now, getting my children to cool it on the poop/fart and pee talk is another thing altogether.

We also have a book called "A child is born" that has beautiful photography of a baby in the uterus throughout the entire 9 months from egg to birth, and there are some pictures in the back. I don't really know why the moms are naked as opposed to wearing robes because with all 3 of my kids, I was covered with a robe, but they're naked and it shows the head of the baby emerging from the vagina. Yes, all of my children have seen it, and we have discussed it in very matter-of-fact ways, explained that the reason her boobs are out are because the baby will need to eat immediately and that's how babies eat (again, i don't really know why, that was just our explanation) and my kids were like "cool!" and then that was all that was said about the subject.

Jenn at Sweet T Makes Three said...

Totally agree about insulting their intelligence. For this same reason we won't be encouraging Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. *duck*

Jenn at Sweet T Makes Three said...

Oh yeah...I grabbed your button for my blogroll, ;)

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