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When my daughter was around 2 years old, I picked her up from daycare one day and noticed that one of the other mothers, who was expecting, was showing quite a bit. Curious to know what my girl thought of that, I asked her if she knew why her classmate’s mummy’s tummy was so big. She did not. I told her that it was because there was a baby inside. I asked her if she knew how the baby got inside the mummy’s tummy. Again, she did not know. So I told her that the mummy had eaten the baby and that’s how it got there. Oh, she said, and no further questions were asked.

A year or so later, when I picked the kid up from daycare, I noticed that another woman was visibly expectant. This time, it was my daughter who brought up the topic. “Mummy,” she said, “did you know that So-and-So’s mummy has a baby inside her tummy?” I could hear a mischievous tone to her question and sure enough, when I checked the rear view mirror, she was wearing a peculiar impish grin.

“Yes, I did know that,” I said.

“How did the baby get in there?” she asked tauntingly.

Her father and I are fairly tell-it-like-it-is people. We believe in laying out the facts, then answering any questions that may arise truthfully. So although I had not necessarily been prepared to answer that question on that particular drive home, I thought, OK, my dear, you asked for it, I’m gonna give it to you.

“Well,” I started, “what happens is a daddy puts his bum [the word we were using at the time] into the mummy’s bum…and then a baby is made.”

My little darling thought about this for a few moments, then spat out, “That’s disgusting!”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “It kinda is.”

And that was the end of that conversation.

All to say, you soon-to-be and new parents, have fun with it! They’re your kids and it’s amazing to see them learn and form their own ideas. And you get to be the driver for that — at least in the beginning anyway. It’s basically your most important project ever. Enjoy the process.

Originally posted February 22, 2012

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