No one could possibly have had a better reaction than Gemma to hearing about my pregnancy. When I was rubbing my stomach one night as she brushed her teeth, thinking to myself how quickly I was gaining weight and how my varicose veins were already really a nuisance, she asked what I was doing. I asked what she meant, and she pointed out my hand on my stomach. “Oh,” I said casually, “I’m just rubbing it because there’s a baby in there”.
Now, Gemma has been asking for a baby for quite some time and I always put her off with vague descriptions of how very long it takes to get a baby, and how God will choose if we get another baby, etc. When I said there was a baby in there, she just lit up like a Christmas tree.
I wrote her reaction down immediately, and I’m so glad I did since this is the kind of thing that makes me thankful for kids and the reminder they are to me about how to view surprises: ready enthusiasm, innocence, joy, and trust regarding the future, and an immediate focus on the positive.
“There’s a baby in there alREADY? We’re having a new baby? Oooooooh, MOM! I love it sooooo much, I just love your baby! I will love it so much until I see it!” ( I don’t think that came out right, but I thought it was super funny because it just might be the truth – the reality won’t be quite as fairytale-like as she imagines :))
She could not stop rubbing my belly, excitedly wondering how big it would get, and chattering about playing with the baby, helping take care of the baby, which toys the baby could have, and on and on. Then her sweet concern kicked in: “What if Kristopher doesn’t like the baby?” (A very real possibility). “What if he tries to hit the baby? What if he isn’t nice? Mom, what will Kristopher do with the baby?” I reassured her that he would learn to be gentle, and reminded her how much he loves to take care of her doll, and her fears were assuaged.
Now to the more difficult questions.
“How did the baby get in there? How is a baby made? It will be a girl baby right?”
Ok, the girl baby one is easy, let’s start there: we won’t know what it is until it comes out, and we’ll love it either way. Maybe she’ll forget the rest?
Fat chance :)
“But how did the baby GET there?”
I am terrible at this kind of conversation, especially when my audience is a 4 year old who is waaay too smart for her own good and will most likely report my answer to her Story Hour teacher, the grocery store clerk, my parents, my in-laws, and my boss.
“Well, you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby, and then, ummmmm, uh, well, um.”
“And then magic? It’s magic?”
“Yes. YES. Magic! You got it.”
“So you do magic?”
“No, God does.”
“Ooooh, God does magic to make a baby in your tummy?”
“Yes. Correct. Brush your teeth.”
So how did you do it when this discussion arose? I can see being more accurate if she was 6 or so, but even then…how much do you say? And really, it IS kind of magical, right?
Yikes. I am not cut out for this parenting thing.
Heidi Blanken says
Congrats Anna. That is really sweet how excited your daughter is for you. Must be a girl thing. My boys didn’t really give it a second thought after we told them. Only to comment later about how big and fat my stomach`was getting.(Thanks)
WE told our boys that God put the baby in there. Well then the question came…..”Well how does the baby come out.” That one was answered with “you go to the hospital, and then doctor gets it out.” ……..”But how does the doctor get it out??”
…..”He just does….hey you want a cookie.”
WE did a lot of deflecting. Then our oldest saw a calf being born, and then asked me if my baby was going to come out of my bum too!! I figure with living on a farm they will get it sooner then later.
Congrats, Anna! Babies are always awesome news. Your daughter is precious. At four, I think you handled it perfectly.
LOVE your post!!! Gemma is such a wonderful girl and you are doing a great job at being her mummy! I agree with what Evelyn wrote as to just answer the question… that doesn’t mean total detail… for now she will be ok with round about answers! I do think that the best thing is to go to the Christian Book store and have a look for a book on it! There are a number of good ones there… for each age group… and each book gets a bit more descriptive as they get older. I hope that you are able to find something! The book I have read to my girls at the different levels goes into the how does the baby get there, how does it grow, how does the baby come out… and things like touching, private parts etc…. Hope that helps!
Funny story Debbie :) Kids do keep life interesting!
Loved this post! When I was pregnant with our second child, our almost 3-year old daughter never thought to ask how the baby got IN my tummy but she did ask how the baby would get out. The following conversation ensued:
“Umm, well, there’s a special hole down in Mummy’s “girl bits” and the baby will come down a tunnel from Mummy’s tummy and out through the hole.”
(With a glint in her eye) “Is that the hole where your wee-wee comes out?”
(With a smile) “Is it the hole where your poo-poo comes out?”
“No, no, it’s a special baby hole.”
(With a big grin) “Can you show me?”
HAHAHA, that sounds way more difficult than my experience! Thanks for sharing!
Kids can come up with some real difficult questions to answer, especially when they are little. When they get older you can just tell them to look in the internet. However, you handled this quite well! This was a nice read. As far as your parenting skills, I think by looking at Gemma-you have done a great job! She looks so sweet and happy!
“God put it there” has worked for us pretty well. I have a harder time with the question, “how does it come out?” ;)
Haha, yes, that would be an easier explanation with c-sections I think!
How sweet!! Love it!
My sister always says, “Just answer the question.”
We also have a book called, “The Wonderful Way Babies are Made” by Larry Christenson. The whole question is set in God’s wonderful creation, and it’s written for two age levels: 3-8 and older than 8. I recommend it highly.
Thanks so much for the recommendation! I’ll have to get that asap :)
Cute write up Anna. :) And I love the comment from Kelly that “hugging might do the trick”. :) My parents told me it was from when a boy and a girl sleep together…not the best answer since I was briefly concerned about any possibility that I would have to ever share a bedroom with one of my brothers. :P
Yeah, I can see that would cause confusion – also because Gemma would probably wonder why I wasn’t newly pregnant every day since we sleep together every night!
Congrats! I must have missed the announcement.
With my girls we tell them daddy puts a seed in mommy and then it grows in mommy’s tummy. That seems to satisfy them and they haven’t asked how the seed actually gets there. Right now they seem to think hugging might do the trick but we can clarify that later.
Lol, no, let them keep thinking that, should keep the boys at bay for awhile!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says
Great save!! Your daughter is just adorable!!