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Guests and Ghosts

Our first two children are only 18mo apart. So when I was pregnant with our current youngest/soon-to-be-middle child (Little Miss), our eldest, Little Man, was barely able to express his excitement over seeing the neighbor's dog for the twentieth time that day let alone ask any pertinent questions other than if I wouldn't mind, pretty please, changing his poopy diaper?

This time around, with both children walking, talking, and questioning every.single.thing? There are a LOT of baby-related questions flying at me from 5am-7pm each day.

How big is the baby this week? (The size of a turnip. Just like the one on your plate. That you should be eating right now.)

Is that the baby moving? (No, just my dinner digesting.)

Is the baby happy? (Yes?)

Does the baby like what you're eating? (Maybe?)

Is the baby crying? (No?)

Can I hold the baby? (I'd say no, but Little Miss was already cradling my stomach. In the middle of Target. So maximum creep-out status had been achieved, why not just let her have her moment?)

Is the baby ready to come out yet? (I hope not.)

How will the baby come out? .... (Covering the baby's exit strategy was simple enough. I'm as crunch-granola/natural as the next wanna-be-hippie, but my pelvis has never and will never be big enough to allow any child of mine to drop, let alone go into labor. So a quick explanation that a very good doctor will give Mama some very good medicine and then make a small boo-boo to take the baby out of my stomach without hurting me has sufficed.)

And that, fortunately, is as close as we've gotten to the question I'm really dreading: How did the baby get in there?

It's coming. I know it is. Little Man is a miniature carbon copy of his father. From his soft hair, long face, and appetite of a small giant, right down to his tenaciously inquisitive nature demanding only the most logical of answers. And every time he starts a sentence with "How does the baby," I brace myself.

Sure, once he gets old enough to even consider doing some baby making of his own I will be pulling out my husband's medical school textbooks and showing him every single horrific STD after-math image I can find.

But that might not actually answer his question at this point.

So I've decided, since we all know that he's most likely to be inspired to ask The Question mid-Saturday shopping trip at Wegman's when I'm trying to decide between Salted Caramel or Butter Pecan in the ice cream aisle, that I'm going to combine the powers of gardening and science for our Answer:

Daddy gave Mommy a seed to put in her belly to help grow a baby.

That, at least, will suffice until we get him home. By which time he will have silently picked apart my carefully crafted answer, and found it to be less than reliable.

At which point, it's his dad's turn...

The Big Man is a physician by nature. Even had he not slogged through the 12years it took him to become an actual physician, he would be one to his core. He shows his enthusiasm for anything by researching absolutely everything. Which is why, in theory, he could build his own bookshelf if needed.

Fortunately he decided to become a physician instead of a carpenter.

But I tell you this because, as I mentioned last week, Little Man takes after him in almost every way. So when he asks me The Question? He expects a real answer. And probably a dozen more after that.

Which means that when Little Man asks a question, he has come to expect a legitimate answer. When he asked about the differences between a boy and a girl, we told him boys have penises and girls have urethras. (Sure, boys technically have a urethra in their penis...but that's a finer detail he can figure out later in anatomy lab). Nothing overly graphic, but nothing couched in nicknames he'll one day find embarrassing and/or useless.

So when he thinks about my Answer to THE Question of how on earth I managed to get the baby in my belly to begin with, we're going to be doing a very find balancing act between giving him a legitimate, semi-scientific answer and not having to field calls from his friends' parents asking why our son is giving sex-ed lectures on the playground.

His father will introduce him to the terms Vagina and Uterus.

I will introduce him (again) to the term "Private"

And we'll explain, simply, that when a boy is a grownup and can be a Daddy then his penis can make seeds called sperm to put in the Mommy's uterus to grow a baby together.

And then I'll bake as many gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan cookies as I can to start making amends.

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