On The Origin Of Life

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We had THE talk with Wolf. He'd been posing questions about where babies come from. He knows they grow inside mumies' tummies, but how the heck do they get out? Does the doctor have to cut that big belly open with a knife?

'No', smiled Mrs.B; both our sons were born the natural way. But still Wolf remained curious.

So we've been looking around for a good children's book that explains the fact of life. Finally Mrs.B found one in the library. 'You can read it to him this evening', she said when she returned home. Reading stories is mostly my task, so Mrs.B therefore put the burden of giving sex-ed to my eldest son squarely on my shoulders.

But at bedtime, she decided to join us. Wolf and I exchanged glances: something peculiar was going to happen. Expectations mounted. Once we'd all settled down in Wolf's room, I started reading.

In the book, the parents try to evade the difficult question by saying that babies come from flower beds, or from cabbages, or from snails and worms. Wolf looked at me in bewilderment. Then the parents say that their kids came from a giant egg, that their mother laid in the sofa. Even Wolf knew this was bull.

Then the kids start to laugh, and then they turn the tables and explain to their parents how things really work. They draw the little egg in mummy's tummy, and the little fishies in dady's balls. And they show how mummies and daddies 'fit together', like a key in a lock. And how they can do it: on a skateboard, hanging upside down, riding a horse and other things which frankly we've never tried. It makes me wonder if we're good parents after all.

And then when the fishies meet the egg, a baby develops and gets bigger and bigger inside mummy, until it pops out through that funny little hole between mummy's legs.

Wolf was wholy satisfied by the explanation, although still a bit bemused. I was glad he didn't have any more questions. I'd stuck to the script the whole time, while at my side Mrs.B was almost jumping up and down on the bed from excitment. So we kissed our son goodnight, put out the light and left the room.

Ever since, Wolf hasn't come back to the subject. So either he's informed and willing to accept what's in the story, or he's still trying to figure out how you can make a baby riding on a skatboard. I must say I agree on that one, maybe we should try it out in the summer.

 

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