For the past few years, my seven year old has been rather content knowing that the birthing process is simply a miracle and a mystery.
So far, I’ve been able to dodge the questions about how babies get into bellies in the first place. He knows it happens when a mom and a dad love each other and he thinks, somehow, it has something to do with a string. Last year we had a bit of scare when he confessed that he was in love with a little girl at school. He was a bit concerned that if she loved him in return that a baby might start growing in her stomach.
This week he cornered me in the car on the way to school and asked me why I won’t tell him how babies get out of mommies’ bellies. After a long pause, he used his developing intuition and asked me if I was not telling him because it is gross. Realizing I was way under qualified to be having this discussion I said “Yes, because I think you will find it kind of gross. When you are older, I’ll explain all of the details to you.”
These types of questions from my son freak me out.
I’m not exactly sure how I’m supposed to be answering these questions. I have no idea what type of pregnancy/birthing conversation is appropriate to have with a seven year old son. And I truly do not know the best place to look for answers. Do I look on Google? Twitter? The local library? Do I call the school’s social worker and ask for suggestions? Do I ask the other moms of first graders how they explain the birthing process to their children?
Do I lie and ignore the question by simply telling him it’s a miracle and mystery? Or do I begin to explain the 46 hours of labor I had with him, the epidural that didn’t take, the internal monitor I did not want, the 103 degree temperature I had, and the quick drop in his heart rate right before the two hour delivery process began?
Sitting there in my car, I told him that back in the old days parents used to lie to their children by explaining that a stork simply delivered babies to their moms and dads. I told him I did not want to lie to him, but that he would have to wait until he is older (or until I am ready to tell him).
So please tell me, at what age is it appropriate to start talking to your children about the birthing process? I need some guidance, because the more I think about it, the more I’m really liking that stork story.