I’ve been blessed up to now with H that she’s known she was cut out of my tummy when she was born, which has made the issue of explaining childbirth to her relatively simple.
That was until she brought home a book from school about Humpback Whales.
There is a section about a pregnant whale, and how they lie in the water when they’re about to give birth.
“so how does the baby get out?” asked H.
I didn’t know how to answer – bearing in mind she’s only four, I needed to answer sensitively. So I did what every parent does when they’re stumped like this and asked my friends on Facebook.
Some parents told their children straight. Some parents were lucky enough to have had further children so the kids kind of knew. Some parents suggested books. Another suggested finding video of lambing season (Shaun winced at that one but I think it’s a good idea).
Karen next door has lent me a Miriam Stoppard book, Questions Children Ask so I was planning to read what would be age-appropriate for a four year old without grossing her out. Except of course I left it out on the side, so H came over and read it.
“Questions Children Ask?” she queried. “Why have you got this?”
So I told her the truth (I’m a bad liar so I generally tell the truth about everything). I reminded her about the Humpback Whales book. I explained the book would help me tell the truth in a way which isn’t scary or weird and that it would be very helpful for me.
Then I just kind of told her. About the special place a female bottom has that babies come out of. She looked at me oddly.
“are you okay?” I checked. She got off my knee and had a good think.
I let her know we could talk about it when she wants, and that it’s completely normal and nothing to worry about. I made some joke about her coming out of the sun roof (which must have been confusing as our car doesn’t have one, so she probably just thought I was a bit mad), and that was that.
It wasn’t so bad really. I fully expect to have a proper conversation about it in a couple of weeks. That’ll give me enough time to get over my Miriam Stoppard fear. (one of her baby books made me cry when I was pregnant)
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