For most of her young six years, Mitzi has hit almost all of her milestones early. Talking, walking, SAT vocabulary. long division. She was always a little on the precocious side. But I’m not sure if age six is early or on time for her latest milestone. I just know that, for me, it was the most scary.
I don’t remember all the details (although I suppose I should, shame on me). Maybe I’ve blocked them out. I think she and Cooper and I (and maybe Joanna and Ellie too?) were scrolling through the digital photos, and in one I was (shockingly enough) pregnant. I said to someone (who can keep track of them all?), “There you are in Mommy’s tummy!”.
To which Mitzi inquires, “But how does the baby get in the mommy’s tummy in the first place?”
I almost burst into laughter. Here it was! What I’d been dreading ever since she started elementary school! (Well, that and her discovery about Santa Claus.) THE QUESTION! Of course, I had never thought of what my answer would be.
Luckily, Cooper interrupted us. “Mommy, can you print me a Star Wars picture to color?” I did, quickly, and Mitzi asked for one too, and we never got back to her query.
Whew. I’ve thought about it, and have practiced my answer. I have practiced not talking too much (which I usually do)and using exact terms to define and identify if necessary (which is sort of icky and embarrassing for me).
But Lord do I hope it doesn’t come up again any time soon. I may break, and lie. Far easier. And that will be a lot of years of therapy, for her.
“Mommy, how does the baby get there?”
“Well, when a man and a woman really love, or like a whole lot, each other, in a special way. I mean, they are usually married, but sometimes they’re not, but they really should be, although it could be okay if they’re not. Well, they kiss and stuff, and don’t you want to go work on a project? Let’s get out the paint! And glue! And glitter! No, wait! Let’s go to Build-A-Bear!”
On second thought, maybe it’s me who needs the therapy.