That's what my seven year old daughter asked me last night. Oh, excuse me, my seven and a HALF year old. She won't let you forget about that half. This is how the conversation went, at least as much as I can remember - I've repressed it already...
Her: "Mommy, how does a baby get in your stomach?"
Me: "Uhhhh, (one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand...) is that mentioned in the book you're reading (that's right, throw the question back at her. Stall for more time)?"
Her: "The boy's mom in the book is pregnant."
Me: "Uh-huh (thanks a lot, Judy Blume)."
Her: So, how did a baby get in her stomach?"
Me: "That's a good question. Well (maybe what I told her when she was five will still work), the mommy and daddy get together and make the baby (I'm not off to a good start. Could that possibly have been more vague?)."
Her: "But how does it get IN her stomach?"
Me: (Crap, she's not five anymore) "Umm, there's an egg inside the mommy..."
Her: "An egg?!!?"
Me: "Just like a chicken (what?!). There's an egg inside and..."
Her: "In me?!? I have an EGG in me right now?!?"
Me: "Uh, no? Later, you'll have an egg in you later (do I even mention sperm?! What's too much info, too soon?!? I should've just said it all happens by magic)."
Daddy (yelling from the kitchen): "Dinner's ready!"
His timing is perfect, and not just because I'm starving.
I can't believe I just admitted that I had such a bumbling, fumbling conversation. I'm usually so much more on top of it. Alright, alright! I froze. I choked. I wasn't prepared. And I'm not prudish, I swear. We've even had this discussion in my mommy support group about what to say, but NONE of it came to me. See, what had happened was - I planned to have a very informative, honest, reasonable talk with my daughter about sex and babies, nothing like that rambling foolishness that just occurred. Only it was going to be AFTER I had done my research, bought a children's book on the topic, checked out a few educational websites. On MY time. Silly me. My daughter reminded me so brilliantly that nothing is on my time anymore.
OK, so this morning is a new day. And I felt determined to fix last night's blunder, so the first thing I do is Google. Unfortunately, I can't believe how NOT helpful the old trusted Internet is on this topic. I found article after article on how important it is to have this open dialogue with your kid. Duh! I know that already. I want a script! And then I remembered that I DO have a factual kids' book on where babies come from! Woo-hoo. Oh mama, see there - I'm ahead of the game and didn't even know it. So, I found this kids' book I've been saving for a couple of years now, just waiting for this day, sitting high on the bookshelf. I skimmed through it, knowing I held in my hands the answers, and..."the man pushes his penis up and down inside the woman's vagina, so that both the tickly parts are being rubbed against each other...the tickly feeling gets stronger and stronger...it's very tiring. More than running or skipping..." I'll spare you the rest, about the intense wiggling of the "tickly parts," and the popping sensation, and the "sticky stuff." There's a big fat sticker on the book cover that says over 2 million copies were sold. Really? Two million parents bought this book?! I'm thinking that I couldn't possibly have read through it before I bought it.
My daughter seemed satisfied with my lame explanation that there's an egg inside a woman when she gets older, that grows into a baby. Of course, I know it's grossly inadequate, so I'm headed to the bookstore today to find someone who can articulate this a lot better than I can.
Have you had this conversation with your tween? I'm open to suggestions from any of you who are laughing hysterically at me right now, and have already been through this. And don't get too smug - you know you have to repeat the conversation frequently, modifying the content as they mature, right? So, how does a baby get IN the stomach?