Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How Are Babies Made?

Today as I was driving my family to karate class, Sam asked me how babies were made.

I knew this question was on the horizon, but somehow I still didn't expect it. And being the awesome parent I am, I hadn't formulated my answer.

I do believe in answering questions at the time they are asked instead of telling my children that we'll talk about it later, so I had to come up with an answer on the fly.

Okay. All the experts say to go simple, that they don't need a detailed answer. They say that if you make it too complicated, that's not what they're looking for. So...simple. I can do that.

"Well, Sam, a mommy and a daddy decide they want a baby, so then the mommy grows it in her tummy, and then it is born." As these words were coming out of my mouth, I was second-guessing my "mommy and daddy" statement.

But, no. Simple. Don't start talking about two mommies or two daddies or any of the other permutations, I told myself. He doesn't need the gray areas. Keep it simple. Hold it together.

"What about the egg?" he asked. Or something to that effect. I don't remember his exact question because I was thinking to myself, "He knows there's an egg?! How does he know there's an egg?! Who has he been talking to?"

"Are you talking about people babies, Sam, or other animal babies?" I asked.

"People babies."

Okay. This is not so simple. Should I start talking about sperm?

"Well, the mommy has an egg and the daddy has a...seed and they put them together and the baby grows in the mommy's tummy."

"Does the baby grow from the seed?" Sam asked.

"Ummm. No, the seed fertilizes the egg and then the baby grows from the egg," was what I said. "Please don't ask how the seed fertilizes the egg," was what I didn't say. "PLEASE don't ask how the seed fertilizes the egg."

Instead, he asked, "When can we have another baby, Mom?"

Phew. The biological aspect of the conversation ended there and the pleading (by Sam) and the dashing of hopes (by me) began. Poor kid. He doesn't have a chance in hell of winning that argument.

Crossposted at DC Metro Moms Blog.


  1. OMG....this is so funny. How do they get so smart?? Wow, where did he learn about the egg? My little guy, barely four, has already started to realize the logic and wonders how the baby got into the belly. And of course, at his school they brainwash him with 'God made you' since it's a church preschool. That's a whole other level I can't even get to yet....it's like talking about where you go when you die. Which, is the next thing he asks after babies!!! I'm tired of answering questions all day. :-)

  2. I was holding my breath as I read. My heart was pounding when you were hoping so much that he would not asked, "how the seed fertilizes the egg." And man! was I relieved when he didn't pursue further.

    guess what, maybe he wanted to see how the process was done, that's why he asked 'when' are you having a baby....*wink*

  3. Good job!!! I just last week had to answer the "I know you need an egg from the mom and the sperm from the dad to make a baby, but my question is how do they get together?"
    After I answered and received a "Ewwww gross you and dad..." look, I called my husband and requested a large oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen. I figure I deserved it!!!

  4. Thank goodness he stopped with the questions! Whew. There is an upside...your husband could've been asked the question like my husband was... you know the husbands that don't know what the experts say! Bubba asked Hubby what his testicles were for... and Hubby told him everything. I had no idea until Moosie was squeezing his and Bubba SCREAMED "Don't squeeze your circle things! You won't be able to have kids!!!!!"

  5. Wow, I think you were brilliant. And so what did you answer about having another one?

  6. I have a feeling you're gonna get some more questions soon...it starts early doesn't it?

  7. Great post! The first time SB posed one of these questions (a couple of years ago) I totally chickened out and gave him some lame excuse about being in a lot of traffic and needing to concentrate on the road (terrible, I know).

    I've since tackled them head on trying not to give too much info (my tendency). Your answers sound great!

    Yesterday I got the "But how does the baby get out?" question.


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