Car Conversations: Where Do Babies Come From?

YOU. GUYS.

I am massively messing up my children in terms of reproduction and sexuality.  Seriously.  I don’t know what is wrong with me!  I turn into an embarrassed middle school girl whenever they ask me questions about it and I stumble through stupid answers that are definitely filed under what NOT to do in the parenting books.  Part of the problem is that A) Chris wants NO PART in talking to our kids about the birds and the bees.  So, I don’t have him to plan an attack with, which leads us to B) I have no plan.  So when they ask out of the blue – and it is ALWAYS out of the blue – I am completely unprepared.  Take today’s car ride home from school, for example.

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Bean’s teacher had to leave in the middle of the school day because one of her family members was having emergency surgery.  So in the car, Gracie asks, “What’s surgery?”

Harmless, right?  WAIT FOR IT…

“It’s when doctors have to cut you open and fix something inside you,” I explained.

“Oh,” she said.  “You had two surgeries, right?  When Bean and I were born?”

Getting a little closer, right?  WAIT FOR IT…

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“Yes,” I said.  “But, you know, not all babies are born in a surgery.  In fact, most babies aren’t.  Surgery doesn’t have anything to do with babies, usually.”

“So…..” said Gracie.

WAIT FOR IT…

“Then, how are most babies born?” Bean asked.

AND THERE IT IS.

DAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMIT!  Why did I say the word BABIES?!?!

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“Well,” I fumbled. “They come out of… of… out of the mommy’s… bottom.”

There was, like, half a beat of silence before Gracie said,  “You mean you POOP them out?!?!”

AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, SO I SAID YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I TOLD MY CHILDREN THAT MOM’S POOP BABIES OUT!!!!!!!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!?!?!??!??!

Bean and Gracie laughed for a solid 5 minutes, and then said the word “poop” for another three minutes.  And while that was happening, I was frantically trying to grow a set of mom balls and just SAY IT to them.

Finally, I said, “Well, you don’t really POOP them out.  They come out of where you pee.”

“So,” Gracie began.  “They come out covered in PEE?!?!?!?”

“Um, no,” I mumbled, as I wiped sweat from my brow, but it was no use.  The damage was done.  The kids were laughing hysterically and saying “poop” and “pee” in between breaths and I was mentally considering whether I should save for their future therapy bills in a traditional savings account or whether I should invest the money for them until they were ready to use it…

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And then suddenly, Bean turns to Gracie and says in a completely serious voice, “You shouldn’t laugh, Gracie.  It might happen to you.”

To which Gracie replied, equally as serious, “I’m not pooping or peeing anymore!  A baby might fall out!”

Oh, good, I thought to myself.  This went well.

WHERE THE EFF DO I BUY A BOOK OR SOMETHING FOR THE NEXT TIME THIS HAPPENS?!?!?!?!  Is there a section in the bookstore called, “For Parents Who Are Permanently Damaging Their Children?”

Cause it’s probably in there.

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SIDE NOTE: These pictures were taken at the Crayola Experience in Orlando a few weeks ago.  We have annual passes there and it has become a quick favorite for wasting away a rainy afternoon.  I would definitely add this to your list if you are coming to Orlando with kids and have a few hours to spare.  *Not a paid advertisement.  Just sharing!*

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17 thoughts on “Car Conversations: Where Do Babies Come From?

  1. Josie

    Prefacing this with I don’t have kids, but I grew up the youngest of four, and my parents had seen it all by the time I came along. 🙂 We had a few “Where Did I Come From” type books and my parents just…left them out with the regular books. I honestly don’t remember ever *not* knowing where babies came from! WIth your kids being such big readers, maybe that would be a good approach?

    I was reading the novel of “Silence of the Lambs” in middle school (again…youngest of four…) and asked my mom what a dildo was when I came across it in a sentence. Bless her heart, she answered me in about four words and that was the end of it! I was so mortified I just started looking stuff up in the dictionary after that!!!

  2. When my girls were younger (both are grown now) there was a book series called “What’s happening to my body book for girls (and one for boys)”. It provided a lot of factual information but I still had to discuss some myths and set the record straight sometimes. Good luck mom, they seem to grow up in spite of us sometimes.

  3. Oh my goodness I freaking love you!! I just laughed so hard while reading this…1 because I’m kinda with he kids on the poop part. Poop is funny. Unless you are cleaning t out of your two year old’s panties. Yep, my life right now. And 2 because this is totally going worth be me. Ugh, where the manual for these little people that we grow?

  4. Rachel

    Oh no!! Haha It’s so awkward but I’m trying to force myself to use all the correct language and be as honest as possible with my daughter (without going into any more detail than is absolutely necessary.) She knows that babies grow in a mama’s uterus and come out through her vulva, and that’s as far as we’ve gotten thank goodness. (I want her to know the anatomically correct language for body parts in case heaven forbid someone should ever touch her inappropriately and she needs to tell me.) She’s only 2.5 so please please may I have a few more years before I have to explain sex in ANY way. LOL
    Several friends of mine have recommended the book “what makes a baby” for young kids- might be worth a try!

  5. Layne Petrino

    We recently had a lot if friends and family around us who were expecting so it was inevitable that I wwould get this question. Both of them have had issues in the past thinking that you poop and pre through the same hole, so I had already explained multiple times that there are TWO different holes down there. Anyway, when I finally got THE QUESTION I just told them that there are actually THREE holes down there: one for poop, one for per and one for babiea!! LOL. They seemed pretty happy with that answer. 😀

  6. R's Mom

    I have not corrected my kids’ assumption that all moms have surgery when the baby comes out (I had two c-sections), but they’ve never really pressed me on this issue. Our lab got spayed a few weeks ago, and chipped at the same time — and my kids think she has a huge incision on her belly because that’s where they put the chip. I just wasn’t ready to explain spaying to my kids…especially because that would likely lead to bigger, deeper conversations. I feel your pain!

  7. Brittany

    I love the book “What Makes a Baby.” It includes correct anatomical names for body parts (+1), includes diverse ways of creating families like IVF/adoption/etc (+2), doesn’t give more info that is strictly necessary (+1000), and comes with a readers guide for parents that gives convo prompts and explains why things are written they way they are in the book (+1 million). Honeslty, I left it lying around for a few weeks so my daughter discovered it and then waited for the inevitable questions 😉

  8. Erin

    1. The book “it’s not the stork” is great.
    2. I live by two simple rules: a) answer their questions, truthfully and appropriately. B) don’t give them more information than they ask for. They will stop the conversation when they’ve had enough. Actual conversation with my 6 year old:
    -How do babies get out?
    -They usually come out of the vagina.
    -What. No. … Can we watch Olivia?

    1. September

      This 100%. When my son was in first grade his teacher was pregnant and he asked how babies came out; I said you sometimes had an operation but for most there was a special passageway through the moms vagina. He was horrified and didn’t bring up sex for another couple of years. My kids are 13, 11, 3 and an infant…you don’t want to have “the talk,” you want it to be an ongoing conversation where they know they can come to you with questions and you’ll give honest answers. I’m not intending this as a criticism because your kids are little, but especially as they get older you can’t lie to your kids about sex, you just can’t. I’ll have a high schooler next year and I can’t have her not trusting me, her health and her safety are too important. But really the conversation started 5-6 years ago.

    2. Margie

      Definitely, It’s Not The Stork!. Also, this website: http://birdsandbeesandkids.com/

  9. Jami

    As an RN, I know I have less of a problem than most when talking about body parts, bodily fluids, etc. but I have to say that I think it is very important to talk to our children honestly and without shame regarding sex. While awkwardness is understandable to a degree, one should not feel shameful saying the words penis and vagina to educate children when they have questions. That can be harmful by making them feel embarrassed and ashamed of their own bodies. There is nothing shameful about a penis or vagina; they are important organs with specific functions just like our brain, heart, lungs, skin and so on.

    I also think as parents (I have a 7 and 5 year old myself who are full of questions!) I think we must try our best to keep the conversation open, natural, and give honest answers. That way, the foundation is laid and kids will come back to us with the tough questions rather than relying on answers from friends, internet, and elsewhere.

  10. Lauren

    Robie Harris writes the best books on these topics, including “It’s Not the Stork” which another commenter mentioned.
    I know these conversations can be awkward, but I do think the more you put it off or equivocate, the harder it gets. My oldest had a ton of questions about where babies come from at age 4-5 so we just basically explained everything because he kept asking follow up questions, like “but how does the sperm get to the egg?” And now at age 6 he understands the basics of reproductive biology and because he’s known it so long, it’s not really weird or funny, it’s just this thing hat all mammals do. We’ll take the same tactic with our three year old, though he asks waaaay fewer questions than our older kid so I imagine it won’t come up till he’s older.

  11. KP

    This exact situation is why my kids have known about all this stuff since toddlerhood (not judging you, just explaining why I started so early). I’d rather tell them about it as pre-verbal people and continue repeating these same things for years to come so they know all about it by these ages and it’s not strange. I think having lots of kids helps, too, because the topics come up repeatedly every time a new sibling is conceived and born.

    I grew up not knowing the facts until the 5th grade education and thought it was a disservice. Come over to my house and my kids will give you a full tutorial on how a baby is made and comes out, breastfeeding, and periods–ha!

  12. Courtney

    Bahahahahaha! My 9 year old and his friends had an argument regarding how babies are born. He says they come out of a mom’s stomach (because he was), and his friends said they come out of a mom’s bottom. And you know how I responded to this. I laughed. I didn’t correct. I just laughed.

  13. Louise I

    We say they come out of the baby hole. The same way you have a hole for poop and a hole for pee, mummies have a special hole for babies. It’s worked so far!

  14. Robin

    I’m sitting at the airport reading this while I wait for my delayed flight, and I literally have tears in my eyes I’m laughing so hard. I then told my husband to read it, and read over his shoulder again – still laughing!

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