Just like every other parenting challenge explaining where babies come from is nothing like you expect it to be.
Not that I spent a lot of my time pre children fantasizing about explaining the birds and the bees to the fruit of my loins, but I did quite bit of research into the general subject.
If pushed I’d say I probably imagined sitting around the kitchen table with my partner and explaining the facts of life to a child who was at least old enough to write their own name.
Hopefully we’d have some supporting material – clever middle class picture books with all the right words and sciencey bits.
That was probably how I’d have written it.
I absolutely have no idea how I got from my fantasy kitchen table scene to me shouting across the fruit aisle in Tescos:
‘Vagina! It’s a Va-gina not a Pa-gina.’
There’s no P in it. Not unless you’ve been hiding the foam letters again.
Yet again reality hit me full on in the face and it was nothing like I’d seen in any film (honestly I’m starting to think all those people in Hollywood just make shit up).
In real life there is no time to confer, to set out a plan, no preparation and no book buying.
Instead one morning while you are making hummus sandwiches – (triangles for her, squares for him) you will be confidently told that when Mummy’s have a big tummy it means a baby is going to fall out of their bum.
And whoosh you’re off.
Obvs. the first point I picked up on was the whole falling out of Mummy’s bum thing.
I gave a quick run down of the relevant orifices – one for poo, one for wee, one for babies – distributed the sandwiches, put Bubble Guppies on Netflix for the 7 millionth viewing and checked the time – it was 8 in the morning.
Yes my children have sandwiches for breakfast so what?
It’s hard to explain the human reproductive process in a way that a nearly 4 year old will understand that doesn’t totally freak them out. So I left a lot of the gory details out but I did tell her that babies get in Mummy’s tummy when Daddy puts them there.
Thing is while my daughter was happy enough with the explanation, I was not.
By flouncing around the facts I had mistakenly painted a picture of pregnancy and childbirth whereby Daddy does all the work (putting the baby in)and Mummy just sits at home getting fat, before nipping off to hospital to have a baby drop out of her baby hole.
I felt a bit like I was disrespecting all the hard work my lady bits had put in.
I should have cut my losses and been happy that at least I’d managed to explain the holes in a ladies bottom correctly before most people had started work.
I could have left it there.
I should have left it there.
I did not leave it there.
Instead I decided to set the story straight and honour my baby hole.
And that is how I ended up in Tesco’s shouting the word vagina at a 3 year old whilst selecting a ripe pineapple.