Mummy where do babies come from?

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.

Moving on.

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.

Fucking feminism.

15 thoughts on “Mummy where do babies come from?

  1. Just yesterday before going to bed, my 4yo daughter asked the same question. I was stumped and agreed with her that babies pop out of the tummy onto the hospital bed and then told her to go sleep! Dreading having to revisit this question.

  2. Your posts always have me laughing out loud – this one more so than usual as I only last week had to have a similar conversation with my two……..

    A (small boy)– mum, did you know there are more women in the world than men?
    Me – well it’s pretty much 50/50 but yes I think you are correct there are in fact more women than men.
    E (not quite so small girl)– well, we don’t actually need men do we?
    Me – yes we do – how else would anyone have any babies? The human race would die off pretty quick (see – I can be diplomatic)
    E – well, I saw a program the other day where a woman was having a baby, doing all the work and the man was just sitting there doing nothing (trying not to laugh at this point)
    Me – sure the woman has to carry the baby and give birth to it, but women still need men to help make the baby and get it in the mums tummy in the first place.
    Cue – slightly bemused looks………followed by some basic scientific principles about eggs, fertilisation and creating babies….more bemused looks so I decide complete honesty and graphic description was the way forward. Here followed an idiots guide to sexual reproduction and what body part goes where……….
    A, sniggering and wetting himself with laughter, E looking horrified, going ewwwww gross I think I going to throw up!!
    Job done! A resorts to stereotype and E gets turned off the subject for hopefully the next 25 years!!!!!!
    Sadly 1 week later, job not done as they keep asking more questions and I have resorted to buying back up material in the form of where do I come from and what’s happening to me type books…..they (the books) are buried in my knicker draw and I have not yet decided if I will discuss them at bed time in place of Fantastic Mr Fox, or if the kids are going to find them by accident and borrow them without my knowing (just like my brother and I did at that age!)

  3. Yep, we’ve got a ‘pagina’ here too.

    Let’s just say that attempting to correct my daughter through the medium of song (inspired by My Fair Lady) along the lines of.. ” you say PAGina, and I say VAGina. PAGINA! VAGINA! Let’s work the whole thing out!’ etc is rather catchier than I’d anticipated. Not ideal in Wagamama.

  4. When my son was about 3, we lived in the arse end on nowhere on top of a mountain in North Wales. He had been fascinated on the day the next door farmer let the rams in with the ewes, screaming delightedly, ‘He’s done it twice with her, does that mean she’s having two?’ and howls of encouragement to the Ram, who he inexplicably decided was called Bernard.
    Later that night at dinner out of nowhere came, ‘Mammy, when a man and a woman want a baby, is it just the same? Does he have to put his willy up her…’
    I interrupted with a ‘yes’ at this point as it and been a long day, and I didn’t want my spaghetti ruined by hearing exactly where he thought the willy was put, the coward that I am.
    ‘So, does he have to chase her around the field first?’
    After explaining that this was entirely optional, I was able to get through a few forkfuls of tea, while DS chewed on in thoughtful silence. I remember thinking, far too soon it transpired, that I had got away with this remarkably lightly.
    ‘So what do gay men do then?’
    I chewed on for far longer than was necessary for a spoonful of pasta, mind racing.
    ‘Is it…’
    I will confess, the coward struck again, ‘I have no idea Darling. You’ll have to find a gay man and ask him.’
    Given that as previously mentioned, we lived in a tiny village, largely populated by sheep, and that, as anyone familiar with 3 year old boys knows, he had the attention span of a gnat, I hoped that I was on fairly safe ground. Profuse apologies to ‘the only gay in the village’ should I have been wrong.

  5. This is brilliant.
    My three year old recently told me, completely out of the blue that she knew how she got in my tummy…”you ate me”….”no sweetheart, if I swallowed that night you wouldn’t be here”…”oh yeah mummy, I know that!” Overall, I think the conversation went incredibly well, and I didn’t even need to shout vagina in tesco!

  6. terrific post Kirsty. Why does it become hard to talk about for goodness sake? Yesterday on the subject, I just blamed the Victorians and said “pretend no one liked talking about food when you did it all the time”. That didn’t really help TBH

  7. VA-GINA! Brilliant. I’m glad you gave Tescos some of your vaginas, it’s a horribly under-used word.
    Can I just say to you all – this book. More than totally awesome.
    Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers so they never even get to the ewwww bit until they’re so old you can gross them out on purpose.

  8. This is why you are brilliant! We’ve had the whole baby comes out of the vagina or is cut from the tummy (mild c-section explained) conversation and my sons are also slightly obsessed with the ‘vagina’ word, and usually in Waitrose or when we filmed a ‘planting seeds in the garden’ video for Oliver’s homework. Good times.

  9. Brilliant! My two year old is very familiar with ‘vulva’ (‘Men don’t have vulvas mummy?’) and ‘penis’ (I had to explain what men have instead). We have recently also introduced ‘vagina’ after she found my tampon in the drawer. Now awaiting the baby making questions!

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