Tag "toddler"

Mommy, How do Babies Get in the Tummy?

We are all pretty capable and accomplished, so why is it that when our 3 or 4 year old suddenly looks up and out of nowhere asks: “Mommy, how do babies get in the tummy”?–we freeze, and are unsure on how to handle the situation?

Many of us have been there, and if you haven’t it will likely happen to you at some point so be prepared!

Some fun responses I’ve heard from Mommy friends include: “Babies grow in Mommies’ tummies after they go to college,
get a good job, fall in love and get married…Then the baby comes in their tummies.” or even “Babies get in mommies tummies when two people who love each are old enough and ready to have a baby together.”

Way back when, I had also chosen to include marriage in my explanation. Of course that became a problem when our then babysitter got pregnant without a husband. Babysitter became bombarded with questions like “how could that have happened?”…you could imagine. I was also proven wrong by my kids who now knew better.

 

Thankfully my kids start formally learning these things in school in a wonderful program about life values, starting at age 10 or 11. It takes the onus away from me from having to actually start all the not-so-fun conversations, yet gives them food for thought which they know they are always welcome to come share and discuss with me.

So what to do between ages 4 and 10? Between the time they start asking to the time they may learn about these things formally? I certainly don’t have the answer, but what I do know for sure is: Do answer! They will then know that their questions are important to you, and that they could come to you for questions and conversations. Especially because as they get older, they will find things out from friends and the way-too-accessible internet, so they may as well learn the truth from the most reliable source!

Adoptive Parents Are The Parents!

I know it’s obvious to many: Adoptive parents are the parents! But how many of us still make the faux-pas of asking adoptive parents: “did you meet her mother”? Of course what we really mean to ask is whether they have met the biological mother. But we sometimes forget this very important word and it turns out–it is irritating to adoptive parents.

A relatively new friend of mine who is the adoptive mother to 2 Chinese girls was (rightly) complaining at me today on how people sometimes ask her, in front of the girls no less, whether they have met their parents. Sometimes they even ask if the girls (ages 10 and 12) are sisters. Hello! they have grown up together under the same roof with the same loving parents since their infancy. They compete for their parents’ attention and fight over clothing. Isn’t that sisters enough?

And again, apparently, asking if the girls are biological sisters makes all the difference. Phew, I said to myself, for I remember asking exactly that when my friend first brought up the topic many months ago.

Another thing I’ve come to realize is that just because someone brings up something, does not necessarily give us, the listeners, carte-blanche to ask any question we want. Not just on the adoption issue. This goes for anything. Let’s use our judgment and know when we are getting very close to that line where it’s just no longer ok to pry.

I do give a ton of credit to this adoptive mom for being so open about it, especially with her daughters, and for learning and teaching them about their origins.