Hello, My Name Is TheBoyandMe And I Am A Prude

"What are they called?"

"Umm, that's mummy's chest."

"Mummy, how did I get in your tummy?"

Thanks to whoever told him it was a special seed; it means I can continue avoiding the question.

And my personal favourite at the moment:

"How did I get out of your tummy?"

"How do you think I got out?"

I have a friend to thank for that answer, completely turns it around and exempts me from having to deal with the situation. Although, said friend actually had a c-section which is a far easier birth to explain to a child.

I'm all for not telling lies to children; I had a loving mother who wrapped up answers in cotton wool to protect me, all done with the best of intentions. However, it now means that I won't have people lie to The Boy; we just water down how much truth we tell him.

The problem is that (in the same as I still have to go to the toilet before meals) I have learnt behaviour resulting in difficulty answering certain questions. Years of not calling body parts their proper names (it was just a front bottom or a back bottom) and of not being comfortable with my own skin, means that my son doesn't really know what I look like underneath my uniform of black. I've never showered in front of him, although he has seen me in underwear when getting changed.

I didn't breastfeed past three weeks and none of my friends have had breastfeeding children since he was under two years old, so he's never seen the female breast in a natural environment. He flobbles me on my cleavage, when he was an older baby he used to tuck one of his hands down my cleavage (in case he forgot where it was, I think), and occasionally he looks down my top to check the unnamed items are still there. I know that I can call them 'breasts' or even 'boobies', but calling them boobies sounds a little Sid James-esque and intrinsically wrong from a three year old boy. Likewise 'breasts' makes him sound like he's about to perform a mammogram.

Hence 'chest'.

But it's the 'how he was birthed' issue which is causing me problems.

As a teacher I know all the theory; only answer enough to satisfy their initial question, then provide a titbit more information each time. When it's your own child, it's a different kettle of fish. DO I present him with the concept of a mysterious orifice which he was squeezed out of? Because I know my son and I know what will come next:

"Can I see it?"

HELP?


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Comments

  1. says

    I'm like you, not comfy telling them anything. I am really lucky though, my kids haven't even asked! If/when they do i don't kno what I will say though!

    • MaFt says

      Both ours were born by c-section, one emergency and one pre-planned after the first horrendous ordeal. So the getting out part is easy – and they've seen the scar as evidence.

      As for getting in, they've not actually asked yet. Although I have heard them say that when you get married you get a baby in your tummy. It was too cute to correct.

      'Chest' is an amusing one, and you'll be surprised what they pick up at school etc. we've always called them 'boobs' for no particular reason. A few months back there was a bird in the bush outside our window and Mini-MaFt asked what kind if bird it was. Without thinking I told him, correctly, that it was a Great Tit. He said "Tit? Tit?! What, you mean like mum's tits? Does mum have great tits?!" PMSL!

  2. says

    I told both H&S t truth when I had Jack (ages 6.5 & 8.5), they were a little shocked at the time but I felt they were the right age & I would only have had to explain the lack of scar on my stomach. Whenever Jack asks how he got out of my tummy I tell him that the lady took him out….we'll leave it at that for now I think!

  3. says

    My girls have always been very curious about babies, mainly because they remember at least 1-2 of my subsequent pregnancies.
    I told them they come out of hole in mummy's bottom that only opens up when a baby is ready to come out and they were quite satisfied with that for many years.
    At about the age DD3 is now ( 7) I've given them free rein of a book call Lets' talk about where babies come from and I read various bits from it to them at their request.
    At the age my eldest two are, they've moved on to 'Let's talk about sex' as well as a couple of books for girls about puberty and periods etc. Some of the questions are toe curlingly awful but we've muddled our way through it and I do feel pleased when they come and ask me questions about things.
    DD2 came over and told me she didn't know what a rude word was the other day. I was braced for the worst but the word turned out to be 'sexist'.
    Phew.

  4. The40yearold says

    I believe people are either from a "naked" house or not. I definitely am the latter. Trying to be a bit more of the former, but it's hard work trying to be free and easy when you're cringing inside.

  5. says

    I grew up in a rather open household, body parts were never hidden and things were always explained. I used to sit in the bathroom while Mam had a bath and natter away to her (although I remember wondering why she had hair 'down there'.)

    I don't think it's prudish to be uncomfortable with it, it all depends on the upbringing. Hubby-to-be's parents are much older than my own and he's so much less open about bodies and sex.

    I'm comfortable with being naked around my children. Boyo is 7 and doesn't blink an eyelid if he walks into the room while I am changing… and has never once asked what boobs are, or 'foofs' are.. Princess Pants at 3 has already 'ding-donged' Boyo's winkie (thankfully she's grown out of that one now) and is currently obsessed with bras and boobies. (She announced that she needed a bra in the middle of Asda the other day. I explained that only really big girls need bras.)

    Everyone is different, and everyone deals with it differently. Don't worry, when the time is right, you will be able to do it!

  6. says

    We haven't reached this stage yet thank god, I have no clue what I'll tell z when he does ask one day. But when I asked my own parents they told me they bought me from the hospital, with money!! To this day I can't believe they told me that…and that I fell for it for ages! (Well, till I was about 7 or 8 and my friend told me the truth!)

  7. says

    I'm a big fan of "I'll tell you when you're older". It's not lying. I know we'll have "the talk" when mine are old enough to get the gist. If they continue to ask questions I tell them it's complicated and reassure them once again that all will become clear when they're older.

  8. says

    Burton calls my chest boobies and i have no idea where he got that from!!! the boys see me naked a lot as the bathroom door is open when I shower and they often mess around in the bedroom while I am getting dressed. For a long time Burton was sure I had a willy because he, Jenson and daddy did!! even though he never saw one on me but never asked any further questions so *phew*
    Its a toughie and I am relieved Burton hasn't asked me how he came out of me yet – I think I might just tell him I pushed him out!! i have no idea i will have to wait until he asks
    So i cant really help you – unless you show him a video of childbirth i guess you need to decide how honest you want to be and how much an honest answer may affect him
    good luck with that x

  9. says

    Bud says boobies but that's largely because he was still breastfeeding at 25 months and we needed a word he could say, that was the most appropriate. He has seen us both in the shower and is unphased by that. He did realise I didn't have a winky the other week which I think was a bit confusing but he seems to have either adjusted or forgotten about that now.
    I did have a moment of horror the other day when I realised that we're going to have to come up with a word for girls' bits soon. I can't bring myself to use the correct terms with toddlers!

  10. says

    Funny thinking back to these times. All my kids are used to Dad and I naked, I loved that it was never an issue, till they got older. Now I get "Urr, Mum, cover up" when I am in my own bedroom or bathroom! They all ask questioms when they are ready to learn, give them as much as you are comforable with. Like you I was wrapped in cotton wool and told nothing then found it hard when all my peers seamed to know all and I was a know nothing! I have been the opposite with mine. I answer them quite natually as if they were asking "what's for tea Mum" giving just what they ask but no more. If they are still curious they ask on, when they have had enough they change the subject. The younger ones don't ask anything, they find out everything from the eldest so it's important to get it right there! Best of luck and most importantly do (or rather say) what feels comfortable to you.

  11. Michelle says

    Never does such an issue bind more mothers together than the facts of life! It's so interesting to see everyone's response. And great that we can then add and subtract from the responses to add value to our own ways of managing these awkward moments!

    My children are aged 7 and 9. I believe in the next academic Yr (5) for my son, they will talk about reproduction. I am dreading this and wish they would leave it until kids are in the 1st year of secondary school – which is how it was done when I was a nipper. So I shall be buying some of the books mentioned above soon to read and then have available when the time comes. In the meantime, I just drip info on a need to know basis usually in answer to questions generated by an older pupil teasing the younger children at school with words they don't know or some such. I still, naively I suppose, feel it is sad that they can't be innocent in primary school, especially when all and sundry complain of how children are over sexualised these days – so don't teach them about sex education until their old enough?

    We don't parade around naked in the house but are a family that is fine with all being naked in their bedrooms / bathrooms / changing rooms and have tried not to make nakedness an 'issue' so that they are more curious about the body. My own family weren't like this and I can remember being really embarrassed at secondary school when after sport showers were communal and always felt comfortable. Yes, I do say front botty and back botty to my little girl – but it's not my fault that someone named them with horrid sounding names in the first place! I think if Vagina was something different – I would use the proper word! Boys have willies and penises – and thanks to Kung Fu Panda, testicles are now known as 'tenders' in our house! Breasts are breasts or boobies – having been whacked enough times in this area or sharp elbows leant on them and yelled out 'mind my boobs PLEASE!' spontaneously – that ones was over and done with from a young age. And having a boy – I don't know – is it inbred that they think boobs are funny and make them giggle anyway?!

    We make light of most questions and sometimes we just say 'will tell you when you are old enough to understand' and they usually move onto another subject. They're not SO bothered that they will always challenge. Sometimes they do but there is usually something more interesting to do / say / eat to distract them.

    I'm almost now wanting to get all the mystery out of the way just not to have all the questions – but am hoping they can enjoy being children for a bit longer because, even though the older one may be mature enough to know all these things, it is inevitable that my little girl will then also lose her innocence by the older brother wanting to share this 'new' information which will be a powerful tool in his armoury – you just know that's the way it is going to be even if you ask them not to talk about it!

    Lastly – of all the questions I've been asked, we've survived them all with only momentary awkwardness or by making light and having a chuckle about how bizarre life is, etc. the worst for me is when oldest asks me, and he's asked twice now looking deep into my eyes and soul "Mummy do Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy really exist?" "I know you wouldn't lie to me." that's the killer for me… and I'm ashamed to say… I have taken a deep breath and looked him straight back and said "P, you have to make your own mind up on that one. All I can say is that you know that you get presents and tooth fairy money. And you see that mummy and daddy don't – we stopped believing." Is that bad?

  12. says

    C has recently asked me how baby will get out of my tummy, which I basically just told her the doctors did it.

    However, she then asked her daddy who told her the truth. He didn't elaborate, just told her that was how babies got out and she seemed quite happy with that! I expected more questions about how and why but we haven't had any. Yet!

  13. says

    When I was pregnant with luka she asked me how babies get out and i told her that the doctors cut my tummy and took her out. She was quite upset and hated the idea of someone cutting her tummy when she was older. So I explained the other way babies were born and she thought I was joking! Then when I was pg with bella, I overheard her telling luka all about it!! Have u thought about finding a book to help you explain? The kids and I bath together all the time so they r aware of differences etc but books are handy for eva when she's asking more questions.
    xx

  14. says

    I laughed all the way through this. I've had this twice over, although the 11 year old is still none the wiser, the other two have had living and growing so they know the score. I did tell the youngest the truth younger, but that was to avoid the eldest making it sound like something out of a sci fi film.

  15. says

    Oh it's a tough one, but funny to think back on or read it. Not when they ask. I got asked lots of questions when I was pregnant. Then when I was breast feeding and I tried to answer best I could without going into too much detail. I didn't want to not answer, but you don't want to give too much info at such a young age. x

  16. says

    My boys never asked, so my daughter was the first to ask when she was 4/5. I considered it for a split-second and told her the truth. She was both fascinated and disgusted. She's 7 now and still in awe of this fact and has asked all sorts of funny questions about it. We are comfortable with bodies, nudity and breastfeeding in our house. Although not S E X. I'm dreading when that comes up!

  17. says

    I'd say this 'the same way you got in' which if the next question. 'How did I get in' results with answer 'the same way you got out' maybe it might answer without answering

  18. says

    Goblin hasn't asked yet so I'm still on safe ground – plus having had a c-section I could always cop out and show him my scar. We are quite a naked house though (not like all the time but Goblin and I bath or shower together most days) so I guess its easier for me.
    I love the "how do you think you got out of my tummy" response, did he give you any good answers?
    I'm sharing this on the Sunday Parenting PArty Pinterest board, thanks for linking up

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