Cate likes to hear stories about the time when she was “in Mama’s tummy.” I show her pictures and tell her how we called her “the squiggler” because she was always squiggling around in there. So naturally, and yet still somehow unexpectedly, the day came last year when, in the midst of such reminiscing, her little face screwed up into a puzzled twist and she said “How did I get out of your tummy?”
She was three. I said “the doctor helped.” And again, not surprisingly and yet still somehow unexpectedly that question was followed by “Well, how did I get in your tummy?” I had a less satisfying answer for this question.
I have every intention of demystifying the reproductive process for my wee one. Her Daddy is, after all, a doctor. And, of course, I want her to feel that she can talk to me about anything. However. Call me old-fashioned, but I think that at three, there’s just no way pulling out the anatomical diagrams is gonna be remotely useful.
How happy I was to discover “We Made You Out of Love”! Aptly subtitled: “The Answer To The Number One Question on Every Child’s Mind: “Where Did I Come From?” Co-authored by a pediatrician and a writer, this terrific picture book for kids ages 5 and up (but I really think it would have been perfect for my inquisitive three-year-old) introduces us to Jeffrey who is on his quest to solve the mystery of his own birth. The book fancifully and colorfully follows Jeffery as he asks his parents questions like “Was I hatched from a giant egg?” and “Did Daddy build me?” and “Did you win me at the carnival?” The answer, as the title suggests, is ultimately “We made you out of love.” It’s offered with a gentle, non-sexual explanation that I think satisfies little ones and can provide a bridge to a longer discussion with older children. The book is sensitive and thoughtful and a great resource to any parent with a seriously precocious preschooler. Got anyone like that in your house?
Call me crazy, but I think this is a book to have on hand starting when your kid is a toddler, so you can be ready to pull out when the question is asked. And trust me, it inevitably will be asked. And it will take you off guard. I did eventually expand a bit upon how the Bean got out of my tummy. She hadn’t really asked again about how she got in there to begin with, but we read this book together when it arrived (thanks so much to the authors for sending it to us to review) and seemed totally satisfied.
A ready answer to a really tough question. That’s something Mamas and Babies definitely gotta have.