While we waited for my 11 year old to finish his swim class, I read a book to my 6 year old at the pool last week (Julius, Baby of the World by the great Kevin Henkes) which features at one point Lily (she of Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, another classic) talking to her brother, Julius, while he was in utero. At this juncture, I told my son that I used to talk to him the same way. He was unmoved by the poignancy of that revelation.
As result I grabbed his foot and attempted to eat one of his bare toes. This often gets fond looks from other parents but I do not do it for attention at what an awesome involved dad I am. Seriously.
He resisted even in the face of my pointing out that: a) He had 9 others; and b) I was entitled since essentially I made him. At this he scoffed.
- Mummy made me!
I had to agree but insisted I contributed, after all look at his blue eyes and the block like shape of his head both of which clearly come from my side. He was skeptical.
- What did you do? I was made in Mummy's tummy.
I balked. I'm sure I noticed many other parents in the vicinity attentively NOT listening to how I was going to deal with that one.
- That is a very good question and a very long story, I answered and then resumed trying to eat his toes.
He fought me off and after a moment asked,
- How do babies get out of there anyway?
I summoned up some bravery and attempted to answer it matter-of-factly.
- They come out of their Mummy's vaginas.
His eyes widened.
- Their vaginas?
- Oh, yeah, I answered casually.
Definitely sure people are NOT listening now.
- But... how?
- Their vaginas stretch to let the babies come out.
Mounting incredulity. Look says, Am I shitting him?
- Vaginas stretch?!
- That's so WEIRD!
- Yes, yes, it is.
We shared a thoughtful moment of father and son reflection on the mysteries and wonders of the female anatomy. To be continued, I'm sure.