First off, thank you to everyone who commented on yesterday’s post. The comments are truly fantastic If you haven’t given your input, please do. And if you haven’t read the comments, they are worth it. If you feel inspired to write a post about how you are taking advantage of the ecological opportunities presented by your locale, please link to me and send me the link so I can collect them.
Second, I find it fascinating that another post I thought would just be an amusing little anecdote actually garnered a lot of interest and some controversy. Some people seemed really hot and bothered that I did not tell my four-year-old the entire truth about how babies are made.
I maintain that I did tell him the truth, and as much truth as he needs at his age. It is a special hug between two people who love each other. Of course, there is more to it than that.
Perhaps I should have told him that, in his case, it involved a doctor, several nurses, inter-uterine insemination, self-administered shots in the thigh, and a very long needle filled with HCG. Or is that too much information? Should I go as far as to include the postcoital test after which my reproductive endocrinologist called my husband a “stud”?
Or, maybe he needs to know that we didn’t plan on this latest baby. Shall I go into detail about the shock of seeing that extra pink line on the pee stick?
Maybe, while I am at it, I should mention that often the special hug is not between people who love each other. Maybe I should explain that sometimes it is between people who barely know each other. Should I tell him about sexual violence, too, in the name of complete disclosure?
Or, perhaps I should be happy that I was able to provide him with a truthful answer that didn’t go too far. Perhaps this morning when we discussed baby ducks coming from eggs, baby people coming from mommies’ bellies, and baby peanuts coming from the roots of plants, I covered all the ground he needs at four.
He will have his lifetime to know explicit detail. He will have decades to know about the ways people can love each other, hurt each other, and destroy each other. Right now, he is four. And it is perfectly OK to tell a four-year-old that there are some things he will learn when he is older.
I did not tell him the stork brings babies. I did not tell him God puts the baby there because I do not believe in God, although I think that if you do, that is a perfectly truthful answer. I did not tell him that babies grow on trees. I told him the truth in words he could understand, without getting into explaining the temperature charts and cervical fluid checks one can do to determine ovulation.
Hell, I didn’t know about that shit until I was thirty. Let’s give him until grade school before we start in on Taking Charge of Your Fertility.