Over the years, my kids, T-boy; age 8, O-boy, aka Bab-bam; 6 and Sisi; age 4 have asked questions about things they find confusing. I remember my oldest at about 4years looking at the crucifix in his room and asking “So mom, how did Jesus get on the cross”? I tried my best to explain to him how he got there and why he needed to be there. Usually one question get an answer and that answer leads to another question until I tell him “You know, I really need to think about that one, I need to ask daddy because mummy doesn`t know everything”? That response almost always gives me a break or buys me time until the next question.
Not long ago, O-boy asked out of the blues “Mom, what was it like before technology”? Usually, when I get those questions, I have a few seconds to respond as I have been accused of thinking too slowly in the past. In responding to this particular question I started by saying I wasn`t here pre-technology. I was born in the late 70s; so, there was some form of technology just that everything was attached to wires and without remotes. I told him before technology, people worked really hard. There were no tablets or computers so kids were happier; my sneaky little way of telling him he will be happier without his tablet. My response didn`t go well with him considering he wants to be glued to his tablet, computer or TV all day long. I am talking about a kid who can`t imagine life without Samsung galaxy tab 2!
While I was cleaning the boys` room a few days ago, my daughter appeared out of nowhere. She has perfected the art of bumping into people from all angles; front, back side, corner- you name it. So, in her usual fashion, she bumped into me; only this time with a remark – “when I was a baby, I was in mom`s mouth”. Nowadays, I have learned to think deep and fast before responding to remarks or questions. So, while I was processing the remark, T-boy interjected; “no Sisi, when we were babies, we were in mom`s tummy. Isn`t it so mom?” Relieved that he just bailed me out, I said “Yes. That is true. You were all in mom`s tummy”. Then I thought oh… Sisi is one smart cookie. Come to think of it, to a four year old, how is a baby to get out if it was in some other place other than the mom`s mouth?. While T-boy`s response was perfect and timely, it left Sisi dazed. She stood there processing the idea of babies in tummies. I bet she must have thought mom threw them all up. I don`t blame her. I think the whole baby in baby out deal is still a mystery. A miracle.
Then came the dreaded question. The one I have managed to avoid for the past year. The one I said I will gladly leave to the Biology teacher to answer. T-boy goes; “So mom, if we were in your tummy when we were babies, how did we get out?” Now it was my turn to be dazed. I stood there frozen and wondering how in the world am I to explain to an 8year old boy how babies are born? In the past, I had dodged answering the question “how do babies enter people`s tummies”?!. No. I`m not going to do it. At least not now. So I tried to divert his attention to his Lego pieces scattered across the room. But, he asked again; “Mom, how did we leave your tummy?” I can tell you I was not proud of my response. Still not. My response was, “You know T-boy, it was a long time ago, I really can`t remember how you all came out. Will you give me time to think about it?”
He was gracious enough to say yes. The same response I got when he asked how babies enter people`s tummies. I know I can run but I can never hide. These questions will be answered. I am not going to leave them to the Biology teacher. I and DH will sit him down, sometimes in the near future to answer these questions. It just doesn`t seem appropriate now. But until then, I plan to keep running.