mamma what’s this bit for?

Caleb, in the bathtub, stands up and fondles his scrotum: Mommy? What’s this?

Me: um…your scrotum

Caleb: I know DAT. I mean, what’s this like marble thing inside it. Dere’s two a dem.

Me: Yes. those are your testicles. (Please don’t ask please don’t ask)—

Caleb: What are dey for?

Me: those are where your sperms comes from (please don’t ask please don’t–

Caleb: what’s sperm?

Me: sperm is what helps makes babies …okay, so now are you ready for me to wash your hair–

Caleb: how? how da sperm makes babies?

Me (inspired by the football on tv, decide to do a total end run around the question): um, well, the mommy has the eggs and the mommy and daddy decide to make a baby. So! okay, let’s finish your bath and then you can watch the new episode of “Clone Wars.”

Caleb: Eggs? 

Me (head on the side of the bathtub to hide my laughter):  Um, right, eggs. But not like eggs at the farmer’s market. These are teeny, tiny, so small you need a microscope. Sperm, too. Tiny.

Caleb: so how does it work to make a baby?

Me (clutching at straws): Well. What do you think happens?

Caleb, waving his hands dismissively: I don’t know? It goes in the air and into da mommy’s tummy by her mouth?

Me (head rolling on the bathtub, snorting): Sure. And then from that teeny tiny speck comes a baby, like you were. And now look at you! You’re a big boy.

Caleb: With testy tickles.


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6 Responses to mamma what’s this bit for?

  1. KSB January 25, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Good Socratic save!

  2. Susan williams January 25, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Lucky for you he didn’t ask about the difference between incipient baby eggs to “almost lice” eggs! Woulda been some real head-banging on the tub!

  3. Halala Mama January 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I am absolutely printing this out, laminating it, and keeping it by our bath tub. I’m going to use it like a script!

  4. Nancy Horwich January 26, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Maxime to Danielle while he is was sitting on the toilet: Mama, why does my penis move?
    Danielle: I don’t know, Maxim, you’re going to have to ask your Papa about that. I don’t have a penis.
    Maxime: Mama, you have a penis!
    Danielle: No, I don’t.
    Maxime: Sure you do. You’re a big boy!

  5. Ann January 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Freaking hilarious. Best part: you trying to toss it back to him (“what do you think happens?”) in the desperate, futile hope that you won’t have to explain it yourself. Thank Caleb for the laugh, Deb.

  6. Melissa January 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    And now at least you can congratulate yourself for getting that conversation out of the way! My 4 year old still thinks he was, at one time, a star in the sky. Which is cute. BUT explaining how that star made its way into my belly has involved deer-in-headlights responses that relate more to alien abduction that actual biology.

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