At the age of five, almost six, Azul has made a very important life decision and I think we both may have contributed to it. My contribution: taking him everywhere with me, watching the news while he is in the room and being very open with him while we are talking. And his contribution: HE IS FIVE!
There is no question he can’t ask, and I have tried to reinforce that ever since he started talking. So, he is good at asking when he doesn’t understand something and he pays attention to very minute details. Now, not every question is answered to its fullest, but enough to understand the basics. Also, being an only child he is around a lot of adults and therefore adult conversations.
One current topic of conversation was having babies. My sister just had twins and we went through the “baby talk” and the fact that babies are in the mother’s belly and when they are born they come out. EEK! You can read that uncomfortable conversation at Oh Baby!. His concern and I guess what he understood was, it hurt! He decided that, “I never want to give birth to a baby.” So, I explained that women have the babies and not the men. That seemed to get him through and ease his mind. Ugh, men!
Another current event covered in the News a lot lately is same-sex marriage equality. I explained to Azul what that means legally and for the people who want to be married. He never had a problem with this or questioned it at any point; it is amazing how intuitive children can be.
The third idea to throw into the mix is adoption. A little over a year ago we had new next-door neighbors move in who have a little girl, Nadia, who is originally from Guatemala and was adopted when she was an infant. She is now eight and the two of them play together all the time. It is cute to watch them. Of course he had some questions and this idea of adoption intrigued my astute five year-old. I’m not sure what he was thinking when we talked about this, but again it seemed like his concern was over pain and how neither parent had to go through it.
He is now five, two months away from being six, and the one thing he does not like is GIRLS! Not even Nadia, he would never admit she was his friend. He calls his friends who are boys his “boyfriends,” and I’ve referred to girls who are his friends as “girlfriends,” and his reply is always the same, “I wouldn’t go that far!” Meaning they are just girls. When I asked why, he answered, “because sometimes you need boy enforcements!” Again, ugh, men!
Put all this together in a developing brain, where all ideas are new and original thoughts are original, and you get the proclamation, “I’m going to marry a man. And adopt a baby!”
“Really?” was my response, while I paused my dinner prep and looked up at him.
“Yes, I don’t like girls and I don’t want to have a baby, that will hurt. And I’ll adopt a baby.” He said it very matter-of-factly, as if he had put some thought into it and this was his conclusion.
He had it all set out, so the only thing left for me to do was compliment him on his thought process and continue with dinner. Huh? I wonder if we should have peas or corn tonight.
My sister just had twins, so leading up to their birth, there has been a lot of talk about babies and the inevitable questions of procreation were shot out at me like a machine gun. The first one Azul asked was, “How do the babies come out?” My initial thought was, whew, at least he didn’t ask how they got in, and I replied very confidently, “Through the birth canal.” Good thinking me! That bought me some extra time, was my next thought. He didn’t quite understand what a birth canal was and it just went over his head. I dodged a bullet. A few days later, and now that he knows the babies come out through the birth canal, he wanted to know how they got in, in the first place. And again, this round of shots came at an inopportune time and I was not ready to delve into the subject, so I very carefully explained, “When a man and a woman love each other very much, they go to a fertility doctor, who then makes a baby and puts it in the woman.” We both laughed and the conversation moved on. Now, I wasn’t lying to him, that is what happens in many cases and I know more and more couples who do it that way than the good old-fashioned way.
The morning the babies were to be born we talked about it again. This time while comfortably cuddling in my bed in the early morning. He asked, “Are the babies going to be pooped out?” Which seems like a logical conclusion, since he is familiar with the digestive system. He knows when food goes in his stomach it is eventually pooped out, and it proved that he did take some time to think about it by himself. So, I praised his efforts and thought process and then said, “When the babies are born they will go through the birth canal and the out the vagina, that is a woman’s pee-pee.” (And yes, I am going to stick to the term pee-pee for now! He’s only five!) He looked at me wide-eyed and said, “They must be tiny babies to come out your pee-pee!” And then laughed. In full baby talk now, I continued the explanation and concluded with, “A woman’s body is amazing and is made to support babies and give birth to them.” Still looking at me said, “Show me on you.” I laughed and said, “Oh, we’ll get you a book!” And we did.
The book was very cute and talked about some bodies having a uterus and some not, and sometimes having a baby hurts a little and sometimes it hurts a lot. (I am calling bullshit on this, it hurts a lot!) At the end of the story, Azul, launching the last bomb, said, “I’m glad I don’t have a uterus. It won’t hurt me at all.” And that was what he got out of all the baby talk, he doesn’t have a uterus, so it won’t hurt him. Sigh!