Lately, Aura has been making references to our “family of four.” This was all adorable and good until she turned to me a couple of days ago and added, “And then we will be a family of five! And six! And seven!”
Blanching with something akin to, oh, I don’t know, extreme dread, I chuckled and shook my head. “Nope, I’m pretty sure we’re just going to stay a family of four, sweetie.”
Aura furrowed her brow and looked at me pityingly.
“But you grow a baby when you LOVE someone and you and Daddy are IN LOVE and you’re not going to stop BEING IN LOVE, so you’ll just grow more babies!” she explained, looking mildly astounded by my dimness.
I for one suddenly became very astounded by my dimness. First of all, her father had just told me the night before that the new fish recipe I had tried was “kind of dry” and “maybe needed to be reevaluated,” so the whole staying-in-love thing wasn’t looking like a slam dunk at the moment. Second, perhaps my sweetness/light/looooove approach to explaining how babies are made was backfiring.
Somewhere out there, my good friend Becca is cackling at this comeuppance. She has been telling me for years to get Aura the below book, since her son started loving it. But I couldn’t, and I still can’t. Maybe when Aura’s older, like six, or seven, or…thirty-one. Maybe then we’ll begin using terms other than, er, “peephole” and “down there.” Come on. She’s my baby. BABIES DO NOT “GET SMART ABOUT THEIR OHGOD PRIVATE PARTS.”
Alyssa at Near Normalcy recently wrote a seriously fantastic post about this very subject—explaining sex to a child around Aura’s age. I nodded my way right through the post, thought approvingly of how Alyssa described a very mature approach to parenting, then proceeded to edit the entire babymaking chapter of Double Fudge when we read it before bed that night, because it seems pretty obvious that Judy Blume was a sex maniac.
I just…can’t do it. It’s not that I won’t do it, or that I’m not prepared to do it. It’s just that, for us, it hasn’t gotten to that point yet. I do sense “that point” rapidly approaching, what with a little brother on his way with his little penis and all.
It’s just that there are so many years stretching ahead of five-year-old Aura, so much time when so much of what she’ll do and hear and think about will be tinged with the concept of body parts and what they can do and what people can do with them. Hazy though the memories are, I remember elementary school. I remember “liking” a boy as early as third grade (oh, Tommy D.; how I kicked him often and repeatedly on the playground to show my love, which is how we western Mass girls used to do it, Springfield UNIIIITE).
So. It’s coming, and there’s no way around It, and soon enough Aura, our baby, will be thinking differently about the clothes she wears and how people perceive her and how all that translates into non-let’s-play-with-Polly-Pockets! relationships. She’ll be kicking boys on the playground and giggling about it on the phone with her best friend and OH GOD SHE MIGHT WEAR A BRA SOMEDAY.
So, for now, we’re waiting her out. We’re sticking with the Babies Are Made From Love concept, and I’ll kind of gloss over the part where her father is actually in danger of having the locks changed on him because he also said something a tad derisive about my baked chicken the other night (DAMN YOU, ALLRECIPES.COM AND YOUR TOO-LIGHT HAND WITH SAVORY FLAVORS).
Either that or we’ll just kick the entire thing into high gear by throwing in some fairies. I figure you can’t go wrong with baby-making fairies. Elusive little suckers and very, very easy to blame.