a bit about the birds and the bees
We planned to wait right up to S’s due date to start explaining to Munchkin that he was about to become a big brother. The little man put those plans to rest with his usual mix of cheerful guilelessness and unanticipated perspicacity, sparking a series of hilarious conversations in the process.
At three, Munchkin hasn’t quite grasped the concept of linear time. Yesterday, in his world, could be last weekend or last month. Similarly, when he gets excited about something we tell him will happen in the future, he wants – and demands – it immediately. Hence our hesitation to tell him about the impending arrival of his baby sister. But a few weeks ago, when he was cruising around the yard in his toy car, he surprised S by saying that he was going to Kenya to pick up his baby sister.
We’re not sure if he overheard us talking, or perhaps one of his teachers at school asked him about her. Either way, S decided to ask him what he thought his sister was like, to which Munchkin replied that she was too little to walk and he was going to carry her on his back. This makes sense given how many Rwandan women he sees with babies on their backs. S also asked out of curiosity what was his sister’s name, and Munchkin replied very pragmatically, “Kenya.” This also has a certain logic, as he names all of his stuffed animals after the animals themselves, so it would make sense that a baby sister from Kenya would be named Kenya. Sadly, this does not help us in our grand name negotiations.
A few days later, S decided to set the record straight and mentioned that, in fact, Munchkin’s baby sister was in her belly. Munchkin was incredulous at first, then cautiously skeptical, but he has since repeated back the fact a few times so it might be starting to sink in. It also helps that he’s overheard his friends, particularly those with younger siblings, ask S about the baby in her belly.
Having apparently understood that babies grow inside the tummy, Munchkin then threw S a curveball by pointing at his own belly button and announcing that his sister was inside his belly. In fact, one morning at breakfast, he lamented that his belly hurt because his sister was inside. S suggested that perhaps a trip to the bathroom was in order if his belly really hurt. Munchkin heeded her advice, and a few days later threw it right back at her when he overhead S complain to D about the discomfort the baby was causing her.
We plan to introduce some bedtime stories that portray pregnancy a bit more accurately but, in the meantime, we’re enjoying the various iterations of possible ways baby #2 might make her way into the world.