I decided to address her recent question, "How do babies come out?"
In my home growing up, we did not talk about anatomy or anything closely resembling "sex" talk. It was whole-heartedly avoided. I think this approach made everything seem so wrong. I even found myself hesitating when it came to bringing up the subject with my own daughter.
However, I sensed the moment as an opportunity to let Bella know that I had heard her. That I had taken the time to think about her question and given her an answer. Thanks to some suggestions, we read the following book together:
Bella's favorite part was:
I pushed and pushed until your head showed a fraction,
Then all of a sudden it, it was lights! camera! action!
Of course the book's illustration shows a newborn baby belting out a tune on a microphone in the hospital nursery. That is SO Bella :-)
The rhyming story was cute and fun, but I knew it didn't really answer her question. It did give her a chance to see how long it takes a baby to grow and how they develop inside of the mom's tummy.
I checked another book from the library:
I chose to read portions of this book to Bella, because the story was written for a boy, and I thought it was confusing. The book also goes into a lot of other questions, but Bella hasn't asked those yet. I did enjoy the way it created a bigger picture of how God made us. I told her how God planned for us all to have Mommy and Daddy, because it's hard work to take care of a child otherwise. I read to her about how God made girls' bodies especially to have babies.
|The day Bella (3 yrs. old) got her first baby brother in 2007.|
She learned the "v" word, because it was about time, and it answered her question on how a baby is born. I hadn't taken the approach of other families who teach their children the names of body parts right away, because I was terrified of my kids repeating the words inappropriately to others (possibly other kids who hadn't been taught that as well). She and I laughed at her first disgusted reaction, but then accepted that God had made our bodies in an amazing way :-)
|A little mommy-in-training. 2007.|
There were no gory details or graphic illustrations. I didn't go into a boys' anatomy or how the baby came to be. I like the idea of her coming to me with each question as she thinks of them and not overwhelming her all at once.
|Waiting to be a big sister in 2007.|
So there. I am hoping that these moments build trust and closeness between mother and daughter. It's one thing I worry most about Bella- that she won't come to me first when she has a problem or a question. I'm praying that this indeed will be the first of many many many girl talks :-)