A group of my friends were talking about “the birds and the bees.” Where did that come from? Maybe if it was the “bunny rabbits” that would make sense, but birds are so discrete and the bees pawn it off on the queen. Anyway. Many of us have daughters reaching the age where they are going to have to recognize that life indeed will suck when they grow up.
Of course, any talk of birds and the bees does involve talking about babies, and how they get here. This is an area that doesn’t bother me. I call it like I see it. The father figure is the one who gets frazzled in this department.
It all started when I discovered that I could get about 20 minutes all to myself in the morning if little toddler Baba would take a shower with her father in the morning. She was just over a year, so he was willing. I got breakfast cleaned up, could start dinner and was all ready to face life with a toddler, while gestating. And so it work out until Baba pointed and yelled “nose” at something that wasn’t a nose. And expelled from the shower she was.
And so things rolled, and then Mac joined the family. The girls were admiring their new found servant and offering all sorts of helpful advice to the nurse who was tending to him. Suddenly Baba loudly asked “what’s that? Is it a finger?” I was only half listening at the time, but caught the nurse’s stricken look and so the biology lessons began. Which were apparently very necessary because….well Mac is a boy and therefore has a pathological resistance to clothes.
The phone was Mac's Pavlov's Dog. One ring and off came the clothes.....
One of the biggest shocks that came with having boy was adjusting to the whole naked aspect. Why do little boys love to be naked? Is it because it makes the poop more accessible? That’s a whole other can of worms, but the need to strip off his clothes was absurd. I get that the family jewels are something that never get old. I know a little boy who was so disturbed by his mother’s lack of a penis that he offered to pray to Jesus that she get one. Not sure how that turned out. My nephew, at around 18 months, loved to take off during diaper changes, run to a corner and observe himself jiggle while he danced. Meanwhile my girls lay docilely during their diaper changes, pooping once a day, after their afternoon naps. And nudity was never their preferred method of existence.
“Mac, why are you taking off your clothes? “
“Because it’s a good idea!”
Oh, of course. Never mind that we are in the middle of Target.From what I’ve heard, boys and their mothers never agree on what constitutes a good idea. Ever. And rumor has it; it gets worse when they are teenagers.
When I envisioned parenthood, I didn't imagine myself having to yell “Don't take your shirt off” in the halls of Sunday school.
Nor did I imagine the challenges that procuring superhero underpants would present. Like the overwhelming desire to show them to everyone along with the inability to pull down your pants without pulling down your awesome underpants as well.
“Mommy, does this shirt make me strong?” “Not really honey, clothes don’t make you strong.” Along struts a naked Mac, “I don’t like things that don’t make me strong.”
Mac’s had an affinity to things that made him strong. It’s excellent motivation to eat whatever is served him.
But after nearly four years together, I should have seen this result.
So, courtesy of Mac, the girls learned the differences between girls and boys. Girls wear clothes. I’m thinking this lesson will pay dividends in the future.
Back when Mac was in utero, Baba asked me how he got there. Her father got up and walked out of the room. He said it was so that he could double check how that convent he’s having built in the backyard was coming along. I went with the whole keep it simple, and told her that mommy and daddy put him in there. To which she replied “oh yeah, and I helped!” Sigh. I still thank God that she didn’t bother repeating THAT to anyone else.
hen Mac came along, with all his Mac-ness and nudity. He was three when X-Man announced his presence. Mac was super excited and had all sorts of pressing questions.
“When are you going to open up your tummy and take out the baby and will it be a robot?” He might need some more work on the whole birds and bees concept.
After my ultrasound, which we took everyone to, his questions became much more personal. “Can I open up your tummy and touch the baby? Because I think he's crying.”
Things continued, and then one night, Mac asked the question "Mom, how'd the baby get in your tummy?" But unlike previous times, he had sisters to answer him.
Baba "mom and dad put him there."
Baby "NO. FIRST, God put the house in mommy's tummy, THEN mom and dad put him there.”
And I sat back and considered my job done. They’re figuring out the whole circle of life. Until Mac announced……..“Mommy, you're a girl, just like Daddy."
I don't know which one of us was more insulted.