Wednesday, October 16, 2013


This is one of those posts where I ask for advice and I really do want it so please leave a comment...even if you think I'm ridiculous and over thinking this :)

Liv has a pop up book with a cruise ship in it. I mentioned one time when we were reading it that her daddy and I went on a boat like that for our honeymoon. She wanted to know where she was. I told her she wasn't born yet.
"But where WAS I?"
" were a dream in my heart."
"I was in your heart? Or your tummy?"
"Well techincally you weren't in my were a teeny egg" (immediately regretting this)
"I wasn't an egg! I'm not a chicken!"
"Uhhhh...well....see everyone starts as an egg, then they grow...."

And we are officially over her head. Confusion ensues. I'm grasping for straws and truth on a 4 year old level and ready to check out a book at the library with charts and graphs.

Then tonight I overhear the exact same conversation take place when her daddy is reading her the same book and the cruise ship page appears.
"But daddy was I there?"
"You weren't even born yet"
"But where WAS I? In mommy's tummy?"
"Nope not even in mommy's tummy"
"Then where WAS I?"
"You were still in heaven."

Well now, to me, that's vague and confusing. Plus it's where we go when we die. It's where she thinks her great grandparents are and Keely's dog. Ryan said it's a good enough answer for now. But she laughed and I think she thinks the egg and the heaven answer were both us being silly.

Now we've told her two different things. And I think we need to agree on something....or just burn the pop up book or rip out the cruise ship page.

I wanted the literal truth as a child when I asked questions and had a very distorted view of where baby's came from for a few years thanks to an innocent remark made by my mother--see #57. (Please don't beat yourself up about it, mom, you straightened it all out for me a few years later).

So my question is when my daughter digs for the answers, how literal do I go? I really don't know what a 4 year old level is on this, but she's not satisfied with the answers given, but I don't want to be confusing or give too much info too soon. And I don't want to lie and I don't want to throw the book away because it's a very cute pop up book.

Let the comments begin.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes asking what they think stops the questions because it shows you they have an answer and they are satisfied with it for now. As long as it isn't not completely untrue, letting them have their own idea works until they are ready for more understanding as they get older.
just a thought....
Isn't parenting an adventure!:)
Aunt Debby

The Moores said...

I had this same conversation with Alice just a few weeks ago! How funny. My answers weren't any better than your. I just told her that I honestly didn't know where she was and that we can ask God when we get to heaven someday. She seemed ok with this answer and now whenever we talk about something that happened before she was born she says "that was before I was around, right?". Don't be afraid to admit to your kids that you don't know. :)

Rebekah said...

Sometimes they don't really want the whole scientific answer. I had a friend who decided she would "never lie to her daughter" which I am not encouraging, but after her daughter asked a simple question at 4 and was told the WHOLE birds and bees story, I think poor Kensie was not ready for that either. Nor were the friends of the mothers who a confused 4 yr old started telling her friends...I was actually going to answer the same as the others. Don't be afraid to say I don't know and when Brooke asked "how did I get in your tummy" I paused for a minute...and just as I was about to say something she said.. "oh, I know, God lives in our hearts..He just dropped me down" She did not want or need the full answer. She actually already had an answer in mind, just needed some reassurance.

Michelle said...

I can not believe I have not had to deal with this question from Cooper, he's on his 3rd sibling, so to him apparently babies just get in mommies tummy and the doc cuts them out....but I agree you don't have to tell the complete answer, but enough for now. Ultimately kids are a gift from God, so I think saying God gave you to us when we were ready is a fair and honest answer.

kmom said...

I liked Moore's answer. I will give or mail you the book we have by Larry Christenson, The Wonderful Way that Babies Are Made. There are 2 readings. One for children 3 to 8 and one for children 9 to 14. Parents should first read it themselves, especially the foreword, they may not want to read every word or page. For the record, I had said that the unwed pregnant girl had not followed God's rules for dating. You may have been 4 at the time. Good communication is so hard at any age. Living things are not anywhere until they start to grow. Good luck.

Chellie said...

I like the answer "Aunt Debby" gave. In that way you aren't lying to her you are just seeing more of where her mind is. I don't think you have to go in to how babies are made yet because that's not really what she's asking. I think it's also OK to say you don't know. Sometimes you may not have an answer and that's OK.

Carmen said...

I was about that age when I learned about sex. I was almost 5 years old and I was about to start kindergarten so my mom gave me the entire un-edited version so I wouldn't accidentally hear about it from another kid. I was young enough that I did not even view it as awkward. She was totally straight with me, and I always remembered that. It really opened a door of communication between us because I knew she would tell me the full truth, not just sugar-coat things. Because of her early honesty anytime I had questions (even about sex) all the way through high school I would turn to her and she would truthfully answer every question I had. Being willing to have that conversation with your daughter could really be great for your relationship. Older children think sex is an awkward conversation, but she doesn't know enough about it to feel that way. Go for it! Tell her everything and make it clear that if she ever has ANY questions she can ALWAYS come to you! :)

Anonymous said...

She started in your heart before moving yo your tummy
Aunt sandi

Anonymous said...

I think my kids have asked this and I answered they weren't around yet, but they never insisted to know WHERE they were. I agree with all the above statements and answer truthfully that you don't know. We don't know everything about God yet, so it's okay to tell her that sometimes we just don't know. I might also add that it takes a mom and a dad getting together to make a baby, and you had just gotten together at that time. Tell her it takes 9 months minimum to make everything just right and you didn't start until you knew you had everything in order, or something like that. This isn't lying, but it's also not giving the overwhelming truth. I hope she can be satisfied with your answer you give! Jessica Van Winkle

Shawn and Becky said...

Cameron asked this question . . . it was right after Cole was born asking 'how did I get in your tummy mommy . . . did you eat me?' I laughed then and I laughed now. I told him that with God's help the love between mommy and daddy put him there. Then he asked who Cole's daddy was :) Oh kids. I think Debbie is right, see what she thinks then fill in the blanks if needed. Good luck!

Leslie said...

hilarious post.

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