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Mr. Whipple?

By Tammy Harrison

Every single night for the past ten months, my middle daughter Cristen has closed out her evening prayers with "And, thank you God for helping mommy get Grace out of her tummy." And, after spending a few days over the holiday with her cousin, she has added thanks for helping his mommy get him out of her tummy.

We have always thanked her for thinking of such things, and do not think much more about it.

Dear Santa delivered a new baby doll to Cristen--just what she wanted! She has fed the baby, played with her, talked to her and carried her around just like the real thing. She asked me for diapers for her the other day, and I have spent countless hours burping the new addition to our family.

As I sat here in my office a few days ago, the kids were playing 'house' nearby. I truly enjoy just listening to their play, as I not only get to hear what I sound like to them, but I also get a feel for where they are in their developmental stages of life and their imaginations.

Next thing I hear Cristen say to her big sister is, "Now, you go over there and lay down on the sofa and poop this baby out of your bottom."

I laughed, spitting whatever soda I had just drank all over myself. I fell out of my chair as I stumbled to the living room to make sure the patient was alright. Then I had to do what moms and dads wait for, I had to explain where babies come from!

With a six-, four- and two-year-old looking at me with inquisitive eyes, I tried my very best to give them what they needed to hear without going into too much detail (that would be repeated on their playgrounds).

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With some new anatomically-correct paper dolls they had received as gifts, I showed what any mom shows to children so young -- that boys and girls are different! Then, I explained that we preferred that they be adults before having children and that it takes someone very special to be a mommy. I need not explain the intricate details of my conversation with them, except to say that my son could have cared less what I was talking about because he was the *dad* and his new train was much more important; our oldest daughter had a few questions that I answered; and Miss Cristen just let it all sink in without saying a thing.

Without thinking twice, I went back to my office and the girls went upstairs to play in their room--and was quite smug in the fact that they now knew how babies are born.

Then I heard little feet running down the stairs and tearing through the house. As I turned around, I saw a little girl run back up the stairs, tightly squeezing a roll of toilet paper while trailing a few feet of squares behind her, as she loudly exclaimed that "the baby is coming, the baby is coming'!

© Tammy Harrison
Tammy Harrison is the mother of four, and the Independent Creative Representative of Home-Based Working Moms.


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