When enough is too much and a little is not enough

Children ask questions. It’s just what they do. Some more than others, and some accept ‘just because’ as the answer. I don’t have one of those children. He knows when he’s being brushed off, and he knows when answers don’t quite match up. So when he started asking me about how babies were made because he desperately wanted a sibling, I had to come up with something plausible, but honest.

Naturally I didn’t want to give him too much information, but he requires enough to make the answer seem true or he will just keep asking you in different ways until you go mad! We started off with the simple answer when he was three “Mummies and Daddies make babies. It’s not easy and it might take a while, but we are working on it.” He accepted that for a while, but when no babies were arriving, he started to ask more questions about how “exactly” it was done and then he wanted to start “helping”. I think he thought we mustn’t be doing it right because it was taking too long!

I bought an ovulation microscope thingy, which lets you see the changes in the structure of your saliva before and during ovulation. Naturally he was curious about the device, and being the smarty pants that he is, he looked at the booklet that came with it and demanded to know what the pictures meant. I explained it to him and he understood. This was when he was about four years old. One morning I did the test and he wanted to see. I showed him and it matched the picture for ‘ovulating’ which I had explained to him means the woman’s body is ready to try and make a baby.

He was extremely excited and put the microscope down and exclaimed, “Great! Daddy! Quick, what do we need to do next? She is ready to make a baby now! Do we need to go to the hospital?!” Poor thing was very disappointed when we explained that ‘what happened next’ was not anything to do with children, and that it doesn’t mean a baby is definitely coming soon!

Skip ahead to 5.5 yrs old and now he knows a little more about the process from a scientific point of view. He was sitting up in the tree in our backyard and shouted out to me.

“Mummy! You just need a sperm!” I turned around, not quite sure I had heard him correctly…


“The sperm has half the information, and you have the other half. If you get the two halves of information together it knows how to build a baby! If you weren’t married to Daddy already, I could give you a sperm and then you can have another baby!”

I decided not to clarify any points for him, except to say. “Thanks sweetie, but children don’t marry their parents. You will find your own wife when you are a grown up and you can give her your sperm. ” I figured it was safer not to even ask him whether he knew what a sperm actually was, or whether he knew how to ‘give’ someone one! Gave me a good giggle though!

I do think that if my husband and I do ever actually manage to get pregnant again, he will be rather bored with the 9 months of waiting for it to arrive from the hospital!


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