How Babies are Made (sometimes)

conversations with hank

This is Molly’s favorite book. She falls asleep every night with it open and propped up so she can look at the skeletal system or the nervous system or some other fascinating part of the human body.


Me: (scuttling around the house at bed time, gathering bits and bobs, ferrying dishes to the sink, etc)

Molly: (carrying Hank’s Christmas present from his Avó (grandmother), O Corpo Human: Orgãos, Sistemas, Funções (The Human Body: Organs, Systems and Functions), even though it is half her size) Mama, read skeletons? Read skeletons, please?

Me: What a wonderful idea! Go read with mano (brother) for a minute and I will join you shortly.

Molly: (curls bouncing) Okay. MANO (brother)! MANO (brother)! (enters their shared room)

Hank: Hi mana (sister).

Molly: Mano (brother), read skeletons?

Hank: Sure.

Molly: YAH!

Hank: Mana (sister), that is the back of the book the skeletons are in the…

Molly: Okay… look, babies! Babies, mano (brother)!

Hank: That is right. This is how a baby fits into a mama’s body and is born.

Molly: LOOOK! Skeleton!

Hank: That is the mama’s spine and this is what a baby looks like growing in a mama’s body.

Molly: (turning the page) Look, mano! Penis.

Hank: What?

Molly: Penis.

Hank: (reading the text) O coito (coitus)?

Molly: Penis puzzle.

Hank: What?

Molly: Penis puzzle make babies.

Hank: Um.

Me: (standing in the door way debating entering having earlier used this analogy to explain to my curious three year old intercourse with the purpose of having children; that the man and the woman are like a puzzle and when they fit together they can make a baby)

Molly: Yah, mama and papa fit. Penis puzzle, baby.

Hank: (catching on to what he is seeing) Oh!

Molly: Penis puzzle.

Hank: (whispers) So that is how that works.

Me: (take the opportunity to enter the room, but say nothing, ready for their questions)

Molly: (bored) Where skeleton, mano (brother)?

Hank: (scrambles gratefully to turn to the front of the book) Here, here is the skeletal system.

Molly: Hi skeleton! (waving)

Hank: Penis puzzle, mama? Really?

Me: What? How else are you supposed to explain that illustration to a three year old?

Hank: (shrugs, judgmental) Are you supposed to explain that illustration to a three year old?

Me: (some major side eye) Parenting is 35% keeping you alive and 65% explanation and the explanations are rarely easy.

Molly: Mano (brother), LOOOOOK skeleton!