So when I was out in the Midwest visiting family I got to spend some great time with my goddaughter, LJ. She and I have a really special relationship. We are really close and I take my role as her aunt and godmother very seriously. Who knew it would someday require me to discuss with her the anatomy of female mammals, lactating ones to be specific?
When LJ first found out last summer we were trying to become parents she was a bit skeptical. She voiced her concerns that our time together would not be "just us" anymore and that she wouldn't get so much of our love and attention. Mr. Spicy and I assured her that she would always be very special to us, we would always have space and time for her, that we would make sure to get our one-on-one time with her even once we became parents. We even told her part of the reason we were so eager to become parents was because we loved our time with her so much and we hoped to have a child just like her one day. She took this all in, but she still had her reservations.
So this year, when we finally became pregnant and told her about it, we expected a lot of resistance. But she's eight years old now and MUCH more mature, don't you know? So, she checked in with us, reminded us that we promised to still make time for her and then she took it all in stride. Within a week or two she was negotiating babysitting fees for the summers when she comes to visit. She's offering us a week of babysitting of $10 - I think we'd better get that in writing!
Well, when we came to visit we found she was really taking this whole thing very seriously. She had gone to the library and found a book for kids that talked about pregnancy and babies. She was doing her research. I was so proud!
She took me upstairs to show me this book. It was a book about the human body and the human life cycle, illustrated and written for her age level. It was actually pretty cool.
She flipped immediately to the section on pregnancy. (I notice she skipped right over the "How babies are made" section - Thank God!) She showed me illustration after illustration of a baby growing in the belly of an increasingly pregnant mommy. She pointed and reminded me that this was what our baby looked like right now. She got through the part where the baby comes out and is born, and then....
LJ: But ewwww....this part is REALLY gross!
(I look down expecting to see the baby pooping or vomiting or something....but instead see a mother tenderly breastfeeding her newborn)
Me: That's how she feeds the baby, it's very natural.
LJ: No. It isn't. It's gross. Really really gross. And weird.
Me: But that's how mommy cows feed their babies, and horses, and dogs, and cats..... (she lives on a farm so I was trying to draw on something she might be familiar with)
LJ: Um. no. No they don't - they don't feed them with their boobies.
Me: Yes they do. Their "boobies" are just in a different place.
From the look on her face at that point, I am afraid I may have just scarred her for life.