August 1, 2009

The first cow - Explanations of where babies come from

MayrendBabyCow.jpgMy son has been very interested in asking questions of late. I suppose that’s not so bad since he is five; however it is the nature of the questions that is of a little concern to me. His most common questions revolve around babies and specifically “Mom where do babies come from?

I know its normal behavior, and I don’t have difficulties answering most questions - but he is 5 - FIVE! He doesn’t even begin school for a few weeks, so where are these questions coming from? Is it normal for five-year-olds to NEED to know this info? It feels a little too early to answer this question with any substance. Luckily, as coincidence would have it, he seems satisfied with the vaguest of answers.

My M.O. has been to ask him “Well what do you think?” or simply say “Babies come from their mommy’s tummies.”

The other day though, as we were driving down I-94, he asked me again, “Mom where do babies come from?” “Well where do you think they come from?” “I know it takes a mommy and a daddy and the doctor cut me out of your tummy.” (C-section for both kids wouldn’t you know…) “Yes honey that’s right. Did you get the answer you needed?” “Yes.” As I breathe a HUGE sigh of relief...

There is silence in the car, until we pass a large truck hauling cattle. “Mom where are they taking the cows?”

I have to stop at this, because again, how much information is TOO much information for a five-year-olds brain. “Well Zach, sometimes cows become food for us. You know that, right?”


“That is where we get steak and hamburgers.”

“So someone is gonna cut them up? Won’t that hurt?”

Again I have to dig deep for the answers, thinking quickly for something that makes sense - Got it. “Well sweetie, the cows are asleep and they don’t feel it.”

“Mom, did it hurt when I came out of your tummy?”

Damned my answers came back to haunt me - He’s back to asking about babies due to my C-sections. “No sweetie, I wanted you and your sister so badly it didn’t hurt me.”

Now comes the rapid fire, on the chopping block questions...

“So where do baby cows come from?”

“They come out of their mommy’s tummies.”

“So they are like us?”

“Yes sweetie, they are called mammals - They come out of their mommy’s tummy and drink her milk so they can grow.”

“But where do they COME from?”

I’m now getting frustrated and I sense his frustrations as well as I ask, “WHERE do you think they came from?”

“No, MOM, I mean the FIRST cow. Where did IT come from”

Now this stops me. To avoid any explanation of Creationism vs. Evolution to a five-year-old though, I opted for the easiest answer for my son to grasp - I suppose one might argue that I saw my out…”Well sweetie, God created the first cow.”

There is now silence in the car, complete, blessed SILENCE. He seemed to accept that answer - Thankfully he hasn’t asked about the first human, or asked again about babies and their "specifics", but I have a sinking suspicion that I am going to need simplified answers sooner rather than later…

But, he’s only FIVE!!! Isn’t that a bit early to want to know about the human reproductive cycle?!

Creative Commons License / photo credit: colostate

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