big pharma

Confession: The Mama likes vitamins. Nothing too wacky, but some probiotics, fish oils, multi-vitamins, homeopathic allergy pills, and a couple of innocuous prescriptions round out my daily routine. The Kidling has observed me swallowing or chomping those little treasures on several occasions and one morning was bored enough with her little kidling life to quiz me:

The Kidling: What’s the green one for?
The Mama: My nose.
The Kidling: The circle?
The Mama: Which circle?
The Kidling: The large one.
The Mama: My skin
The Kidling: The small one?
The Mama: My ovaries
The Kidling: The other one?
The Mama: My brain.
The Kidling: (gasps with alarm) You have brain problems!?!

We all do, dear one. We all do. Also? Why aren’t you concerned about my ovaries? I was sure the BCP would launch us into a newly detailed discussion of human reproduction. As soon as I think I know what’s coming…

just sound it out

We encourage The Kidling to ask good, thoughtful questions and we do our best to answer them with age-appropriate candor. As a pre-reader, we also encourage her to sound out words.

I somehow neglected to see the potential for those two things combined to bite us in our asses.


The Kidling and I were at the local school’s playground one evening in early spring. We ran into a delightful third grade neighbor boy–a bona fide big kid–who invited her to join in a game with a classmate and him. My heart swelled at her joy at being included as well as with my own admiration of those fantastic boys’ parents who taught them to be so gracious to a pre-schooler.

Once my heart settled (seriously, Christine. Get it under control), I started chatting with the other parents. They were all lovely and amazing and I want to be their best friends forever. Like all playground conversations, the topic eventually turned to the question of how to talk to children about the more delicate parts of human reproduction.

What? That isn’t what your playground small talk typically covers?


As I was saying… one of the older, wiser moms suggested a great book, “It’s So Amazing.” The authors cover all aspects of human reproduction in a frank, non-threatening way. I knew I would forget if I didn’t act soon, so I picked it up the next time we were at the library. Even though we have covered a fair amount of the subject matter here at The House, The Kidling was fascinated by the book. She asked for a different chapter every night until the book was due. And yes, we did skip come chapters. She is only five.

Fast forward.

We were on our way to one of Our Town’s far-too-many-per-capita frozen yogurt shops Saturday. The Kidling, being a good kidling, began to sound out words to figure out how they are spelled, when suddenly we heard:

“Sss. Buh. Urr. Mmm.  Sss. Buh. Urr. Mmm.  Sss. Buh. Urr. Mmm. Sssssssss. Buh. Buh. Buh. Buh. Urrrrrr. Urrrrrr. Mmmmmmm. Sperm. Ssssspeeeeerrrrrrmmm. Sperm. Sss. Sperm. Sss. Sss. Buh. Buh. Buh. Sperm. Ssssssssperm. Sss. Buh. Buh. Buh. Buh. Buh. Urm…”*

Yes, this went on and on (and on). No, no amount of telling her that the second letter is “P” did any good. And yes, she had moved on to another word by the time we got to the yogurt store.

It’s so amazing.


* I am religious about quote accuracy, so let me say that I cannot guarantee whether this is, in fact, the precise order in which The Kidling focused on the five sounds in the word “sperm.” But you get the idea.

an education, courtesy of The Kidling

You might recall a certain significant question Alice asked me several weeks ago (if not, then you should really click on that hyperlink back there, as it is the funniest damn conversation The Kidling and I have ever had. And that is saying something).

I have recently learned that what I tell my kid does, in fact, resurface. With a vengeance.

When I dropped Alice off at daycare the other morning, her teachers told me a story. Apparently one day a few weeks ago, Alice was holding court in the corner, talking animatedly to her friends. They listened wide-eyed while she explained, “Do you know how I got here? From my mom’s vagina! She pushed real hard with all her vagina muscles. She didn’t even pee me out!”

I can only imagine the dinner-table conversations happening at households around our fair city THAT evening…