Saturday, January 2, 2010

Boobs and Bellies, A Biology Lesson Suitable for Four Year Olds

My children have taken a special interest in boobs and bellies ever since this past Summer when Aaryn visited. She was seven plus months pregnant and the kids were mimicking her belly
and were talking endlessly about babies in tummies. It was sweet and innocent and age appropriate.

A few months later Aaryn returned with her baby. The kids fell in love
with all things Moshe. They got an abbreviated lesson about breastfeeding and I answered a few quick questions with limited answers. They watched as sweet baby Moshe would get fussy, he would nuzzle into Aaryn to nurse, he would burp and then he was happy. This went on every 3-4 hours for a few days and my kids absorbed another lesson in biology.

Charlotte is two years old. She is totally at the age of monkey see, monkey do, just likethe triplets were at her stage. They had each other to peer model, and Charlotte finds wisdom and knowledge from them and from others. Apparently, she memorized and was moved by baby Moshe. This week her monkey see, monkey do actions were as follows. She pretended to be a baby, she started fake crying and I played along with her little charade. I picked her up to comfort her, when she nuzzled into my chest, pretended to nurse then pulled her head away from me and launched a very loud belch. I patted her back and said, "Oh, good burping baby Charlotte!" She said, "I am not Charlotte, I am Moshe." Monkey see, Monkey Do at age two.

Natalie retained the breastfeeding information too. She has become keenly aware of women's breasts. She often pats mine and makes comments like this one is chocolate milk, and this one is white milk. Cute. Innocent. Biology at age four, right? Except for when today at Giant Eagle she saw a very young, scantily dressed woman at the bathroom sink. This lady was sporting a set of expensive implants and she was dressed to make sure she got her moneys worth. Natalie took note of them and pointed, then loudly said, "See Mommie, that girl has LOTSA, LOTSA, LOTSA, milk in her boobies." I wanted to die of embarrassment, but instead I just smiled and said, she just learned about breastfeeding, and she is four. I then shut the stall door, leaned against it and cracked up in silence.

I am not sure how to teach them about biology and human nature at this age. They clearly have a sense of curiosity and eagerness to learn, they just do not have a filter for what is appropriate. This is my world people. For example, Eli saw a very large woman at Old McDonald's Play Space yesterday. She was standing right by us and he took notice of her very full, round, overhanging tummy. She was obviously NOT PREGNANT, she was just obese. I saw him staring at her mid-section and just as I started to quickly move him toward the slide, he bursted out, "Mommie, that lady has sooooo-sooooo-sooooo many babies in there, look Mommie, I think they might be triplets, go ask her if she's got three babies in her belly." Awwww man, again, I was mortified, but I just smiled and said, "Yeah, he is a triplet, he assumes everyone has triplets, he is four, sorry." I am pretty sure she is going to go home and tell all her friends about how some brat thought she was pregnant with triplets.

So, I guess this is the stage we are at now. Charlotte is monkey see, monkey do with lots of influence from her many siblings, and the triplets are too smart for their own good. There has to be some sort of middle ground for learning about boobs, bellies and biology. I need some new lesson plans over here. HELP. I am dying of embarrassment and my kids are killing me.


babetteflix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babetteflix said...

I removed my other comment because I wanted to add something.

I came up with a technique for swear words, including taking the Lord's name in vain: "I sometimes say these words, and it's OK if you say them at home, but there are people out there who will be upset if they hear you say them." Perhaps you don't want to start yet with the swear words (though I taught Amy early that adults tend to swear at their computers), but it's not too early to tell your kids that it's not polite to talk about strangers' boobs and bellies. This could also serve as an introduction to the important concept of "private parts," which you'll have to get to eventually. Does that help?

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