Today, while going for a walk, Baby Snarky had some serious questions for me. We were talking about otters. Baby Snarky is going through an otter phase. He has gone through a hippo phase, and a tiger phase. He went through an octopus phase and now it’s all about otters. He watches videos about otters, he studies their footprints online, he searches for otters outside, he has done just about everything but actually seen a live otter.
“Oh Mommy, you should just see baby otters!” he said. “I think they are probably the cutest babies in the whole world. They are so cute that if I ever saw one I would want to keep it, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t keep a baby otter because if I did, then I would have to lie to police officers, and we just don’t lie to those guys, right mom?”
“Mmm hmmm.” I was only half listening.
Then .5 seconds of blissful silence before he started up again. Baby Snarky thinks out loud. Mostly. This is called “being an extrovert”. “Being an extrovert” is very hard on mommies because the only time you get more than two seconds of quiet is when your extrovert is asleep. Sometimes not even then. At least it’s hard on this overly introverted mommy.
“Mommy, do otters lay eggs?”
I knew it was an serious question because he actually paused for an answer.
“No.” I said. “Otters are mammals. They have babies, just like people.”
Baby Snarky paused and contemplated this for exactly .03 seconds of more blissful silence. Then he started “thinking” again.
“So, if mommies carry their babies in their tummies, how do the babies…” he began,
“Oh no, oh no, oh no!” I panicked. (Actually, slightly stronger language was running through my head, but we won’t write that here.) “Not this talk! I am not ready to have this talk with my baby!”
“…get out?” he finished.
“Oh thank you thank you thank you, Jesus!” I thought. “Wait, this means we are going to have to talk about vaginas.”
I will spare you the awkward way that I described the emergence of a new life into the world. Let’s just say that I may have left Baby Snarky a bit more confused than he started out. When we got home, we decided to turn to our good friend Google. I was able to find a video of a monkey giving birth which seemed like the perfect visual aid to me. (Yes, in hindsight puppies or maybe even, I don’t know, otters would have been a better choice. I don’t always think clearly when I know I am going to have to use words like “vagina” with my children.)
After watching the monkey birth, Baby Snarky seemed pretty impressed.
“Wow! That’s a lot of blood!” he exclaimed.
Then, his older sister, who had been watching with us asked “Can we watch a video of a human giving birth?”
“Um yes, I guess, but I’ll have to look for a DVD. Most women don’t want pictures of their private parts on the internet.”
Yes, that was a huge lie, but we don’t need to know about the Kardashians yet. Also, I wasn’t sure what kind of videos would pop up and I really wanted to preview things first. Apparently I still had a little common sense left.
“What about a C-section?” Huggy asked. (Huggy wants to deliver babies when she grows up, so she is already pretty knowledgeable about all of this.) “Can we watch a video of a C-section? They don’t use private parts in a C-section so I bet most women wouldn’t mind a video of their C-section on the internet. Wait, do they knock you out for a C-section?”
“Well, I’ve never had a C-section,” I admitted “but I think they give you an epidural for a C-section. That’s where they put a tiny bit of medication in your spine so that you can’t feel anything below your chest.”
“Wait. Do you mean the mom is still awake while they cut her open? Like her guts and everything? Why don’t they just knock her out so she doesn’t have to see anything, ’cause that could kind of freak a person out!” Huggy was shocked.
“They cover her face so she can’t see,” I explained. “They can’t give her drugs to make her unconscious because the baby would get those drugs too, and that wouldn’t be good for the baby.”
I was feeling like an expert at this point and also the world’s greatest teacher. Little did I know, I was about to fall off my throne.
“Oh, I wasn’t thinking you should give the mother drugs!” Huggy assured me. “Drugs would be dangerous for the mother, and especially for the baby! I was thinking you could just hit her over the head until you knocked her out.”
Okay. Not the world’s greatest teacher.
Also, I feel the responsible thing at this point would be to encourage Huggy into a profession outside of medicine. A profession that would better fit her personality. A profession that would take advantage of her particular set of skills. Like maybe a hit man.