The birds and bees – with cuddly toys

A pregnant woman holding a toy leopard of the same size as her bump.

This week, I had another reminder of how soon we’re going to be a family of five. A plugin I use that automatically tweets old posts to the masses, lest they gather virtual dust, shared this one about Xander’s first week. I realised that we’re now under two months from having a newborn – and the joy of wiping their bum with hopelessly ineffective cotton wool. I know how daft this sounds, but it has felt like ages away for such a long time that it was actually quite a shock!

Of course, there has been a direct correlation between Kate’s bump becoming more pronounced and the amount we all talk about the impending arrival, but it still feels like we have a lot to do between now and November. As well as finding the crib and Moses basket, we need to sort out hospital bags, birth plans and the logistics of who collects Dylan and Xander from school and pre school if the baby arrives at an inconvenient time.

Then there are going to be the questions. I’m surprised that Dylan hasn’t enquired as to how the baby got where it is yet. And, indeed, how she’s going to get out. I have to confess that I’m dreading it. The lines of enquiry can’t be far away though as he recently asked how big the baby was.

Kate had the good idea of showing him by holding a toy of the correct length and size next to her bump. He now has a sense of scale to work with – although I worry that Xander may be disappointed when his little sister isn’t a leopard – and I can almost see both boys’ thought processes ticking towards the inevitable awkward conversations about conception and birth.

Speaking of Xander and cuddly toys though, he inadvertently found a way of explaining the latter the other day. Two of his favourite cuddly toys are cats. One is bigger than the other and is a glove puppet. You can see where this is going, I’m sure. We were left with the following rather alarming abandoned playscene…

Needless to say, we didn’t let him know that he had hit the nail on the head, so I’ll continue to think of a way of telling the truth in a way that isn’t going to give them both nightmares. Or that involves cuddly toys acting out popular positions from the Kama Sutra. The thought never crossed my mind…

How did you explain these things to your children?


  1. Adrian

    That’s very funny Tom. I confess it took a moment to realise one cat was giving birth to the other and not…doing something else!

    Good luck with number three – we’re only just getting the hang of one. I expect a lot of posts about not sleeping and poo disasters. Or just repost the old ones and get some rest!

  2. Sarah Miles

    I tell my kids that women have seeds in them that *when the time is right* grow into babies.

    Sort of true.

    My mum told me this and I was perfectly happy with it until I started reading Cosmopolitan 😉

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