Monday, February 21, 2011

The Facts of Life

Ellie's always been interested in medical type things.  She wants to be a nurse when she grows up.  Add that to the fact that we're committed to teach Elle the correct anatomical terms to our body parts, and you could say we have a little Curious George on our hands.

Ever since we stoppe letting Ellie shower with us two years ago she's been asking for body books from the library.  I started in the picture book section with very general cartoonishy sort of books.  She wanted more detail so I got a few old textbooks - but most of those were showing the inside nervous, muscle, and skeletal systems and less "body parts."

Well Ellie's best friend Maddy's mom is a nurse who believes the same as I do about teaching kids early.  So Ellie came home from her friends house asking if babies came out of vaginas.  I'm very clear that I will never lie when my kid asks questions like this - I'm telling the truth but I'm only telling facts and then stopping.  No expounding.  Just answer questions as they come but always be open so she's willing and able to ask.  This leads to more questions about making babies so I tell her next time we'll get a lot better book about that stuff.  She made sure to let me know she wants a book that shows a peni* {I don't want this blog to show up in nasty searches if I ever go public again, so this will be my abbreviation}.  She's never really seen one (a little drawback to not having a baby boy around getting his diaper changed) and she's about dying to find out.  How to show a 5 year old a factual-medical-body part in an appropriate way?  Hmmmmmm  . . . .

Enter: The Facts of Life

I was SO glad my library had this book.  It is written in a way where young kids can just look at the pictures, a little older kids can read short paragraphs in larger text, and much older kids and adults have pages and pages of tiny text to learn from.  Almost all of the pictures are cross sections of body parts that don't make much sense to a child unless it's explained.  We have eggs and sperm, embryo growth, babies in utero, as well as both the male and female reproductive systems.

Did I mention it's a 3D pop-up book?

After we were done reading and asking and answering questions what does Ellie say?  "Mom, you need to go get me a new book.  This one did not show the outside of a peni* and I have never seen that before.  I still need another book."  She went on to talk for a few minutes about how unfair it is she has never seen one and I am the one that could get a book to show her but I never get the right kind of book, etc.  Seriously in 2 minutes she dropped the p-word about 20 times.  It was a struggle to keep a straight face.  Because seriously . . . .

How is it my child is probably the only child in the world not satisfied with a diagram of a pop-up peni*?


When telling this story to my mom and sister, after picking ourselves up off the floor from laughing so hard my mom had an idea.  She had a huge "History of Art" book that we all started searching for naked men-statues.  {And really what else would you rather do with your mom and sister than search through books for naked-men-statues, ya know?}  Thank you Renaissance and the statue David.  I think we may have nipped this problem in the bud.


  1. OH.MY.GOSH!!! That's hilarious..I would have died!! I guess there's always that new exhibit coming to the library about human bodies:)

  2. Wow, I think it definitely helps that Maddy has two brothers and could literally care less about the other sex, she doesn't even care about boys at all!

  3. That is so hilarious, makes me nervous when these boys get older. Parenting is always changing. When my little sister was 2, her nephew was also almost 2. She was playing beside him while he got his diaper change. We overheard her say, "Wow, I don't have one of those." (pointing to the P-.) We cracked up. Definitely a new ball game when they get older though. I'm glad you posted about this, you'll want to remember it!