Thursday, February 24, 2011

Noah's Question About Body Science

So I started up my computer planning to write a follow up on conferences today, mainly because I want a record of what happened today.

But instead, a funny story came to my mind from a conversation with my sons today. Note the word "sons".

Please be aware...if you are uncomfortable with discussion of body stuff, please pass this one on by. But, there may be other people out there that will get a giggle from this...

Somehow I started a tradition with Noah that every conference day he gets to pick out a new book. So I took then boys to Barnes and Noble before conferences today. Noah picked out a book that had a "secret decoder" that was all about body functions. The kid loves science and this was right up his alley so I said fine. As we were on the way to school, Noah started reading different facts aloud. It was really quite fascinating. Then he comes to a page about the functions of all of the body's important organs.

He gets to two in particular...
"Mommy, the small intestine makes pee and the large intestine makes poop"
"Thanks for the info, Noah"
"Mommy, Noah said 'poop' "
"Thanks Aaron for the update"
"Mommy" Noah continues, "that means that girls don't need small intestines."
"How do you figure that Noah?
"Because they don't have a penis."

Now it is at this moment that I had a huge decision to make. Do I continue this very scientific discussion because it is fact based or do I stop it so this doesn't turn into a gross discussion among his friends on the playground?

I decided that I had to go at least a little further...

"Noah, just becasue girls don't have a penis, doesn't mean that they don't go pee"
"But how, mom"
"Mommy said pee" (Aaron)
"Noah, you have one place for pee to come out and one place for poop. So do girls."

THAT is where I stopped the conversation.

"That's just the way our bodies are made"

This was then followed by a very clear disclaimer that this conversation will not be repeated in school and that we only talk about our bodies at home and if he has questions, to only come to his parents or other trusted adults.

Gone are the days of simple kid innocence. Inside this silly little anecdote is a bigger thought of how children seek to find out facts. I figured if I cut off his questions now, then he will only seek out other, possibly less appropriate sources for info so I want him to be comfortable to ask me things. At the same time, it will be up to me to decide how much information is too much and how much is just enough. I am so lucky that at eight and a half, he is still talking to me about things for now. I know our moments of open communication are numbered as we barrel our way toward puberty. I'm hoping that the information I gave him doesn't spark curiosity in a bad way.

I guess only time will tell. Maybe, he'll become a brilliant doctor because of the interest that was sparked today and someday he'll cure some terrible disease.

It could happen...

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