My twin granddaughters joined playschool when they moved to Canada, and their teacher was expecting. For a couple of months, they were unaware about this. But then, a few more enlightened girls were discussing their teacher’s “big tummy”. Our little ones soon learned that she was going to have a baby.
They were super excited! At that young age of innocence they were uninhibited and wanted to confirm the news… hear it from the horse’s mouth and they also had some other questions to ask. They didn’t only want to confirm what they had heard, they wanted to know who put the baby in and how it would come out of her tummy. Yes! I bet you are laughing now imagining how the conversation went.
Amu – Is there a baby inside there? (she points to the tummy).
Teacher – Yes, there is. (highly amused by their frank curiosity)
Mia – When will the baby come out?
Teacher – There are a couple of months more.
Twins together – OHHH! (Their brows were furrowed. There was a HOW knocking around).
Mia – How does it come out?
Stumped on how to answer this without going into unnecessary details, which they wouldn’t know nor understand, she said:
“Oh, you know, I’ll go to the hospital and the doctor will help the baby out.”
Amu – Will the doctor cut your tummy?
Teacher – (In order to avoid another “how” question if she replied in the negative, she opted to go with…) I don’t know. He might have to cut it.
Both – But that is horrible!
Amu – It’s going to hurt a lot and there will be a lot of blood!
Both the little girls seemed quite disturbed by this.
Teacher – Oh no! You need not worry about that. They will give me a medicine and I won’t feel a thing. No pain.
Both were relieved by this information and turned to leave. Just when the teacher thought the conversation was over, one of the twins had another question.
“Who put the baby in your tummy?”
Should she answer that with, “the stork”? Indians didn’t use the stork story because it isn’t a bird everyone knew about. What everyone knew was GOD! And being who he was, he was bigger and stronger and more powerful than superman, especially in a kid’s mind. He could do anything, even the impossible. Scripture stories, in any religion, speak of these amazing feats. So it was the easiest way to explain it to very young kids.
Now the teacher was an Indo-Canadian and like all, or almost all, Indians answer this question she said:
“God put it there!”
“Oh!” they said and off they ran to play with the other girls. I’m sure she was glad they didn’t think of another HOW question! How did God put it there?! That would need a lot more imagination to explain in a satisfactory way!!
I remember being told that God had dropped off my younger brother at the Army Hospital and my mother was there to pick him up! I swallowed that story hook, line, and sinker! Just in case you are wondering — even at the age of ten, I hadn’t noticed that my mom’s tummy had grown enormously! I was pretty naive or too tomboyish to have noticed such things. Besides, that was 1965 India. And that was the story all kids were told until they learned the truth… mostly from their friends, older kids, or when they were old enough to study it in their Science class.