Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Body Parts

Of all the things we have to explain to kids, human anatomy probably ranks high on the list in terms of complexity. Starting out is easy. Teach them the common names for limbs and sensory organs, and establish a list of acceptable euphemisms for bodily functions – job done! That’s how it was for us, until our daughter brought a library book home from primary school, for me to read with her. Imagine, settling down to deliver a bedtime story, and being presented with a book about delivering babies. Yes, there I was, mentally rehearsing various character voices, only to find myself pitifully underprepared for ‘A Foetus Journeys Forth’.

Aged three, Thing 1 had formed the opinion that human anatomy
wasn't as complicated as grown-ups would have her believe.
 
Still, I survived that experience, and an awful lot more besides, the way most parents do. Now all I have to contend with are the occasional surprises, sprung by young grandchildren.

Why have you got small boobies, Grandad?
“Uhh…”

Why have your teeth got black bits, Grandad?
“Not black. Silver.”
Black.
“They’re fillings, where the dentist repaired my teeth.”
Black.

And the latest is, “When will you die?” To which I’m tempted to answer, “Probably when you call out some boundary-breaking question in a crowded public place.”

Our daughter, now mother of three - so the message in the library book all those years ago, must have stuck – was telling me, today, that Thing 1 sprang from the bath last evening, pointed to her distended tummy and declared it full of strawberries. She went on to explain that her head was full of fish, and her arms packed with biscuits. Beats slugs, snails and puppy dog’s tails I suppose!

10 comments:

  1. ah your blog makes me giggle from time to time....love those grandkids of yours!

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    1. They keep me on my toes, Kathe W!

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  2. Ah the sheer innocence of being able to ask those questions of a grown-up, and get away with it, when others wouldn’t. You’ve captured that moment in your post, so that we can all share such moments.

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    1. That innocence is so precious, isn't it, Nell? I always have that Betjeman quote in mind. "Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.”

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  3. she's a treasure trove of food - could come in handy ;)

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    1. Well, Gabrielle, we have told her she's so lovely, we'd like to eat her up!

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  4. Ha ha! Children are so disarming sometimes. It probably does us all good.

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    1. Keeps us grounded, Christine, whilst raising a smile or two.

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