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Just don't ask

September 19, 2013 - Kristy MacKaben
How the heck do you explain the meaning of "neuter" to a 7-year-old?

All of my tactics have pretty much failed.

It started with small talk at the doggie daycare. One woman mentioned that her cocker spaniel was being neutered next week. I made the mistake of chiming in that Chico was also being neutered next week.

There's isn't much that gets by the ears and eyes of an almost-8-year-old...especially when it involves her beloved puppy.

"What's neuter Mommy?" Julie asked, innocently. "Why is that happening to Chico?"

I looked the woman, pleading with my eyes for some help.

"Well, sweetie, it's so your puppy won't have babies." the woman responded, smiling smugly--obviously proud that she had calmly and effectively answered the question of an inquisitive little girl.

"But, why would a boy have a baby?" Julie asked pointedly.

The woman chuckled, looked at me and replied "That's all you Mom."

Great. Now I'm stuck with this conversation I never intended to have with my second grader. Julie laughed and blushed, almost as if she realized she had stumbled upon some forbidden topic.

And, I just stood there, not knowing what to say, and mumbled quickly something about Chico needing to go to the vet like all other puppies to make sure he's OK.

Yes. Totally lame answer and unfortunately it did not ease Julie's curiosity.

Later that night, she started firing off all kinds of birth-related questions. I'll just give you a little flavor "Why does a mommy have to lift her legs when she has a baby? How does it get out? I don't understaaaaand!"

Yikes. I know I probably watched too many episodes of "Baby Story" when I was pregnant with Johnny but that was more than four years ago. How the heck does she remember that! I guess I must have scarred her for life.

So, I answered these awful questions by ending them the only way I knew how. "Well, sometimes a doctor has to cut open the Mommy's stomach."

Julie's eyes got huge. She gritted her teeth and said "I'm never having babies!"

Phew. The end. For now at least.

 
 

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