This happened on an otherwise normal weekend morning. My boy, just turned four, who loves dinosaurs and whom I think is still sometimes hard to understand when he talks, especially when he has no idea what he’s talking about.
As I was getting him dressed in the bathroom:
“How did you meet mama?”
“Well, we worked next door to each other…”
“Is that when you [unintelligible] dipped her?”
“Wha? Uh, I was making coffee. And sandwiches. She handed out quarters at the arcade.”
“Is that how I was made?”
“No, that happened later. When we met, we were still in school.”
“Did [untelligible] you poke holes in each other?”
“Huh?” [Looking around the corner for the wife] “Where you at, babe?”
“You dipped your testicles in her belly. You made holes to do that?”
“No, no, not that. The holes were already there. Um, your mother and I met in college. I worked at the Coffee…”
“Did you kill each other?”
“Did you kill each other to make the holes?”
“No. We’re not spiders. We didn’t kill each other to make babies. Nobody made holes. They were there already.”
My wife, the science-minded one, decided then to stop laughing in the other room and come deal with this.
There was talk of vaginas and sperm that swim like tadpoles. We unraveled his own view of baby-making, which was aggressively sex-negative, as they say: you poke each other full of holes and kill each other and put your testicles in the mommy’s belly.
I would say it was pure scifi, except the truth of babymaking—starting with all that rutting and ending with dilating, crowning, expelling—is almost equally strange. And some men do die of connubial heart attacks in the act and some women do die in labor and though I tend to think of my son as still inarticulate and tongue-twisted and dopey at times, it is nothing compared to me when trying to explain, or avoid, these things to him.