My son is into Transformers these days. What kid isn't? The marketing execs sitting inside the air-conditioned offices of Hasbro have the market cornered. Between the movie , geared towards teens and adults (my age), who remember the first generation Transformers , and the assorted toys, video games, and costumes (my son is going to be Optimus Prime for Halloween this year), transforming robot/vehicles have taken over the world, at least my world.
This morning I was trying to figure out how to get my son involved with me in the kitchen as he was begging for me to put a video on for him (you'll never guess which one). I hadn't made him cheezy eggs in a while - Mommy's specialty - so I got the eggs, tortillas and cheese from the refrigerator and he happily obliged when I asked him to help. He climbed up on his step stool and started to mix the eggs. I quickly pointed out that he was transforming them and he got even more excited to help me. Very quick thinking considering I had not had my daily dose of caffeine at that point.
Fast forward another hour and we're in the car, on my way to drop off my son at preschool. He's almost four, so he's at that stage of curiosity and questions - most of which I can't answer. Out of the blue, as we're pulling out of the driveway he asks me, "Who built our house?," to which I replied, "Well...a long time ago construction workers built the building that we live in." Easy answer, so I thought. He then asked if they built it when I was little. "Yep. A long time ago," I replied.
As I make the standard U-turn at the corner, he then asks, following the train-of-thought of a preschooler, "Was I in your belly when you were little?" and, for some reason (can I blame it on the lack of caffeine again?) I say, "Sort of...You see, Mommies carry eggs inside them and Daddies carry sperm. When babies are made, the egg and sperm transform into a baby and Mommies carry them in their belly." Notice how I use the words sperm and egg but fail to see the irony in using belly as opposed to uterus.
There was much silence afterwards as I bit my tongue, about not correcting myself and my son, imagining the egg and sperm transforming, much like the egg that he helped transformed for breakfast, which he then watched me cook before eating it.
I cannot imagine what he must have been thinking after that. I did buy a picture book recently to prepare for this kind of conversation but I was not prepared for the question to come up in the car, when we couldn't really look each other in the eye and really talk. I imagine he has many more questions now so I have the book ready for when the time is finally right. Maybe I should put it in the car.
By the way, I'm not sure if I would recommend using the word transform when talking about making babies, or the word eggs, although that one you might not be able to avoid.