By now my kiddo had started reading books. He was growing and he was very observant. That’s why he used to get so many questions. Encyclepedia used to give many answers. But Mamma was the ultimate solution when it came to little odd questions.
One night I found my kiddo in little thoughtful mood. He called me, “Mammaaaa….” I immediately went into attentive mode. He seemed little hesitant to ask question. Mamma’s sixth sense had already sensed that something odd or awkward was coming. I said, “Fire away your querry”
Kiddo: Mamma why you are fat in chest? Look at me and Daddy. We have such flat chests.
For a moment I felt little awkward. In my mind the reflex action was wrapping my hands around my chest and thinking why my kid asks me such questions. But my experience had taught me that any reaction which would suggest that there is something abnormal/ odd/ awkward about the question would surely invite some drama or some kind of mention in public. Kids are very adept at sensing this. They read our body language much better than our words. So without betraying my true emotion I answered.
Me: That’s because the body of man is little different than the body of a woman. Woman’s body is supposed to perform few different functions. So the shape is also little different. You only tell me who carries the baby in womb??
Son: Of course a woman.
Me: Then in that case only a woman will have womb and not man, right?
Me: The nature has designed bodies very carefully. All types of living creatures are bestowed with the instinct to provide food to babies till they grow. Now look at birds. Normally the mother bird remains with babies and father bird brings the food and and feed babies. Though in some species it may be little different. You remember the cat at Nani’s place who had given birth to kittens??
Me: You remember how the kittens used to drink their Mamma’s milk??
Me: Same is the case with puppies. Mamma dog feeds the babies with her milk. Cow feeds calves with her milk. Normally all these animals feed their babies with their milk till the babies grow and they are capable of finding their own food.
Same is the case with humans. The Mamma feeds her baby with her milk.
Son: what?? Mammas can produce milk??
Me: Yes. That’s why women have milk glands in their breasts. Men do not have milk glands. That’s the reason why her chest shape is different than man’s chest.
Son: Did you also feed me with your milk?
Son: But then how come we have a photo of me drinking milk from bottle?
(Gosh! This boy is so observant!!)
Me: That’s because my milk was not sufficient to feed you. So first you used to drink my milk then I used to give you milk formula or cow milk.
Son: Mamma, even now you have milk??
Me: Nope. The nature has done its own magic. The milk production starts after baby’s birth. As the baby grows we start giving babies other foods like rice, kheer, fruits etc. Automatically the baby starts drinking lesser milk. Slowly the milk production stops.
My son was listening carefully. After all this conversation all he remarked was “Oh! That’s why your banyaan’s shape is so wierd…”
Afterall boys will be boys!!
My last word to my son was “By the way this kind of ladies banyaan is called as brassiere or simply bra.” He rolled his eyes and turned his face.
Friends, why we feel awkward about such questions is may be due to our shyness or culturally we are not used to discuss such topics. We are not taught to talk freely about body. Curiosity about the anatomy is very natural. So let’s talk about our bodies freely at least when kids demand information. Discretion is definitely required while talking to kids. But try to open up with kids and keep their question bank going!! As I said in my earlier blogs reiterating again let the kids come and ask you rather than depend on friends or Internet for answers!!