Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pre-church conversation: "You half'ta kill her first to get the baby out?"

This morning on our way to church I was in a funk, so we drove in silence until suddenly my son blurts out, "Daddy, I'm glad I'm a boy and not a girl."

I looked at my wife, knowing he was about to disrupt my bad mood, possibly even make me laugh.

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Because when girls grow up they have babies. Then they gotta have their stomachs cut open to get it out."

I decided not to press him for further explanation, but he continued anyway.

"Is that true, Dad?" he asked. "Women have their stomachs cut open to get their babies out?"

"Yes, sometimes babies are removed from their mother's stomach."

I refused to use the words "cut out."

"Do they use knives to cut the baby out?" he asked.

I'm not a doctor, but the term "scalpel" came to mind. Not sure if scalpels are actually used during cesarean sections, so I didn't offer the term.

"Yes, I guess they do use knives of sorts," I said.

"I don't get it," he said. So when a woman has a baby, you half'ta kill her first to get the baby out? Then you bring her back to life and sew her up?"

My wife and I laughed a little. I guess he was right. Under normal circumstances, cutting open someone's stomach could possibly lead to death. But I didn't answer.

"So when they sew a woman back up, she automatically comes back to life?"

His pre-church conversation was a little too heavy for my taste, so I didn't egg him on by discussing anesthesiology. And no telling where the term "putting someone to sleep" might lead.

"Yes, I guess you could say they come back to life," I said.

"I'm so glad I'm a boy and not a girl."

"Well, I'm glad you're a boy, too."

The car returned to silence, and my funk was lifted. Just a little.

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