That’s what she said.
We were driving home when Greysen (2.3 years old) made this declaration that caused me to react with giggles from disbelief, but before I could respond to her, my quick-thinking hubby stifled them with a sharp look and kind reminder that she was being serious.
I turned around to see her buckled in her seat belt with a Santa Claus Pez dispenser, empty of course, laying across her lower abdomen underneath the buckle. She found him (Sir Clause) among the mounting pile of things in our bedroom that I’m going to go through just as soon as I get the chance.
She repeated it: “Santa Claus is in my uterus.” I respond, now more ashamed of my first response, “Oh, I see him.” I did.
That was the end of that.
Kids Say the Darndest Things
When Greysen first said this I laughed. It seemed an unexpected and unusual idea to me, but Mike’s reaction made rethink that. In my own defense, I don’t hear references to anyone’s uterus in everyday conversation, so I was caught off guard.
At a party recently, someone asked Greysen (and immediately answered the question themselves), “Do you know what is growing in L’s tummy? A baby.” Hmm.
With approximately seven of my friends and relatives expecting children this summer/fall, we have spoken about pregnancy in the simplest of terms. I expect Greysen’s understanding is a reflection of those conversations.
Adults simplify ideas for children sometimes to the point of inaccuracy. Believing that the truth is too much or too complex, adults can sometimes complicate concepts by trying to help. Consider instead conveying truthful ideas with simple explanations.
I use accurate terminology when explaining things to my daughters. While I have adults laugh and act puzzled at the vocabulary I use when they hear the simple explanations, my use of the right words seems less mystifying. Words like “decompose,” “worried,” and yes, “uterus,” are all words in her vocabulary because life called for an explanation.
Children’s capacity for understanding complex ideas when explained briefly in terms that they already know never ceases to astound me.
That’s what she said.