How babies are made (according to an 8-year-old)
Learning from the innocence of children
I remember the day I found out how babies are made. I was 8-years old and in the third grade. I was traumatized and one aspect of my innocence was shattered. This is the story of how it all went down.
I had a crush on Katie
I remember the day well. It was a rainy day and morning recess was called off. No one likes indoor recess – and I mean NO ONE. Teachers don’t. Kids don’t. Parents don’t (they are the ones who deal with the pent up energy when the kids get home).
But this day was different. For over a week I had been trying to think of ways to ask Katie to be my girlfriend. Katie was average height, had
flowing brown hair, golden brown eyes and olive coloured skin. The usual things weren’t working with Katie. She was playing hard-to-get. Asking her friends to ask her out for me were falling on deaf ears.
Writing a note that read:
Will you be my girlfriend? Circle one:
Yes No Maybe
...had no effect on her. It was time to be creative.
Katie was playing hardball and I was going to have to ask her myself.
With 30 of us stuck inside the classroom on that rainy day, I had a clear objective. She couldn’t run away like she could if we were on the playground, so I knew if I could get her attention I was in. I saw her standing at the board games cupboard by the rain-speckled window. My heart raced and my knees grew weak as I approached her and attempted to strike up a conversation about something she might be interested in.
I stood there gawkily and looked into her rich, golden brown eyes.
After a few seconds I mustered up a bit of courage and asked: “Did you see G.I. Joe this morning? Sergeant Slaughter saved everyone. The Cobras had no chance. It was reeeeeaalllly cool.
She looked back at me and then down at a board game called Sorry that she was pulling off the shelf.
“No. I didn’t see it.” Katie said softly.
“Oh.” I replied. "Next time."
It was time to revert to my backup plan.
“Did you see Thundercats this morning?” I asked. “It was on after G.I. Joe. Cheetara and Lion-O make a good team, don’t you think?”
“I didn't see it but yeah, I guess so. I mean, I don’t know.”
She started walking away with the game Sorry in her hands. How telling.
I had one last trick up my sleeve. It was time to peacock. I puffed my chest out and spouted off a bout of boastful verbal diarrhea:
“Katie! Wait! Do you know I’m the fastest kid in our class? I’ve never lost a race in field day. I’ve won all the blue ribbons for the 50-yard dash and 100-yard dash since Kindergarten. This year I’m going to win the high-jump in 4th grade next year. I’m really good at soccer and baseball too. I’m really smart. I can spell big words like cardboard and giraffe and newspaper. I have really strong calf muscles. Want to see?”
"Surely this will do it", I thought to myself.
But Katie smiled at me and said the five most painful words a kid can hear in a situation like this:
“I already have a boyfriend.”