Sunday, March 19, 2006

Anatomy for kindergartners

Because I will be brunching with the eminent physician DoctorMama tomorrow, today's post touches on the topics of anatomy and physiology. (I am still trying to decide if we should eat at a place called Orange—no shit! a restaurant called Orange! specializing in brunch!—that I've never been to, or a tried-and-true joint called M. Henry that my friends and I like. The Orange place serves frushi, which is fruit and rice done up sushi-style. Both restaurants offer grown-up breakfast food containing chocolate, so we can't go wrong either way. You know what's going to happen, right? Those of you who read this blog and DoctorMama's know what we're gonna look at. I'm going to be inspecting her butt to see if it's as nonexistent as she claims, and she's going to look about a foot beneath my eyes.

Without further ado, anatomy and physiology, kindergarten style:

Ben is fascinated by the process of digestion. He enjoys studying the pictures in various anatomy books, and he likes to have What Happens to a Hamburger read aloud to him. While he has a good basic grasp of what goes on, at times the details get a little fuzzy. A few days ago, he said something like, “And then the food goes into the uterus,” as if the womb was but a way station between the stomach and colon.

The next morning, he was again outlining where food goes after it’s eaten. “And then it goes into the intesticles,” he explained.

Perhaps it's time to have an in-depth discussion of the reproductive bits? Ben loves the concept of the fetus getting its nourishment via the umbilical cord, but he envisions a baby slurping on a flexible straw coming out of its bellybutton. I can't help but think that not-yet-six is a tad young to be learning a lot about these things, but maybe the boy is ready. What do you think?


bitchphd said...

Definitely not too young. PK's had the talk, the investigation of anatomical drawings on google and in books, the discussion of DNA and how it reproduces itself, and so on. If Ben can get the anatomy of digestion, he can get the anatomy of reproduction.

Don't be a chicken ;)

Unknown said...


I love it! It sounds like an 80s group. The Intesticles.

Mignon said...

I have no idea. I do know I will never say intestines again, though. Intesticles is a far better word.

Have you ever read those Everyone Poops/The Gas We Pass Body Science books? They're basic and probably too young for your little smartie, but hilarious. I gave the Breasts book to my mom for Christmas.

Charlie said...

We've had the talk with Evan (and Rosana, though she doesn't seem to be interested), and I can tell you that he doesn't grasp 90% of what we're trying to tell him. But I still think it's worth doing, because we're fostering an environment where sex isn't considered a taboo subject. We bring it up as often as he does, when it seems appropriate, so that he can always feel comfortable talking to us about it.

Of course, our decision to talk about sex and reproduction with Evan came from him asking where babies come from. But if Ben is trying to figure out where the uterus fits into the picture, at least you have an opening to start talking about it.

LazyLazyMe said...

Heh heh, he said 'uterus' and then 'opening'.

Seriously though, there's never such a thing as too much information. Consider the alternative.

Anonymous said...

The nice thing about teaching young children about sex is that it gives them the basic knowledge and vocabulary so they can think about it before the hormones start in. I am often surprised at what my two year old picks up about the way the world works, and I remember having quite complex ideas about how digestion works (all wrong, but quite complex) when I was three. Five is not too young to teach them the basics what the parts are and what they do. The difficult part is not boring them at this age.

Mona Buonanotte said...

It's time, honey. Ask Sergei for book recommendations, he's got 'em.