It's exactly one week before Christmas in my kindergarten classroom. The weather is changing daily and there is a full moon. This is a teacher's version of "a perfect storm."
Attempting to get a little bit of learning in this week, I decided we would research and read about polar bears. Monday students generated a list of questions they had. Tuesday we read a book from the library.
Today we were reading another book (because researchers use many sources), and we learned the interesting fact that only pregnant polar bears hibernate.
Then this happened:
"How does the mom get the baby out?" asks a curious student.
"Um. Well when it's ready to come out it just comes out."
"But how does it get out?"
"Well the polar bear mommy just knows because that's how God made polar bears."
"Does the mom bite it out?"
Other students nod in agreement as they chime in, "Yeah they bite their stomach!"
And at this point I begin to panic a tad because this question is not going away. In my mind I am weighing the nature of the question and my duty as a teacher to help them learn.
"Honey if they bite their tummy they will die. It's kind of like going potty. When you have to go potty you just go to the bathroom and use your tummy muscles to push it out. It's the same with babies." (In kindergarten we talk about body functions and fluids daily so it's not that big of a deal.)
Same student then asks, "But what hole does it come out of? The belly button?"
"No there is a special hole for babies."
Another student asks, "But won't the baby fall out?"
Lord help me.
"When you have to go poop does it fall out? No! You hold it! It's the same with babies."
At this point the kids erupt into laughter and I wipe the sweat off my brow.
Kindergarten conversations never cease to amaze me. They make me laugh daily and I often end my day asking myself, "Did that conversation really happen?" Well today it really happened. I love my job.