How are babies born? I definitely had a lot of different ideas about the topic when I was a kid, and it was not until my friends brought it up in random conversation that I began to think about all the creative things we, as children, came up with to justify the phenomenon of babies.
When I was younger, I went to a Catholic private school, which basically explains my theory. I thought that you prayed to Mother Mary for a baby and then you got magically pregnant. As much as I want to say my school told me that was how it worked, if I am being completely honest, I definitely could have made it up all on my own.
Grace Goodell ‘21, said, “When I was younger, my grandmother had said something about how as she was getting older she felt like she was shrinking and getting smaller. So I for some reason assumed that as you got older you turned back into a baby and your grandchildren took care of you.” Grace justifies this idea by saying she was a very gullible child.
This is the quote that started the whole article. When I heard Goodell say this, I knew there had to be more ideas out there—ideas we come up with when we don’t know or understand the whole equation. Goodell was the youngest child, so she never witnessed her mother pregnant which probably lead to this idea of grandmothers shrinking into grandchildren’s babies.
Maya Huter ‘21, said, “I thought you got pregnant by connecting a tube to your belly button, and yeah, that was how I thought the egg transferred to the sperm and what not...I just thought you connected belly buttons with a long tube and that’s how it happened.” Huter believes she made up this explanation to make sense of the only partially known.
I think the main reason our minds ran free with this idea is that we had no satisfying explanation. So, to justify it all we had to come up with one for ourselves and, as kids, reason creates no boundaries for our imaginations.
Max Tedford ‘21, said, “I thought children popped up like cancer tumors and people chose to keep them or not.” He thinks he made this up because he knew about abortions before he knew about sex, so to him, this just made sense.
It’s a pretty creative theory because Tedford took the little amount of information he had, in this case the idea of abortions, and built off of it to come up with this more apparently concrete reasoning for pregnancies.
Jarrett Wilder ‘21 said, “I thought your parents made you, like sculpted you, and it all mattered how talented your parents were to see how pretty you would end up. The pregnancy was the baby in the human version of a kiln.” He doesn’t know why or how he came up with this creative nonsense, but I think I like this one the best. I think my husband would have to be the artist because I’d make one ugly kid. Wilder’s idea sounds like a whole lot of pressure, but in a really cool kind of way.
Carina Wiggin ‘21, a student at Howard County Community College said, “I thought you literally bought babies.” She said she had this idea because she was adopted, but that doesn’t necessarily explain why she thought babies were available for purchase at the mall.
I like this one because it feeds into this idea where as kids, we pick up on the little we know to form ideas about the world around us. Wiggin took the idea from her adoption while Goodell took the idea from her grandmother. They are both wrong, but they grasped what they were told to form their own theories about the phenomenon of babies. It’s funny what we come up with when we don’t understand, but it is even funnier to see how much we didn’t know before we had “the talk.” Most of the people I talked to thought that two parents just agreed it was time, and BAM! there the baby was. A good number of people thought babies were bought and sold, as well. Our understanding of the world changed quite a bit after we found out about sex, but our creativity will never stop helping us make our own sense of things.
Illustration by: Francisco Guglielmino