My brother told me the bare fact about reproduction (penetration) and it sounded so complicated that I figured the man and woman had to go to a doctor to get the thing done. They would stand facing each other and then the doctor would carefully guide the man's penis into the woman. There would be a very professional medical quality to all of this and great embarrassment for the man and woman...but it was the only way.
My parents told me that a man and a woman had to do "something special" to make a baby. However, she didn't specify what this "something special" was, nor did I quite understand about pregnancy (I was very little). I'd also been told that babies came "from God" if you prayed for one, so I put the two together, and decided there must be some sort of special baby-creating prayer/ritual. I had vague mental images of my parents lighting candles and chanting until a baby spontaneously appeared in the room.
When I read the book "Where did I come from?" in second grade, it mentioned that you didn't have to be married to have a baby. I thought that meant that sperm could travel out of the man, down the street on on the sidewalk, into a lady's house and up the legs of her bed, through her sheets and into her vagina while she was sleeping. A couple of times I peered over the edge of my bed to see if any of them were coming my way.
I used to believe that babies were put on backorder for 9 months and when they arrived, the hospital would give you a call and you could go pick it up. I just thought the big belly part was because you ate too much because you were really excited about getting a new baby.
When my daughter, LIzzy, was almost two, I sat my four year old son down to tell him that we were thinking of having another baby. He burst out crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I want to keep Lizzy."
My brother used to believe that when a couple left the church after they got married, there was a big wicker basket by the door with a selection of babies in it, so that they could choose one on the way home!
When we were little, my mother had bought us a book titled, "How You Were Born". In this book, there was an illustration of a sperm under a magnifying glass. For years, I thought the magnifying glass was a frying pan and was totally mystified by where and how the frying pan fit into the reproductive process.
To make a baby a man and woman touched parts of the body and that would make that part of the baby. So if they held hands that would make the baby's hands. If they kissed that would make the baby's lips. They had to rub butts in order to make the baby's butt. There was no doubling up. It wasn't like if they touched hands multiple times the baby would be some octopus monstroid. The parts would float around in the mommy's tummy until it was completed. The parts were good for up to 9 months. So you had to complete the baby in 9 months or you had some parts over.
I had always known about sex; I was never told that old one about the stork. However, I didn't learn the specifics until I was twelve. I came up with a truly brilliant theory, though. Men and women had magnetic force-fields around them, men were north magnets and women were south magnets. Babies were conceives when men and women got so close together that the magnetic fields touched, and had to spen a whole night like that. As you can tell, I spent much thought on the subject, and was convinced that if I held two ordinary metal magnets together for a whole night, more metal would appear in nine months.
I thought that a woman could never have sex during her pregnancy. I was completely ready to wait the whole time when our first was conceived. I think my wife wishes now that she had let me believe it.
When I was in 4th grade, I got to stay overnight at a classmate's house. Her big sister--who was in 6th grade and therefore a font of information--told us about where babies come from.
She said that the man and woman take off all their clothes, get into a bathtub together "and the woman rubs the man's 'thing' until it foams and foams. It fills the bathtub with foam and then they take the foam and rub it all over the woman's skin. And she becomes pregnant."
I actually believed this for a few years.
when i was about eight or nine, my father sat me down and told me the facts of life. he explained how sperm, from his penis, would fertilise the woman's egg by passing through her vagina into her reproductive system ...
on saturday mornings i used to climb in bed with my parents; they were wearing pyjamas, thankfully, but i used to climb under the bedclothes to see if i could see any sperms, crawling and moving like trail of ants, from one side of the bed to the other ...
I grew up on a farm, so I was familiar with crop farming and gardening from an early age, but had absolutely no concept of sexual reproduction until much later. As a result, when I was 5 or 6 and overheard my Mother explaining to my older sister how "the man's penis fertilizes the seed," I remember picturing a penis wearing a hat and deligently using farming tools. My sister immediately chased me away when she saw that I was intruding on their "private" conversation, so I missed hearing the rest of the lecture and was left with that absurd image in my head for years.
I understood quite well how babies were made, with the sperm coming out of the man's penis and fertilizing the "little seed" inside the woman. What I could not understand, though, was how the sperm could go through the man's pyjamas. I think I wondered about this until I was at least 12 years old. Nobody ever slept naked in our house, so it never occured to me that you could take off your pyjamas.
Once when I 8 0r 9, I heard the word "vasectomy" on TV. I asked my mom what it meant. She told me: "It's an operation that a man gets so he can't have babies." I took this to mean that I needed surgery or I could become pregnant like a woman. I was pretty freaked out, and hoped that my doctor would give me a vasectomy whenever I went in for a checkup. He never did.
I used to believe that a man had as many testicles as he had children. So I thought the Catholic guy next door had nine balls and that I'd only have two kids when I grew up.
My mom had a friend who was pregnant and she was talking about eating a healthy diet to nourish her child. It didn't make sense to me because I thought unborn babies ate stuff like I did. I thought mommies had little kitchens in their bellies so when the baby got hungry, it would just climb up on the counter and pour itself a bowl of Captain Crunch.
When I was, like, 4 years old I was informed of the 'baby factory'. When ever I misbehaved, my sister, mother, aunt, etc, would threaten me with 'your going to go back to the baby factory!' So one day in a car ride I was being a little brat. Once again 'your going back to the baby factory!' came out. I said 'there is no such thing as the baby factory!' I thought i had out wit them. Turns out on the next block there was a neon sign that had 'Baby Factory' on the side. I was the best behaved child for the next 4 months or so.
Comment my 3 year old son made when I was trying to explain what a pregnant woman was. I said, pointing out to my son that the fat lady wasn't fat, it was just that she had a baby in her tummy. He turned to me and said, "Daddy why did that lady eat a baby?"
I remember when I was four years old, I asked my parents where babies comes from. They decided that they were going to tell me the truth and explained things to me. After their talk with me, I stood up and simply said ďIf you didnít want to tell me, you didnít have to lieĒ
Right from the mouths of babes, huh?