We were in the car driving when I glanced back at my daughter, 5, and son, 3, and asked them: "Would you guys like a little baby brother or sister?"
They looked puzzled.
"No, we don't want a baby," our girl said. "Babies make too much noise and too much mess." Her brother agreed.
Well, this is awkward.
We left it there, deciding not to rain on their parade for that moment.
The day I did tell them - after a slight miscommunication with my husband about whether he wanted to be there or not. I broke the news when I had both kids at home and he was out of town.
I told my daughter first. She didn't believe me and kept saying: "Is there really a baby in your tummy?"
Quite unexpectedly, she got teary-happy and ran to her brother to tell him.
He continued building his blocks and looked excited because she was.
After dealing with my girl asking "but is there really?" for much of the morning, we were about to go out when she dropped the big one:
"How did the baby get there?"
S**t. I'm so sick and tired at the moment, I really didn't think this through at all. There was a long pause, which undoubtedly raised her curiosity before I tried to fudge my way out of the hole I had dug myself.
She didn't buy it: "But how does a cuddle put the baby there?"
The kid is slick. She knows bulls**t when she sees it and called it out instantly. She interrogated further.
Backed into a very tight corner, I was eventually forced to admit: "You make a baby using a penis and vagina."
Penis and vagina are excellent words to use with 5-year-olds. The only thing that would have made it better for her was if a fart was required. She ran to her brother to tell him, laughing hysterically.
I explained that it was something for adults. But I knew it wasn't over. We went out and got on with our day but, later, she said quietly: "Can you show me?"
"Show you what, honey?"
"That thing you did to get the baby there?"
Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God!
Keep a straight face and don't make it a big deal. "Sorry sweetheart, but it is private. For adults, and no, we don't show people."
"But can you just try?"
Wow. I should have bought a book first or something, I just wasn't expecting a Royal Commission of Inquiry.
Friends told me to Google it. But I already know from Googling everything else that I would find advice to tell them everything and advice to not tell them too much.
Besides, it was too late. I was only going to find out I had just done it all wrong anyway.
Another friend said her daughter almost needed diagrams, such was the level of detail required.
When my husband got home he said: "Why didn't you just tell her it was magic?"
I didn't think of that.