Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Birds, Bees, and Bats

Today Nathan and Ben were sweetly helping each other do homework while I sat and addressed Christmas card envelopes (all done! They'll be out in the mail tomorrow!). Nathan is currently studying bats, and had endless facts to share. Benjamin had a few choice facts to share as well, which left me wondering why we always assume that kids know way less than they do!

Nathan: Bats are mammals.
Ben: Oh! That means they don't lay eggs.
Nathan: Right, they get born instead.
Ben: Yeah, but only the females can get them born.
Nathan: No, Ben, they are mammals, not females.
Me: (feeling the need to interject before a fight broke out) Actually Nathan, I think Ben is trying to say only the females can give birth to the baby bats, which are indeed mammals.
Nathan: Oh, that's cool. But how does the baby bat get in the female to be born?
Ben: I know it. They start off really small and get bigger and bigger and then when the mom has a belly like this (indicating with his hands) then the baby can be born.
Nathan: Oh yeah, that's right. And then the doctor has to make a cut right here on the tummy for the baby to come out.
Me: Wait, are we still talking about baby bats or baby humans?
Ben: Baby MAMMALS, Mom.
Me: Oh. Well, not all babies have to be born by the doctor cutting them out (but I'm sure you can now guess how both my boys were born).
Nathan: Well, how else would they do it?
Me: Uh, well. I know! Let me see if I can find some pictures of cute baby bats!

Thanks to the power of the Internet and YouTube, I didn't find just a photo of a baby bat, I found a video of a baby bat actually being born in a zoo. And I'll just tell you now, Mama Bat gives birth hanging upside down, with much flapping of wings. The boys were riveted to the computer screen. I told Mike about all this when he got home, and his eyes bugged a little as he said, "oh no". Oh yes. Sounds like more questions about babies and their origins are soon to come...