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When Encyclopedia Google just doesn’t have the answer

I am all about answering honestly when kids have questions. I can try to “pad” the answers when I think the answer might honestly be out of the realm of comprehension or appropriateness, but honest nonetheless. There have been a couple of “You’ll have to ask your father about that one” speeches, but I’m pretty ok with answering the questions when they come.

Then comes the one you just CAN’T answer.

Nathaniel – Hey, you’re still peeling

Me – Yeah, a little

Nathaniel – You’re peeling on your boobs, mom

Me – Ummm…yup

Nathaniel – Wouldn’t it be bad if your nipple peeled off?

Me (mentally) – ARRGGGG!!! Where are you going with this?

Me (in my outside voice) – Yeah, that would be pretty bad

Nathaniel – Why do we even have nipples?

Me (mental voice has now passed out from the whole “why are we even having this conversation” of it all) – Well, women who are going to have babies….milk…feeding…. so forth and so on…breastfeeding basic

LONG pause

Tick, tick, tick

Nathaniel – Why do men have nipples then?

I will give a big prize to the person who can answer that question. I don’t know what the prize will be exactly, but if you can come up with a logical answer, I will find something good to send! And, just for your information, the cop out answer of “well, that’s the way God planned it” really doesn’t cut it for him. Nathaniel’s pretty sure that if there’s a purpose in women having them, there must be some equal opportunity action going on for men nipples too.

And I will turn over my life savings…all 264$ of it to the person who can answer this one as well….Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

I can’t wait for school to start back up!


7 Comments on “When Encyclopedia Google just doesn’t have the answer”

  1. #1 Shelley
    on Jun 17th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Ok so I couldn't come up with a witty reason why but do you know that Barnes and Noble has a book called "Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor after Your Third Martini"
    by Mark Leyner

    Just think, Nathaniel could be a world famous author of such a book. Well maybe world famous is a little optimistic but neighbor hood famous could be good 🙂

  2. #2 stephanie
    on Jun 17th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Mitochondrial Eve most certainly did have a belly button. And her fella did too.

    Nipples are formed very early in development, before the y chromosone and testosterone kick in. All male mammals have nipples.

    There is a species of bat where the male feeds the young and as you know bats are closely related to primates.

    A male human could also feed his baby, it just requires a LOT of stimulation. But it can be done. A baby can also be soothed by a male nipple.

    I would say that human male breastfeeding does not occur now, and perhaps never did to any large degree, as the male/female roles have become very clearly defined over the millenia when rearing the young.

    I could waffle on and on but I wont because I dont think you believe me anyway. 🙂

    Do I win the $246??

    With love, stephaniex

  3. #3 Stephanie
    on Jun 17th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    My reply came out a bit screwy… never mind.

  4. #4 Karalyn
    on Jun 17th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    The reason men have nipples is because if they didn't they would not be able to do cool things like this.

    Note:This is not my personal photo LOL. I hope this was helpful.
    Love, Karalyn

  5. #5 Karalyn
    on Jun 17th, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    OK That did not work. But it was funny. But since you can't see it, not so much.

  6. #6 Marie
    on Jun 17th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Stephanie's answer was pretty good, also male and female humans have identical body parts until the hormones create the differences. There are some babies who are born female looking because the testosterone didn't kick in, and suddenly at puberty they start producing it and turn into boys! So everyone has nipples but unless the hormones make them grow, they will stay flat. FYI some men with hormone problems do grow man boobs. The simple answer for a kid would be our bodies are all the same until the hormones tell them which body parts to make.

  7. #7 Amy
    on Jun 20th, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I had heard before that the nipples form very early on….however, Daniel was born without them. They told us in the NICU that they wouldn't show up until I think around 34 weeks gestation.