I was pregnant with an ant baby




By the time I was 8, I had a rudimentary understanding of sex. I had three siblings and basically understood how they'd come to be. My grandmother was a nurse, after all, and didn't tend toward sugar-coating, so my questions had been answered simply and clinically (I knew better than to ask my mom such things)

In 5th grade, there came a week in which we were separated into Boys and Girls. The Boys went off with the male science teacher all day for three days and they did what boys do. The Girls went off to another room with the female science teacher and we had our first peek into Sexual Education.
There was the film about having your period. There was the film about pupating from girl to woman. And there was the film about penises, sperms, ovaries and eggs. There was a lot of giggling; you might remember from your own first sex ed class. But one thing stuck in my mind: The teacher had mentioned, at one point, that the egg is big enough to see with the naked eye. I don't know whether this is true, or not as I've never gone looking for my own eggs. However, this statement made a distinct impression in my mind. If the egg could be seen with the naked eye, it must be pretty big, at least the size of a pinhead (the round plastic ball end, not the pokey end).

The summer following 5th grade, while sitting at a picnic, I noticed one of those super tiny black ants crawling on my inner thigh, up toward my shorts.
My brain likes to find patterns and make connections. It did some quick equating right there and WHAM! I realized that if that little ant were to crawl up my leg, into my shorts, past the elastic on my underewear, it could possibly crawl up my vagina and into my uterus (I remembered those terms from class) where it would find an egg big enough to see with the naked eye.
Ants have hideously sharp mandibles, you know. A sperm, which lacks mandibles, has to bonk its head against the wall of the egg until it gets a concussion. If it is successful, it will break through and suddenly, the egg and the sperm become something that turns into a baby. Well, if an ant with hideously sharp mandibles simply bites at the egg wall, then, logically, it would be able to crawl right into the egg and, obviously, the two can also eventually become a baby. An Ant Baby. A horrible squirmy red creature (red and not black because I had three younger siblings and I knew what they'd looked like when they were new. New babies were red) with huge black eyes and sharp mandibles. Breast-feeding was going to be very painful.

This realization made me jump up, screaming, in order to knock the ant from my body. I had to run to the bathroom to inspect myself for other maurading insect impregnators. But, see, the thing is...I knew about ants. More importantly, I knew about scouts and I had a sneaking suspicion the one I found had not been the first. It had been following the scout's trail.
For two weeks, I wouldn't go outside. I fretted and worried. I was SURE I'd been knocked-up by an ant. (In my family, it technically is possible for a ten-year old to get knocked-up, though they usually wait until they're 16 or 17). Finally, because I couldn't take the stress anymore, I had to confess, in tears, to my mother who was to become the grandmother to my hideous Ant Child and would probably have to deal with the National Enquirer, as I was underage. In retrospect, I probably should have taken this up with my own grandmother who would have found it very amusing, but would have put my fears to rest immediately and with compassion. I know that, now.
That MAY have been the hardest I've ever seen my mother laugh. In fact, she still laughs about it.

She should be happy that her first grandchild didn't have six legs and a thorax.
 

 

Grief and rage
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