Mothering is marked by transcendent moments. I've had those moments while nursing my infants, watching my children play in school sports or perform on stage, and looking on proudly as they graduate from kindy or playgroup.
Teaching children the facts of life is not one of those moments.
Bring an enlightened libertarimum, I vowed that I would not subject my children to agricultural theories of human reproduction. None of that "daddy planted a seed" bollocks for us. I planned anatomically correct, age appropriate, completely truthful answers to any questions about sex, supplemented with charts from my father's medical books. Each of my children will know where babies come from the moment they ask.
I was conscious of the burden. If I wasn't completely truthful, the toll of this misinformation would be measured in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease.
I had the best of intentions.
So, what the hell just happened?
Mr 6 and Mr 4 tentatively walked up together, and stood quietly beside me, I assumed to gather up the courage to tell me that had done something naughty.
Mr 6 was the first to talk. " Mummy," he asked, "do you remember all three times you had sex?" I tried to look thoughtful.
"Actually," I replied, "I've had sex more than three times."
His eyes widened. "Why would anyone do that?"
"Sex is not just for making babies," I explained. "Most of the time, people have sex because they enjoy sex itself."
He thought about this for a bit, and made a face of disgust. "Really? I can't imagine why. Gross."
I stood there, feeling oddly relieved at how that conversation had gone, while wondering if perhaps they were too young to know this but now it's too late, when Mr 4 piped up.
"I have a question," he declared. "I just want to know how, after the man takes off his penis and puts it in the woman to make a baby, how does he stick it back on his body?"