Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Talk

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?"


Lindsay Mitchell said...

I would have put the ball back in his court by asking how does he think the man gets it off in the first place? That should shut him up.

libertyscott said...

The greatest challenge is to not laugh hysterically when cute questions are asked, for fear of making the asker feel silly.

The temptation to give false glib answers must be real though like "when you get older it will become detachable and you can plug it back in when you are done". Awful thing to actually say, but amusing in a fictional context.

At least, for now, they wont we wondering why sex is fun - presumably until the hormones kick in, but fortunately you've fled your former locale where they would be unhealthily exposed to such influences!

Grace said...

I love this, Mr 4 is hilarious. I don't know if I could resist the temptation to say " you can only have sex when your penis becomes detachable"...

Glad to read you again xxx big hugs

Anonymous said...

I shall never be able to look at Mr 4 and Mr 6 the same way again.

Maungakiekie said...

HAH! Priceless.

And I love Grace's suggested reply.

Anonymous said...

I like you (saw you via Lindsay) - I will have to add you to my blogroll. I have been having a nose through your posts. Awesome mix. This one is a beauty - just brilliant!

Love your response to the hard questions (pun intended?!) from Mr 6 & Mr 4. Very cool that you are so honest & having open dialogue with your kids when they are young - we have a 6 year old girl & believe it is the best way to develop a healthy attitude towards sex.