Let's (Not) Talk About Sex, Baby


You think it's all going okay. Everything is normal. The kids are eating breakfast before school and watching Spongebob. And then ...

"Mommy? Do you have to try to make a baby or does it just happen?"

I was minding my own business, innocently making sandwiches for lunchboxes, when Colin dropped the bomb on me. My hand tightened around the peanut butter knife, gripping as though it were the only thing holding me up. My stomach decided it would be a great time to get all nervous. But despite my body's instinctive reactions, my brain kicked in with some rational thought (right after it screamed, Please don't ask me this right now!).

Try NOT to look like a deer in the headlights, it instructed me. How you react to this situation is going to set the tone for how comfortable he feels coming to you for sensitive information. Make your voice steady. Sound like it's no big deal, no different than any other question. Give him facts. And for Lord's sake, wipe that stupid look off your face.

I admit it: I should have been more prepared. He's going to be nine years old in a few days - I should have known this discussion was imminent. Especially with Colin, who asks more questions than a professional interrogator. I should have had a thoughtful answer all planned out.

Yet here I was, momentarily frozen, inwardly panicking.

I'm no prude, and I've always felt comfortable talking openly about sex ... with people who are not my kid. But that's where it gets difficult. It's a whole different ballgame when your child is the one who wants to talk about it. I want to see my babies as babies for as long as I can, not as sexually maturing individuals who will someday (oh my gawd I can hardly even type it) want to (gahhhhhh!), you know, do things with other sexually maturing individuals. And, you know .................... themselves.

*runs screaming down the hall*

Anyway, there I was. And since there's really no way to answer that question without addressing sex, I decided just to go for it. "Well - you have to have sex to make a baby. Do you know what sex is?"

Colin nodded, but I knew the information hadn't come from me - so I figured I might as well elaborate so I was sure he had the right idea. "It's where the penis goes into the vagina," I told him as nonchalantly as possible, even though my throat was threatening to choke me. And then - then - I showed him with my hands, in the universal finger-in-the-hole gesture.

I can't believe you just did that, said the logical part of my brain.

Shut up, I'm winging it here, said the motherly part.

"And then the sperm and egg get together," Colin chimed in, blessedly skipping the really awkward part. Thank goodness I'd already told him a little bit about that when he asked a few years ago, and that he's really into science so he's at least scanned the reproductive anatomy chapter in The Big Book of Knowledge.

"Yes," I said, relieved. "Sometimes you can try to make that happen, and it does. Other times, it happens when people don't mean for it to. That's why you should wait until you're a grownup to have sex - because when teenagers do it they risk having babies that they're not able to take care of."

"I'm never having sex," said Colin.

"Well, if you ever want to, make sure it's with someone you love. Because it's a very intimate thing," I told him. "And Colin? You're getting older, and soon your friends are going to start talking about sex. They might have their facts wrong, so when you have questions, I never want you to be afraid to ask Daddy or me. We will always tell you the truth about it. Okay?"

He nodded and resumed eating his cereal. Whew.

My stomach un-knotted itself. And I felt proud of my parenting, which usually doesn't happen when I'm, like, inadvertently teaching my kids curse words or letting them walk around with broken bones. I had calmly presented him with all the information he needed, without letting him know that I was like OMGWTFBBQ! on the inside.

Parenting win. For once.



PS - THERE'S A NEW GIVEAWAY GOING ON, Y'ALL! Click on the "Giveaways and Reviews" tab at the top of the page to win a free subscription to ABCmouse.com!

28 comments:

  1. Good job! And by handling it well, you also set the tone for the younger boys to ask questions when they get curious. (And let's hope that doesn't happen for a while!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was relieved that Cameron and Coby were sitting there too, because even if they weren't FULLY listening I can hope that something sunk in and laid a basic foundation of knowledge. :)

      Delete
  2. That was perfect!!! Way to go, super mom!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post! Love your sense of humor on these difficult topics. You handled it well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Don't think I wasn't feeling faint, though! Ha! :)

      Delete
  4. I love your blog...the subject is always informative but I love the fact that you are not perfect and you can laugh at yourself..lolol...how do I sign up so that I get an email everytime you post something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you Katarina! I'm definitely faaaaaaar from perfect but I'm okay with that. Being able to laugh at myself definitely helps. :)

      Delete
  5. oops sorry just figured up how to sign up...ignore previous question...

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was handled with grace and I think any professional would be around of the impromptu conversation you had with your son about sex. We've danced around it a bit since I'm prego again, but I might just have the courage for a more complete conversation with our 9 year old now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Honestly it wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be ... at least, that's what I thought in retrospect. The moment itself was pretty nerve-wracking, but hey, if I can do it you can do it! :)

      Delete
  7. OMG, I die. My stomach was in knots reading this! Ha! I'm so dreading the day my almost 8 yr old asks those q's. We just had a baby and had a few conversations about how the baby comes out (the dr helps is the jist of what I told him). I wasn't sure I handled it right but could NOT for the life of me find a book that addressed how to tell a kid that. You get an A+ for this, great job handling it! Even the finger in the hole part, ha ha!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was literally JUST dreading the talk like two days ago. And then it actually happened. PS - I'm glad someone approves of the finger-in-the-hole. :)

      Delete
  8. My son knows all about it since he's 12. He says it sounds gross and messy. I hope he keeps thinking that way for a long time.

    My daughter just thinks people swallow a baby somehow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! I was secretly glad to hear Colin say he's not interested, ever. Although I'm 100% sure that'll change here in a few years ...

      Delete
  9. My kids' big question was how babies come OUT. So, you know, description, books, and then because I didn't want them getting a classmate's version of a C-section, I found Youtube videos. Which my then 3yo started demanding to watch repeatedly. Future surgeon, or slasher flick producer? I'm still not sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That reminds me so much of Colin - when he was about three, his favorite video on YouTube was a medical animation called "Shoulder Dystocia During Childbirth." He watched that thing endlessly!

      Delete
  10. good for you! i'm thinking i'll do the talk (chapter 1 of it anyways) when my son is 8. but my friends who have 9 year olds say 8 is too young?? i just want to make sure i am the first to tell him. i mean he is in first grade and classmates are talking about the nickname for richard, if you catch my drift. i don't think i have much time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES - they start so early these days! Geeesh! My thought is that it's always better to talk to your kids about these things before their friends do.

      Delete
  11. My kid is almost three and I'm already giving myself the pep talks for the inevitable "How did the baby get IN the belly, mama?" questions that I know are coming. You did good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The weirdest thing about that kind of question is that they just happen - no time to really prepare before they drop the bomb. :)

      Delete
  12. Love it! So glad to see that I'm not the only one who was nervous about it. I wrote about sex with a very similar title, lol and was featured on Things They Can't Say last week. My oldest is 10. It's incredible how you just have to wing it sometimes.

    I just read your post today about mom feeling guilty and you so eloquently put it. Thank you for reassuring us all that we are doing okay and the best we can. As I type this my youngest and nephew are watching Bob the Builder because even if they DON'T want to nap, I NEED some quiet time. I'm gonna follow you from now on. I have 3 boys and love meeting other moms with all boys too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I'm going to check out your post! It's a nerve-wracking subject, to be sure. It would be nice if they just came already equipped with all the knowledge they need! That would make things sooooo much easier!

      And I also love meeting other boy-moms. We're a special group, I think! :)

      Delete
  13. We get ourselves all worked up over topics that our kids were so comfortable to ask in the first place. Sometimes growing up does not make us smarter or more experienced. Hahaha. Great article. I can't believe you made the hand gesture for the penis in vagina. Should have totally been filmed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I'm kinda glad it wasn't filmed. Although then I could play it back if anyone has further questions ... :)

      Delete
  14. Hello! I recently stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE it! I find myself worrying about the day that my baby boy asks questions like this, but it sounds like you handled it perfectly! Way to go Mom! :)

    ReplyDelete

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Sharethis

Blog Widget by LinkWithin