...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Talk

This is one of the first blogs that I ever wrote, before I even created SRM. I was asked to write for a local moms community, Trianglemommies, and writing for them helped me realize how much I wanted to start a blog of my own.
   I thought I had brought this one over a long time ago, but I guess not. And I figure since my blog has been delving into sexual education recently, that it was fitting to have my very first sexual education blog here. This occurred when I was pregnant with Soren, over four years ago.  Enjoy.

The Talk. If you are a parent, no further elaboration is needed when you hear those two words put together. You know exactly what it means. Two simple words, that can bring unease, discomfort, and anxiety to any parent as they wonder not if, but when they will need to deal with this particular part of parenting. How old will their child be when it comes up? How will I deal with it? How much information do I give? What if I'm not ready?

Each of us have our own level of comfort when it comes to discussing sex as an adult. But when dealing with those questions from your precious child, it doesn't matter how comfortable we are in our own sense, explaining the birds and the bees to our kids is always nerve wracking. And after you have run the gauntlet of The Talk itself, you constantly look back and wonder how you did. Did I mess my child up? Give him too much information? Too little? Does he understand? Did I damage him in any way while explaining? And no matter when or where it happens, that memory is burned into your brain forever. You will remember every minute detail of the conversation, from the way they furrow their brow as they try to understand, or the eyes as they get big when they finally get it, and of course, the questions they ask.

Kids start asking questions at a very young age. They always come at random times, usually when you're in the car, completely unready, listening to music or thinking of all the errands you need to get done before dinner time. And that little voice in the backseat pipes up over the radio and says "Mommy, where do babies come from?" Consider yourself lucky if they start asking questions young. You can practice for the big day, by giving them simple answers comprehensible to little ears. When they're young they really want to know just what they ask. They don't need details unless they ask. Answering this question to a 3 yr old is hard when it's your 3 yr old, but easier than later on when they're 8. They have less questions. And you can look back on your approach, analyze it, and start fine tuning for the harder questions that are sure to come later.

Below is my own personal experience of dealing with discussing sex with my kid. I offer my own so others may get an idea of when and where it could happen, and how I dealt with it. My way is neither right or wrong, it just was. And each one of us has our own ideas on how to approach We each have our own idea of what we would like to do when the time comes, but in reality, these things just spring up on you with no notice. I wrote down everything that was said, down to the details so be ready for a few words we as a society tend to keep quiet on =)

It was an ongoing joke in our family that because we have boys, my husband would be responsible for dealing with the big questions. I kept warning him over the years to be ready for those questions because one day they will ask you and you don't want to be caught off guard. My husband would smile and nod and go back to whatever it was he was doing. I didn't realize how little sway we parents have on who will be the one to answer those questions. In the end my husband got off scott free. When it finally came to The Talk it was to me my son came, all alone, with no help from husband whatsoever. I remember very clearly and always will, the night it happened.

I was preparing dinner for the family and my 6 yr old had just finished his homework in the dining room. He wandered into the kitchen, asked if he could help and I agreed. He grabbed a step stool so he could work on the counter easily. I was making breaded pork chops and I handed him 3 eggs and a bowl and asked him to crack the eggs in the bowl for me. As each egg cracked, he stared at it, fascinated by the gooey texture and bright yellow center. Pointing at the center he asked
"Mom is that yellow part what would have been the baby chicken?"
Thinking fast, as I did not want him flipping out thinking we were eating baby chickens I said "Under normal circumstances yes, the yellow part would have been the chicken. But these eggs were never fertilized, so even if we didn't eat them they wouldn't turn into baby chickens."
"Mom, what does fertilized mean?
"Well, in order to make an egg into a chicken a male chicken, creates something called sperm and he has to put it on the egg. When the sperm and egg join together it creates a baby chicken." He thought about this for a moment as we continued getting our pork chops ready. Then he turned to me and said
"Well how do humans fertilize eggs to make babies?"
I looked at him for a moment, then down at my protruding tummy, which cozily nestled our third child to be. He looked too and then up into my eyes, waiting. Sitting down on the kitchen floor, leaning against the cabinets, I got comfortable and without thinking I just went with the flow.
"Well you know how boys have a penis and girls have a vagina?"
"And you know that women are the ones who carry a baby in them until they are ready to be born?"
He looks at my bulging tummy. "Yes"
Well like chickens, women have eggs inside them..."
"Mom, you have chicken eggs in you???"
"Haha no. I have eggs in me but they're different from a chicken egg. They're much smaller and they don't have a hard shell."
"So as I said with chickens and fertilization, male chickens have sperm. Human men have sperm too inside their body. That's why you need a man and a woman to make a baby together, even though the woman carries the baby."
"if you need sperm from a man to help make an egg into a baby, how does it get there?"
"well, when you have a man and a woman who love each other very much, and are husband and wife, and they want to make a baby they do something called sex."
"OK... what's sex?"
I sighed. "Sex is when a man puts his penis into a woman's vagina which allows the sperm from the man to travel up to where the woman's eggs are. Once the sperm and egg meet up they form a baby. Which is why you only ever have sex when you are an adult, love someone and want to have a baby."

My son looked at me for a moment, then down at my tummy, then at me. Realization dawned on him as he put two and two together. And in a clear loud voice he said
"Ewwww! That's disgusting!!!"
I laughed. "Of course it sounds disgusting. You are still a boy and sex is not for boys. But there will come a time in your life when you start growing into a man and a lot of changes will happen to your body. And when that time comes, it might not sound so bad. But remember, even when you get to that point in life, sex equals babies. So you only have sex with your wife and you both feel you are ready to have kids."
"What about buying babies instead. Can I buy a baby?"
"That's adoption. And even babies from adoption are made the same way."
"Well I don't ever want sex. I'm glad I'm a kid."
"You and me both, sweetie. You and me both."

I wonder how I did. I feel like I kept my cool during the conversation itself, but afterwards I went upstairs to my husbands office and started chanting, oh man oh man oh man ohmanohmanohman. And I kept thinking to myself, one boy down, two to go.

I'll never look at breaded pork chops or eggs the same again.

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