Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the talk

Before I had kids I knew, as all non-parent people "know" certain things about child-rearing ha ha ha, that I wanted to be able to have frank discussions with my children about sex. I wanted them to feel comfortable approaching me with questions and concerns. I wanted them to not have sex until they were 40, but sure, I wanted them to be able to talk to matt and I about it. The other day I asked an older friend when she first spoke to her kids about sex and she said she spoke to them about it all along whatever that means?). I thought "Oh shit, I have some catching up to do."

I am scared, by the way, terrified really.

So the other day in the car, it came up. See, until recently, when my kids asked me about religion I answered them in a certain style, by asking them questions back and telling them that different people have different opinions about these things. And when they asked about birth I used a similar spiritual style with the addition of a few basic biological facts. So, Henry came up with some of his own ideas, and being the older brother to Ezra, Ez adopted these ideas as well. So they believe that you are a star in the sky before you are born. You look down and pick out your parents. Then when you die you become a star again. I was apparently picked because I am "beautiful and have long hair", they did not know that I have a temper and can be neurotic or they might have chosen someone else.

But the other day in the car, they wanted to know how a baby actually gets in the mom's belly. Oy Vay. So I breathed deeply. I told them all about eggs and *gulp* Sperm. I told them the eggs are found in the woman, the man provides the sperm. They wanted MORE INFORMATION!!! Why is this so scary for me? I told them the rest of the information was pretty complicated and I had groceries to unload. Which was true. But I also needed a glass of wine.

This is when living on a farm would be so handy. "You want to know about reproduction, Johnny?, Let's go watch the horses have at it and then we'll watch the filly being born in a few months." Or maybe we should stick with the chickens?

Julia Sweeney did a much better job than I, check it out on TED talks. Thanks to Kim for alerting me to this hilarious podcast!

the talk, scroll down to #31, Julia Sweeney (remember Pat on SNL?)


Constantina said...

It's not your fault, our mothers were Catholic. ;-)

Laura L. said...

ha ha, thanks for the link to the TED talk, it was adorable.

My parents were very up front all along, even starting when my mother was pregnant with my brother when I was only 2. No storks, bird, bees crap, right to hard science. They had two books on it with anatomy diagram sorts of pictures and they had me watch a NOVA special "the miracle of life" in 1983 when I was 5 so I knew all the ins and outs of sperm, eggs, fallopian tubes, the whole thing... from a purely scientific perspective.

The part I somehow didn't get, was that any one did it for fun. I sort of missed that until I was... don't laugh, in high school. I know it sounds strange but I totally believed that sex = intercourse, that it was only for reproduction, and it was some strangely science fiction-y thing where a man ejaculated purposefully at a woman's cervix, sort of like shooting a squirt gun, for the sole purpose of joining sperm to egg when someone wanted to make a baby. Therefore, I believed my parents had done this weird "sex" thing more or less twice ever, once for me, once for my brother.

All the kissing and rolling about bit that I had seen in movies was just that, kissing and rolling about, sometimes naked, sometimes with strange underwear, but fundamentally just like love hugging/wrestling. Somehow I never knew that the two things ever coincided, or that there was anything else between the kiss/hug and the ejaculation. I guess I figured it out just in time...

So I think, no matter how you talk about it....they'll figure it out.

Kelita said...

P.S I don't really want my kids to wait til their 40 for real. MAtt was disturbed when he read that. I was just kidding! I guess I just want them to be young for as long as possible. It goes by too quickly. Henry is nearly halfway to graduating high school.


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