So, baby making? My son is at the age where he is about to be learning about the birds and the bees at school. Whilst it fills me with dread that his teacher will divulge this delicate, and no doubt to him, hilarious information, part of me is excited about this new chapter we will begin. Let’s face it, it will alter things. Big time. He has already had a little heads up on this, way before he was ready in my eyes. He was 7.
He had been to the National History museum with his friend and their family and when I came to collect him, his friends mother told me in hushed tones ‘there may be some questions, they wandered into an exhibition’. The word exhibition was put into fingers in the air quotation marks for me, for emphasis. There were no time for questions as we climbed into the car, with my parents in. My mind was racing and was all of a sudden thoughts were interrupted with his proud announcement of ‘Guess what, I know how babies are made!’ My little boy gone in just those few words!
I immediately suggested we went on a dog walk when home (thank god for the dog), and he agreed. So this ‘exhibition’ he had ventured into was taxidermy animals in full baby making positions. Classy! It’s amazing what you can google in the mere time it takes a for a 7 year old to kit himself up with wellies and dog walking attire. Still, I knew what I was dealing with… or did I?
After walking an awkward 15 minutes, I brought up the deed. It turns out that there had been a little discombobulation. He told me that there had been some kind of video, at which point I don’t mind telling you that I crapped myself a little, figuratively speaking of course. But Hazah! It turned out that the video was quite innocent, using the sweet analogy of a pumpkin seed playing the part of the sperm. How helpful……only we eat pumpkins don’t we? So not THAT helpful. And so we began our baby making talk with the explanation that you do not need to swallow any seed to make a baby. I am afraid to say that the inner child in me had to hide the inner guffawing. At this point I wondered how on earth we were going to get to the nuts and bolts so to speak. So, serious head on, I just went for it.
Penis, vagina, sperm, eggs, even fallopian tubes, wombs, amniotic fluid, placentas and birth were explained. Bam! I was quite proud of myself. Not too much information but enough to placate him enough. But then…he wanted specifics. Now I believe that if children ask the questions, then they are ready for the answers. Give them a little info and if they are ready for more, then drip feed it to them. So his specifics were quite, well, really quite specific.
Him ‘but how does the seed get to the egg?’
Me, ‘…. well, how do YOU think it gets there?’ (word up, ALWAYS a good tactic if you get caught short with a cringe question, direct it right back and wait).
Him ‘um, well I think the man puts his thingy in the ladies bits…’
Me…. (unseen nodding of my own head with raised eyebrows) ‘yes, that is right’
Him, ‘urghhh, that’s disgusting!!!’
Me ‘Yes, I suppose it is. It is a bit like someone sticking their finger in your ear isn’t it? So that is how the seed gets to meet the egg, and when they meet something magi….
Him ‘how long do you have to leave it in for?’
Me……. ‘um, well… the man kinds of ……knows when the seed has gone…’
Me ……..’ well there is a sort of…..feeling…..I think. Then the seed meets the egg and something magical….’
Him (he stopped walking at this point) ‘ urghhh, so you and dad had to do that to get me?
Me (…wait for it….)
Him, ‘TWICE! Arghh, you had to do that twice for both of us!’
Hanging my head in shame I admitted it was.
So there you go, in one brief dog walk I had covered pretty much the entire Sex Education lessons. But it leads me back to the point that when they ask, they are ready to know. Give them the tip of the iceberg and if they want more, they will ask. I never really did get to the magical bit in any detail, but then I suppose his teacher has to be left with something to work with. We had a chat on the way home explaining that it is not his job to go telling anyone at school this new found information. And bless him he has stuck to his word. Either that or he has erased it from his memory because it was too disgusting!
Have you had to have THE CHAT yet? If so, how did it go?
Do you have any tips?
Thanks for reading,