Training Bra Cronicles: The Birds and the Bees...and Sperm?
Ask me anything, really
I pride myself on being an open mother. I have tried to make it clear to my three girls that no subject is taboo, despite how uncomfortable it might make me feel. So a few years ago when it came time to discuss the birds and the bees with my girls, I was armed and ready. Book with appropriate pictures – check. Daddy locked in the basement so the girls didn’t see how embarrassed he looked at the mention of the words “penis,” and “vagina,” – check. Movie that had nothing to do with how babies are made to bring an end to the conversation and fill their brains with images that do not include penises and vagina – check. I was ready, it went well and I like to think we’ve all moved on in a mature and appropriate way since that initial chat all those years ago. Mothers like to think a lot of things.
Fantastic Book to Start the Conersation
You learn a lot about your children based on their response to “the talk.” My oldest daughter quietly sat through my spiel and then asked to be excused, no questions, no comments, no feedback at all, just “can I play my DS now?” I wondered if at eight I’d missed the boat with her and the “how babies are made,” talk. Twin #1 opted for the expected response of “eww that’s so gross,” and “I never want to talk about this again.” So I trotted out my patent “this is normal,” speech and she was on her way. At least I knew where she stood.
And then #2 chimed in. “Mom can I keep this book in my room?”
I hadn’t expected this request and was taken off guard. This seems to be a common strategy with #2.
“Why do you want to do that?” Did I really want the answer to this question? Note number #1 to future parents, DON’T ASK QUESTIONS YOU DON’T WANT THE ANSWER TO.
“I like it, I need to look at the pictures some more.” Somewhere in my panicked brain that was busy worrying about my six old become a sex perv, I had the presence of mind not to overreact.
“Don’t you think we should leave it on the shelves down here in case your sisters want to look at it?” I was buying time, was it really so bad if she wanted to take it into her room?
“We don’t want it!” the other two shouted simultaneously. CRAP! I’d said it too loud. Way to have my back girls. So she got the book all to herself. That was four years ago. Note to future parents #2, NEVER LET THEM KEEP THE BOOK!
Fast forward to now and I am still dealing with questions brought on by “the talk” and that infernal book. I thought books were supposed to help you.
The comic book style makes this one appealing to kids
Does what go where?
My all time favourite question arose rather innocently when twin #2 and I were out for a walk one evening. We had been having a lovely conversation about the merits of a certain Disney star when she piped up with “Mom can I ask you something?” After several years of parenting I know nothing good comes of this question, for me that is. I smiled and nodded anyway.
“Does the sperm go in the mouth or the bum to make a baby?” DRAMATIC PAUSE.
There are no parenting books to prepare anyone to answer this question.
I wish I could tell you I played it cool. I wish I could tell you I calmly corrected her misconceptions and added a witty comment or two to lighten the mood. I wish I could say those things.
Miraculously, between my shock and tears of laughter I was somehow able to guide her down the appropriate path regarding the mechanics of baby making, all the while looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was coming up behind us. Suffice it to say, yet again I will not be receiving my complimentary “World’s Best Mother,” mug.
The sooner they know the better
It could have been worse…I think
And so there you have it, another shining example of just what kind of bombs your tween girls can drop on you even when you think you’re prepared for anything and everything. Perhaps those of you who read this can use my experience as a cautionary tale to be sure and discuss more than the broad details about how babies are made when it’s time to have that discussion with your kids. I suppose I should be thankful she came to me with this question sooner rather than later…and that she didn’t ask her dad.