One day as I drove my kids home from school an ad for super sensitive condoms came on the radio. Why they think school pick up time is an appropriate time to advertise this product baffles me, but it left me in a predicament when my eldest daughter asked what they were talking about.
That night after I got my youngest two kids off to bed, I sat down my eldest two daughters (as I knew if I told one she would immediately tell the other) for the obligatory ‘Birds and bees’ talk.
I was armed with pen and paper so I could draw diagrams for them (maybe not anatomically correct given my lack of artistic skills, but they got the picture) and I calmly started to explain puberty, how babies are made and the mechanics of sex.
Half way through the talk, my husband came home and my daughter whispered to me, ‘Dad’s here, we better stop talking’, to which I replied in a very loud voice, ‘That’s okay Dad knows all about sex,’ which led him into joining the conversation.
My husband went on to add that all animals do it, like when you see a dog humping another dog or a duck seemingly piggy-backing another duck. If learning about men and women didn’t already gross them out enough, they were mortified to hear about animals too.
I ended the conversation telling them that they didn’t need to feel embarrassed about talking to me about puberty and sex and that if they had any queries that they could always feel free to discretely ask me any questions.
This is where the fun begins. The next day, one of my daughters said that she did have some questions, and here they are:
1. How old are you when you can have sex?
Wanting to be realistic in my answer and knowing that it is unlikely that she will wait for marriage, I answered that you have to be an adult and that you need to be in a long term, loving relationship. Feeling proud of my mature answer, I asked if there was anything else she wanted to know. That’s when she fired this doozy at me:
2. How long does sex take?
Mmmmm, how does anyone answer that? How long is a piece of string? I know in some relationships it’s a matter of minutes but apparently tantric sex can last for hours. Not wanting to delve into those depths, I tried to divert her away from the subject matter and instead replied, ‘It varies – like playing handball, how long does it take to win? Sometimes it’s quick and easy and other times it takes longer but is just as fun.’ I don’t think I really answered her question, but she accepted my response and then moved onto safer topics of discussion.
When my youngest daughter reached year 4, I felt my hand was forced to have the ‘Birds and bees’ talk with her, as our school began to host ‘Interrelate’ information evenings for kids in years 4-6. Even though it was optional to attend the information evening, kids that didn’t go would just hear the low down second hand the next day from those who attended, so I had to address the awkward topic with her to ensure she was correctly informed.
After my diagrams and helpful wisdom, she just screwed up her face and said ‘Ok I get it, can we not talk about this anymore!’ Although I reiterated my willingness to answer any questions with her, to date, thankfully she hasn’t asked for any further details.
I just have my 8 year old son left to enlighten, which I can hopefully hold off for another few years. If he sees a couple cuddling on the beach, he giggles and says, ‘Look their sexing’ and as long as that is all he thinks is involved for the moment, I’m happy with that!
Let me know any awkward questions your children have asked about the ‘Birds and the bees’.
(photo courtesy of freedigitalnet.com)