Birds, Bees, and Biology 101

– Posted in: Lying, Mouths of Babes, Parenting, Personal Insanity, Sex

So I’m sitting at dinner with the kids last night, and my 6-year-old daughter, Elfie — who also starts every sentence with “So” — casually tosses out, “So, exactly how do you get pregnant anyway?”

To which I respond:  “Well, I’ll tell you about it, but it’s a really long story.”

To which she responds:  “That’s fine.  Because I need to know.  I mean, I just don’t want to get pregnant out of the blue or something.”

Good point.

I knew this day was coming.  Somehow I ended up with these really direct, annoying children who ask really direct, annoying questions.  They aren’t the way I was as a kid (my dad is reading this and laughing his ass off right now).  For instance, whenever I saw a movie and didn’t understand something, I’d just let it go.  I’d just watch the movie, take in whatever came my way, and consider the rest of it a wash.  Not my kids — especially my daughter.  She wants to know everything.  Why was that woman crying.  Why are those people hugging?  Aren’t they going to get married?  It’s the reason why (among other things) I have to be so freaking careful about what they watch.

When I was around 10, I saw Gigi.  It’s a classic musical about a young girl and her relationship with a rich friend of the family.  Or so I thought.  As it turns out, he’s actually a total playboy who ends up making arrangements to take her on as a mistress!  It all “works out” in the end because they get married (yes, so romantic), but the whole thing is basically about rich French guys having sex with multiple partners and the training this young girl undergoes to become one of them.

There is no way in hell I could show this to Elfie.  Little Sunny was apparently too dense or lazy to ask pertinent questions about the movie plot.  But little Elfie would be pimping people for the type of detailed explanations that would likely drive most reasonable humans out of the room.  So this is one musical that’s going to have to wait.  At least until after “the talk.”

Which is apparently coming soon.  So my plan is to fight fire with fire and do what I always do — talk too much.  I’m going to start out with cell division, including a detailed look at meiosis versus mitosis.  Then I’ll move on to internal female anatomy and the menstrual cycle.  I figure if she hangs on that long, she’ll barely remember the good parts when we get to them.

See, the problem with our damn family is that we don’t lie to the children (with the odd exceptions of Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy).  Discussions often lead to someone saying “I don’t know — let’s google it,” and usually end with one of the kids pleading, “Okay, okay, okay, I understand!  Please don’t tell me anymore!”  Feel free to weep for our children at any time.  I’m sure they’ll appreciate the sympathy.

So the idea of me actually getting away with not telling Elfie about the birds and the bees is really quite laughable.  It’s going to happen.  Soon.  I just hope she doesn’t do what she usually does with newly found information — feel the need to share it with others, usually in a lecturing or question-and-answer type format .

Honestly, I have no idea where she gets that from.

18 Comments… add one

Maeve's Momma September 25, 2010, 11:00 am

oh man, good luck with that! Maybe not something you wanna Google! 🙂

PartlySunny September 25, 2010, 2:05 pm

@Maeve's Momma: Yeah, can you imagine the search results that would come up? I'd probably get tagged by the FBI computers.

Verity September 25, 2010, 4:42 pm

Oh geez – maybe we should coordinate on this – because whatever you tell Elfie, she will tell QueenBee, LittleBug and LadyBug. Yikes!
By the way, that just cracks me up – the idea of Elfie thinking she could just get pregnant! Maybe she heard the whole “well if 2 people love eachother” explanation and got worried about loving someone too much in 1st grade. Watch out!

Briosogirl September 25, 2010, 5:36 pm

This is good practice. I missed out on the “talk” because I came in so late in the game. However, I shouldn't have relaxed, because I was completely blindsided by the “What exactly happens at the gynocologists office?” question! Stay alert!

Johanna September 26, 2010, 10:54 am

You just won the The Lovely Blog award, visit to claim it.

TerryD September 26, 2010, 3:07 pm

Hey, good question. Why not post your response here, as I'm not sure I have it quite right? No, perhaps you should explain in person, as that will be even more awkward?

Seriously, you may remember our Xmas card a couple of years ago when our own darling posed the same question – since I'm sure you've kept it, you'll have my answer there. And remember: our kid watches Lamaze videos for fun, so she is CRYS-TAL clear about how they get out.

Or, you could just google 'makin babies' and see what the internet offers up….

PartlySunny September 26, 2010, 3:26 pm

@ Johanna: Thank you so much! That's just lovely.:)

@TerryD: Yes, you're “lucky” in that your kids know exactly how babies get out. Just not in. Equally awkward subjects? Sort of, if you include the c-sections, blood, and screaming parts. My favorite was when your daughter asked the pregnant woman, “So, are ya scared?”

I may google “makin' babies” just for the hell of it.

Chastity September 26, 2010, 4:57 pm

I think you just keep it age appropriate. It's great she is comfortable enough to ask you. Great lines of communication may make it easier during the dreaded teenage years.

I'm sure your google search will lead to you to porn. But, let us know how googling “makin babies” turns out.

Good luck.

PartlySunny September 27, 2010, 12:03 am

@Chastity: I'm really hoping this bodes well for our future as far as being able to talk. And I'll keep you posted on the google search.

CJ September 29, 2010, 11:35 pm

LOVED THIS! My 6 yr old son asked me why I didn't have “nuts”. Sigh…

The family was playing ” Go Fish” of all things and my 8 year old said” Dammit!” when his fishing didn't produce the expected results.

My three year old starts dancing the minute she is buck naked. I mean booty shaking dancing and I don't even let my kids watch all the Disney Shows. She wouldn't know who Beyonce or the Pussy Cat Dolls are if they sat with her in the sandbox.

Speaking of Beyonce – my 8 yr old when he was 4 was in the bed with me when I was watching a music show. Beyonce was on wearing something very short and Tina Turnerish – except with some sort of bikini top.

My son, who I thought was sleeping, sighed and said, “I REALLY like her outfit.” I replied, “Go get in bed.” Kudos for oversaturating your kids with info. I will have to try it sometime.


PartlySunny October 1, 2010, 12:09 pm

@CJ: That's hysterical! Okay, we're the total naked house. Elfie just dropped trow and did a dance in the living room last night because I said it was time to take a bath. And here's one for you. When my friend's sons were, I guess, around 4 and 5(?), she was in the shower with them and they said, “Mommy, why don't you have a penis? Where is your penis?” Awesome.

WitWitWoo October 2, 2010, 8:43 am

I can't remember exactly what I told my 15 year old son but believed in the whole 'honesty is best' approach. Trying not to outwardly cringe whilst explaining where a man puts his penis is very difficult. Good luck with that! Should have taken a leaf out of my Mum's book who just gave me a book called 'Where Do Babies Come From?' and left me to it. My friend and I proceeded to read it locked in the airing cupboard every weekend.

My 6 year old son is blissfully so not bothered bout 'babies n stuff' but does think that “nakedness is brilliant!” It's only a matter of time …

Kristy October 10, 2010, 5:47 pm

OH, how funny. I love your voice in your writing! Here from RDC!

PartlySunny October 10, 2010, 9:42 pm

@Kristy: Thanks! And I should update everyone. . . the topic came up again. I went over the whole egg/sperm turning into an embryo, turning into a fetus thing. And then I think we somehow moved on to Halloween decorations. So once again, I get a reprieve.

Kara October 11, 2010, 6:47 pm

Sometimes I just pray for well-timed ice cream trucks. “Mommy, why don't boys sit to pee?” “oh, look! astro pops!”

The Blogging Goddess October 18, 2010, 3:51 pm

So, as you know, I've been there done that. Thank God I got to wait until 4th grade to do it though!

PartlySunny October 18, 2010, 8:41 pm

@WitWitWoo (how did I miss you?): I remember an episode of “Malcolm in the Middle” where the mom takes teenaged Malcolm on a drive and tells him EVERYTHING she ever did when she was young in an attempt to “educate” him. At one point he throws up. But eventually, they actually end up talking about important stuff. I don't think I could ever be that ballsy.

@Kara: I got out of explaining 9-11 once with, “Hey, look at the fluffy dog!”

@Goddess: Soooo. . . got any plans next week?

Tina November 1, 2010, 9:20 pm

This is great and loved it over at Mamapedia – congratulations!

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