When I was growing up in my very conservative, old school, family of seven, the birds and the bees talk was not a conversation that was ever had. Times were way different back in the day, so it wasn’t so much of an issue for me. There was no exposure to anything even remotely inappropriate and of course, no internet. Though, we did play a ton of Pong – we clearly lived on the edge back then.
Then came that time at Greek school, when our priest had stopped by to answer questions, and I sadly stood up and asked him why the “Virgin Mary was called a virgin.” I had no idea that question would embarrass the priest, nor did I realize I should have been embarrassed asking it. The priest told me to go home and ask my mom, which of course I never did. But then during recess, my friend Billy explained that “a virgin is someone that hasn’t done this” and followed it with a hand gesture. “OH, I get it” I replied.
No I didn’t. I went home as confused as ever.
Fast forward a few years and here I am with a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. The five-year-old is always talking “womance and in love and kissing” — thanks, Disney movies. Is it wrong that I cringe every time I hear that from her? Can I ban everything and revert back to Mr. Dressup and Polka Dot Door?
Then there’s the seven-year-old. He is extremely curious right now — no thanks to his little friends. He’s asking me what words like “sexy” or “hot” mean, and giggles like crazy whenever he sees kissing or “love stuff.” Even shows that are supposedly geared towards young kids lead to a million questions. Short of me locking him in his room with his books and his stuffed animals, the birds and the bees conversation is coming much quicker than I ever anticipated — and I am kind of freaking out.
I know they’re going to learn about it in school at some point, but I would rather they learn everything they need to know from me. I also want to be that parent whose kids can ask them anything without feeling uncomfortable or ashamed, And yet, at the same time, honestly, I don’t want to talk about it. Clearly, another one of those parenting conundrums that Mommy can’t seem to avoid.
Help me out here. Have you had this talk? Did you just play it by ear or use any books as guidance? And how big was that glass of wine you drank when the talk was over?
I’m guessing I may need a bucket.