Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
|E-mail: keymonroe [at] alltel [dot] net

December 09, 2004

The Birds and The Bees

So I was enjoying a balmy late summer afternoon, as I sat on a rusted front porch swing with my third cousin twice removed, whom I had just met.

He was six. I was five. The adults were inside this ancient home (located somewhere within the bounds of Arkansas), that I think belonged to a distant aunt, whom I had also just met.

So we sat there, we two, and pondered what little activity the small side street had to offer.

And I was shy, but he wasn't.

"Do you know how babies are made?" he asked.

"Yeah," I answered, only partially interested, "in their mom's tummy."

"...but do you know HOW they got in there?"

I may have thought for a moment before shrugging my shoulders. And that was all the prompting he needed. He then proceeded to tell me exactly what private thingy went where to get the task accomplished, and he was quite satisfied with himself once he had earned an "eeeew, are you sure?" out of me.

"Oh, I'm sure," he drawled confidently.

Silence. Then...

"So ya wanna try it?" (...starting young with the chase, he was.)

"No!" (And, yes, I was quick on the draw with that one.)

Four years later my mother sat me down at the dining room table and gave me the official scoop. It was much grosser that time, because I then had to accept the fact that she did it...which was horrifying, yet had somehow managed to escape my still budding and fragile mind the previous four years, intentional avoidance perhaps.

So begs the question... Miss Priss is eight, and I didn't assign her that name cuz I think it's cute. The girl is a priss. She will be mortified, which is why I have stalled thus far. So I ask, is there a magic age to have "the talk"?

Or perhaps, what I really want to know, gentle readers, is how much longer can I get away with putting this off?

posted by Key on 03:32 PM | Comments (9)

Eight is not too young to hear 'bout the birds and the bees. Yes, she WILL be mortified. But, the good thing about that is, that she will remember it far better than she would if she WEREN'T mortified. When you're eight, mortification sticks with ya.
I had "the talk" with my OWN Miss Priss (and, whooo, boy...she WAS) when she was about 9 or so. And then, only because I couldn't figure out a way to put it off any longer. heh We did it in her room. At night. With all the lights off. (Her request, not mine.) So I didn't have to see her little face glowing bright red, I'm sure.
Yes, she was mortified. But, she's 32 now. And, STILL remembers. She also STILL gets the heebie jeebies, her head spins around and she spews green pea soup if she's forced into thinking about ME actually "doing it". Which, of course, I take full advantage of. heh

Posted by: Pammy at December 9, 2004 05:58 PM

Oiy veh. A million dollar question that is. My oldest is 10, and my youngest is six. Both girls. As much as my face turns red when I do it, I try to answer their questions honestly when they ask. Of course, that would assume that your child is seriously inquisitive about wierd things, like mine. There are a lot of good books out there for kids. If you want...I can get you the titles of them (lot's of them are in libraries and I've probably used most of them). They really do a good job of introducing the subject in a more than acceptable manner to kids. Then..you can go from there. It always stirs up more questions.

I guess what I'm trying to stay is start slow...with a book or something you feel comfortable with. And the questions will follow. Try for age approriate answers. I'm thinking right now that Miss Priss wouldn't be ready to hear the mechanics. There's nothing that says you have to start there.

Bottom line....you know your child better than anyone...give her the talk that wouldn't make her run from the room screaming "I WANT TO BE A NUN!" No what I mean?

Posted by: Moogie at December 9, 2004 06:02 PM

I have to make bold statment and the assumption that Ms. Priss goes to school. What do you think they talk about on the playground, I am just glad this task falls to the mother. Damn, I don't remember if I had that talk with my son, oh well he is in the AirForce and I am sure it was part of basic training.

Posted by: James Old Guy at December 10, 2004 09:43 AM

My oldest daughter is 9 1/2 and I tremble with fear that she is "learning things on the playground." I believe that she is too young, but some of her friends are more physically developed and may need The Talk. My daughter is well developed intellectually and emotionally ... she may be ready ... Jillian, go talk to your mother.

Posted by: John at December 10, 2004 10:33 AM

I have 6 daughters, my oldest is eleven and has been asking questions about this very subject since she could talk. I always answered her honestly, but with as few details as possible. The more she asked the more information she received until she finally received the "whole" talk and yes, she was mortified and now does not even want to see my husband hold my hand. I have eight year old twins and we are currently starting discussions. I agree with Moogie, a little at a time. It all depends on the child, but I promise you if you do not tell her someone else will and it will not be the whole or even correct story. By the way Moogie says hello.

Posted by: Melonie at December 10, 2004 08:07 PM

Listen to Moogie and Melonie, they know. I called Melonie when my preteen (a boy) started asking me questions. My advice, which might be redundant, is also to keep it simple. Don't volunteer more than you have to unless they ask, in which case go into more detail. I tried hard to seem very matter of fact about it so as to not introduce any self-consciousness which would hamper future talks.
Moogie says hello... :)

Posted by: sharon at December 10, 2004 08:48 PM

I actually told mine from teh first time they asked. It started off being a special cuddle that makes babies and grew from there. I thought they knew everything.Then when my son was 10 he asked how the baby got out. I told him remember how it got in ?, he told me, well I said the process is reversed
"what" he said
"through the fanny" fanny being the english vernacular for female body parts with no acceptable name.

"yes" i said

"but there's no room mum"

"Philip" I said "every day there are millions of women who would agree wiht that one"

Posted by: christine at December 11, 2004 02:29 AM

I agree with Sharon. Keep it simple and don't answer more than they ask. But answer when they ask, don't put it off.

And I came by way of Moogie,

Posted by: TW at December 11, 2004 01:57 PM

hmm..this is quite interesting

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