Dec 19

Sex in the headmaster's office

Comments (19) by Lerner December 19, 2011 - 7:03 AM

I've never been the parent who gets squeamish about questions from my kids. Any question, any topic, any stripe of inquiry and I'm on board to talk about it. Every family is different, but what works for us is generally honest dialogue and assuming that if they're old enough to ask the question, they're old enough to get the answer.

This philosophy is particularly true when it comes to sex and their bodies in general. I don't like to set the tone that it's dirty or unspeakable. So when they come to me with questions, I try to keep it simple but honest.

When my son was four, and I got pregnant with his sister, he was fascinated as to how she was going to come out of my belly. When I explained to him the nature of her exit, his eyes grew wide and he said, "Mom, is that going to hurt?!"

Oh yes, Buddy, like you wouldn't believe.

I knew the next logical question was how she got in there in the first place, but it never came. I stocked up on reference materials and visual aids and went over the conversation in my head, but the pregnancy came and went without question.

Until one day, his baby sister was nursing while he was having a bath upstairs, and he shouted across the house, "Moooooom?!"

Yes?

"I know how Hudson came out of your belly, but how did she get in there?"

That's a very good question, why don't we talk about it when you're out of the bath.

So we talked at length, we watched a cartoon-ish video on YouTube of sperm fertilizing an egg and we talked about DNA. We talked about how people had sex because it felt good, why it was important to choose wisely - sexual health and responsibility. We talked about sex for days and he watched "the sperm movie" a hundred and fifty million times. Then his curiosity waned and he went back to Legos.

His first day of school we walked into the lobby with his little sister in the stroller and the headmaster met us at the door and crouched down and said, "Well, now who is this?"

Makaio (rhymes with Ohio) very proudly announced, "This is my sister, Hudson. My dad put his penis in my mom's vagina and..."

I cut him off, explained it wasn't the appropriate time for private conversations and told the headmaster he was about to get a full essay on baby-making as Makaio had gotten very curious where babies came from when his sister was born.

​​"I'm sure he did," in his most polite, English-pretend-everything-is-fine manner, "shall we see the classroom?"

And that is when I realized that emphasizing that home was the appropriate place to discuss private things was at the top of my open-dialogue checklist.

Have you been witness to the kids saying the damnedest things, or did your own parents tell you a story of when you mortified them in public? We've all done it. It's a rite of passage, I'm convinced.

by Lerner December 19, 2011 - 7:03 AM

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Comments (19)

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  • Report Thu Dec 22, 2011 - 9:15 pm
    by  Treva
    Loved this post! About 2 months ago, we received a flyer in the mail advertising Halloween costumes. My 8 yo son said "What's this word? It says PIMP". Gah! Staying honest as I've always promised I would, I first had to explain what a prostitute was and then what a pimp does. When my son asked "But how do they sell their bodies?" and I answered "For sex", his poor jaw dropped open and he answered with "Think I'd like to be Darth Vader this year". Phew.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 11:39 pm
    by  JohnoMori
    When I was in the 2nd grade Jerry Depuma explained to me at lunch what my father did to my mother to create me and my 4 siblings. I was so offended, I waited outside for him after school and beat him up. Later that evening I checked with one of my older brothers who confirmed the substance of Jerry's tale. I apologized to him the next day (but never forgave him).
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by JohnoMori on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm
  • Report Tue Dec 20, 2011 - 5:08 am
    by  Lerner
    @JohnoMori: That's just disturbing! Wouldn't you rather have been able to get straight answers at home, even if it meant that you embarrassed the hell out of your mother on your first day of school? :)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Dec 21, 2011 - 8:15 pm
    by  JohnoMori
    @Lerner: Um, yeah! Till this day I feel badly about the Jerry Depuma incident.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Dec 20, 2011 - 1:32 am
    by  Liz Dawes
    CRASH! Me: Why did your brother throw his breakfast on the floor? 5 yr old: Because he's a monster of depravity.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Lerner on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 5:08 am
  • Report Tue Dec 20, 2011 - 5:08 am
    by  Lerner
    @Liz Dawes: HAHAHAHA.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 10:34 pm
    I'm with you, sista. Honesty is the best policy. I grew up in a family that didn't talk about ANYTHING sexual related. Hell, I didn't even know I had a vagina for the longest time because my mother called it my "personal area". I learned quite a bit from friends, which I'm sure my children will too at some point, but I don't want my children to learn EVERYTHING from their peers. I'd rather they know that they can talk to either of their parents about anything & everything... and that includes sex. Trying to get them to shut up about it in public is a bigger challenge than actually talking about it with them. Thanks for the funny post!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Lerner on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 5:05 am
  • Report Tue Dec 20, 2011 - 5:05 am
    by  Lerner
    @Kelli @ Momma Needs a Beer: yeah, how do we get them to shut up in public? Have you figured that one out yet?
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 2:01 pm
    Yep - stick to the stork! It's simpler..
    Reply Delete
  • 3 replies, Last reply by Lerner on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 5:04 am
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 6:19 pm
    by  Lerner
    @Clare Macnaughton: Simpler until I end up with a teenager with a baby because he thought the stork brought babies instead of putting his penis in some pretty girl. :)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 10:23 pm
    by  Robin
    @Lerner: Don't sugar coat things -- tell them the truth. The stork story only gets you so far until you have to make up another lie anyways. You're doing great.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Dec 20, 2011 - 5:04 am
    by  Lerner
    @Robin: Awe, thanks!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 6:20 pm
    Oh... and then there was the time #3's first grade teacher called, obviously nervous and said "Ma'am, I need to talk to you about something #3 said...er...he um....said that he (er...nervous giggle) watched you and Hubs...um....havesexinthekitcheneverynight....hee..." What? Hold on let me ask #3 about this. "yeah Mom, Dad comes in from work and grabs you from behind and you have sex in the kitchen!" (light goes on in my head) "Mrs. S,I think he means he sees us kiss." Obvious relief in the teacher's voice) "I thought it was something like that but legally I am required to follow up on this sort of thing. Have a good evening."
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by rootietoot on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 7:03 pm
    by  Lerner
    @rootietoot: wow. awkward. wait. why does your kid think that kissing is having sex?
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 10:36 pm
    @Lerner: Beats me! He was 7 at the time. I think perhaps he got a garbled account of what sex was from his older brothers. It was shortly after that (like, that evening after supper) that Hubs explained to him what sex *really* was.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 9:41 pm
    Giggling on my floor, lol. Honesty is always the best way to go, that'll serve you well on your road to "Non-40 year old-Grannydom"! The comments are keeping me in stitches! @rootietoot that #3 story is a riot!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Lerner on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 10:12 pm
    by  Lerner
    @Chichi Kix: that's my goal, non-40-year old-grannydom for the win!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 6:16 pm
    When Hubs answered our son's questions and gave him all the details, the first son responded with "OH RIGHT! like some girl's gonna let me do that to her!" #'s 2 and 3 said "ok, whatever, and #4 said "Dad. That's gross. Can I have a popsicle?"
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Lerner on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm
  • Report Mon Dec 19, 2011 - 6:20 pm
    by  Lerner
    @rootietoot: My very english husband refuses to talk to the kids about it :)
    Reply Delete

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