Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's talk about...what?


Do I have your attention?

Take a deep breath, folks. We're all adults here.

Last week, I was in my bedroom watching How I Met Your Mother and Larry Potter wanders in. Right at the same time Barney was on one of his famous soliloquies. And you know what Barney likes to talk about.

"There's that word again. Sex. How come all these shows say this word?" LP observed.

Hey, Snarky Mom, how'd ya like to have the sex talk with your 3rd grader? I can help!

I was taken aback by his candor. Part of me wanted to tell him they were just talking about the box where you check "male or female" but I think he's on to me that it's more than just this.

So I said, "Yeah, they probably shouldn't say that word as much as they do." Hoping it was the end of that line of conversation. And it was.

But he's right. And it's not like I'm watching Skin-a-max. The shows I watch are all on before 8 p.m. When did Must-See-TV become too racy for families? I mean, sex can be funny, and we all know sex sells, but I shouldn't have to censor what I watch on TBS at 5:30 p.m.

But really, what I'm afraid of is that it will lead to the real scare of parenthood: Having the talk.

Never on the receiving end of this talk, I vowed (self-righteously before I had kids) that I would take the taboo out of sex. That I would have open and honest conversations about it, starting at a young age, so my kids would feel comfortable talking to me about anything and so they would grow up knowing what were the facts and the fictions of sex and the human body. I likened it to talking about smoking at a young age; if I talked about it around the dinner table, maybe they wouldn't be in such a rush to try it.

And, admittedly, my theory on this was still in place when Larry Potter was born 8 years ago. Disgruntled Husband wasn't on-board, but I was convinced he'd come around. But then LP started talking at 7 months. At the age of 2, it was apparent that he was not a shy boy. At 3, he was swearing at the babysitter and repeating every conversation in our house to perfect strangers.

I'm not sure if my theory on the sex talk changed because my own thoughts on it changed or because of how I saw that LP interacted with the rest of the world. But one thing was for certain: if I explained the birds and the bees to him, he would most definitely be the kid to tell the rest of the class, maybe even the school.

There's always that kid. And mine would not be him.

So, minus a stray word or two he overhears on television, there has been no sex talk. No body part talk, minus the equipment they each possess. But that hasn't stopped LP.

A few years ago, we were chatting around the table about how many kids they wanted to have when they were grown-ups. Hoover said 13. And then LP said, "I know what you need for 13 kids. 13 sperm." My head whipped around so fast, I may have gotten some form of self-inflicted whiplash.

He said it was in a book in his classroom. Okay, I can handle that. School is, after all, where his mother learned the majority of her own reproduction education. (The rest was on the bus, but I'm pretty sure nothing could be reproduced with the methods those kids were talking about.)

Say, have you had any Eggs Benedict lately?
A few weeks later, he informed me that a woman got pregnant if she eats an egg and has sperm in her body. I only corrected the part on the "eating an egg" part. God help me if when he asks how the sperm gets in there.

Last year, he told me he looked up the human body in the World Book in the library, and told me he knew what a "girl's hole" is called. He was right, but then again, he also said it's what they pee out of.

Ay yi yi. I don't like this line of information.

But I suppose it is necessary. I try to answer his questions as honestly as I can, without going overboard. Though he's never asked the dreaded "how did a baby get in there" question, I know it's coming at some point. But to his credit, he seems to have some discretion with his brother and sister. For now.

I suppose someday, he'll have to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Like maybe on his wedding day. For now though, I'm going to keep Barney off the television. And keep my kids off the bus.


  1. Last night Jman got sent to his room because he was reading the Spiderwick Chronicles, but kept saying SpiderDICK. He "claimed" he didn't know what it was and when I told him he said, oh so smuggly... "So, I can say Spiderpenis?" Seriously, who thought it'd be a good idea for US to raise kids?!?

  2. Oh gosh, my mom sat me down with a picture book about where babies come from when I was about 4 years old, and let's just say I spent a long time completely confused about how the tadpoles get into the woman's body.

    Since we were in 5th grad sex ed together -- wasn't that totally vague and confusing? I remember them constantly skirting the actual issue at hand and just going on and on about how we were all about to go through "very special changes", and making us read _Are you there God? It's Me Margaret_. Good times. :)