Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Birds and the Bees

Ben and I had an interesting conversation at dinner time tonight. Here is how it went down:

Ben: Mom, how big are babies when they are in the mom's tummy?

Me: Well, they start out very, very small and then get to be a normal sized baby when they finally come out. Do you remember how big Josh was when he came out of my tummy?

Ben: Yes. So, I know the baby exits through a hole in your tummy (technically true for me because I had them all c-sections). How does the baby get in there? Does a ghost come into your tummy and then it turns into a baby and starts getting bigger?

Me: No ghosts. Actually, a daddy has some special seeds and the mom has a lot of eggs in her tummy. When the seed gets in the egg it makes a baby. Then the baby starts getting bigger and bigger and comes out when it's big enough to live outside of the mommy's tummy.

Ben: Do I have seeds?

Me: Not yet, but you will when you get older.

Ben: Whoa. That's crazy! So... how do the seeds get to the eggs?

I sat there for a second, staring straight at him and wondered how far I should take this. The protective mother in me, wanting to keep him naive forever, decided to say...

Go ask your dad. ;)

A few seconds later Ben then says "Speaking of seeds. Mom? When are we going to plant our garden?"

Wow, that conversation came out of no where. Ben is my smart little guy (will be 7 in December) and I'm just wondering how long it will be until I'm giving him a full Human Development 101 course. So, I ask you all... when did your parents teach you about the birds and the bees? Did you feel it was awkward? Interesting? What could have made the situation better/easier/etc.? I would love to hear your opinions and advice. I'm entering a strange new world of hard-to-answer questions now and I feel I need to be more prepared than I am.


Patrice said...

I don't remember when I was told, but I remember my mom doing THE talk with my younger siblings. She had a book, totally appropriate of course, that was illustrated with pop-out stuff and other things that could help teach a kid how things happen. She went though it with them, reading it, answering questions, etc. Seemed to get the job done.

I remember looking through it on my own too and it gave the scentific explanations in a way a kid could understand. And if the words didn't do it, the pictures helped a lot.

The Thornocks said...

Ha, first I have to comment on the comment above me. When she said a pop-up book that talked about sex, I pictured something not so appropriate in my head.

Mom never had the conversation with me, because I was told at the age of 5 by some lovely cousins of ours ;-) Obviously, I am not at your stage, so I can't give very good advice, but what I have heard from all the experts is to tell them very plainly without making silly names for things. Only tell them enough to answer the question and don't go any further. If the kid still has a question, they will ask it. I would look at getting a book, though. It sounds like a good idea as long as you read it and think that it would work for that specific child.

Zach said...

My Mom waited till I was 13 to breach the subject. I had it all figured out by then, so it was kind of embarrassing for me to have my mom talking to me about this stuff.

I would concur with the book idea. My inlaws have one for their youngest and they can be very scientific and frank then any conversation you'll be able to have... or at least that I'd be able to have. Unfortunately I've inherited my mother's squimishness when talking about this subject with kids, so I'm hoping a few well written and illustrated books on the human body will clear things up nicely.

Whitney said...

I was a wee, little child of three years old when my darling sisters took me aside and mischievously asked, "Whitney, do you know what sex is?" I responded, "Yes. It's when you kiss for a really long time." The mischievous look on the sisters' faces expanded into two evil grins. "Nope...." and that was my frank and candid introduction to the miracle of life.

My point: I think your kids will turn out okay one way or another. I involuntarily took the most abrasive route and I feel like I'm alright.

Thanks for that, by the way. Many of my friends consider me a Dr. Ruth of some sorts.

Chelsea said...

I've been having the same conversations with all of my friends who have kids a few years older. They all say their 8th birthday. Can you believe that? One more year? I can understand because she's asking questions too. There is a book that my friend who has a parent who is a Dr. suggested. I'll have to ask the name again. I kept saying, " I don't want to take her innocense away." I would rather be the one and not her friends. UGGH!

Darren and Traci said...

I have talked to my sister in law a lot about this because she's just so nonchalant about the whole thing with her kids. Her thing is that she just answers what they ask and doesn't put in anything else, then if they're still interested they will ask another question and you answer that one until they are satisfied with what they have figured out. That way you aren't having to tell them something they maybe aren't ready to hear but at the same time they know they can come back and ask you more since you are willing to answer their questions and not be hush hush about it.

That being said, I still think it's easier said than done. I think the first time Emmie comes asking big questions I will probably have a panic attack.

Sonja said...

Traci has the right of it, that's what I tried to do with you kids. I talked to you a little at 5years and probably every year after until you were 8 and you got the whole deal. If the child is old enough to ask the question then answer it. Make sure you don't go beyond what they are asking though:) Good luck, oh, dad says we have a little wooden indian chief Justin brought back from Chile we can lend you!


I totally agree with Traci. Emerson has asked tons of questions and I've decided that the best approach is exactly what you did, Jamie. Just answer honestly without acting like it's silly or unnatural, in words kids can understand. I really think it's important to be honest even from the youngest age (depending on a kid's level of curiosity) because the last thing I want is for my kids to find out from their friends, to think it's yucky or silly, or to think they can't talk to me about it. What better way to learn about it than from a parent who loves and cares and can understand without judgment?

Ksenia said...

Haha. Maybe I'm going to have a rude awakening, but I cannot wait till it's my turn to explain to my kids! It'll be awesome.

Mindurs said...

Wow kids ask those kinds of questions at the tender age of 7? Just glad I have a few more years before that happens.

I think you did an awesome job answering the questions. You were straight forward but not overly specific.

The sex talk with my mom was awkward and I was waay to old by the time she finally gave it to me. There is no way that I want to put my kids through that so I will always be straight forward with them and hopefully things won't be awkward.

Dream Big Designs said...

I loved reading all the comments. I am also not there yet, but I am sure it will come soon. I loved your explaination about sitting at the table and thinking. I can just see you face. And I would have said the same thing. Thanks for the laugh! Your the best!

dean and chelle said...

Hi Jamie! I'm Michelle, Ashleigh's friend. I occassionally peek in on your blog to see the latest happenings because Ash talks about you and the happenings in the whole Call family so I feel like I already know you.

I just had to tell you that I laughed out loud so hard at your posting. I only have an almost 9 month old baby girl so I've never had to even think about this subject, but I can only imagine how squeamish that conversation with Ben made you. Tell Ash to give him a little lesson. She loves talking about s-e-x and I'm sure she'll even draw his some diagrams. She's been known to do even weirder things. =)

Also, I just wanted to tell you how awesome I think you are for your dedication to your exercising and losing weight. You look phenomenal and it was so cool to see you change over time and to see how you've developed a love for running.

Angie Prusse said...

Oh my goodness! Ben is so stinkin' cute and smart!! That was the best laugh I have had all day! :)

My parents never had the "talk" with me. I think they wanted to keep me naive forever! My sister had to give me a little bit of a talk, but I learned it in school and from friends, I guess. Regardless, I do not like the fact that my parents didn't dare to tell me. They have a hard time talking about any bodily functions. I think being honest with your kids and not hiding anything from them is the best thing to do in this situation. That is what Tyson and I have decided to do. I would rather have my kids find out from me than from their friends.

You are awesome! Thanks for being such a great mom!!! You are a great example to me!!