It’s been a long time coming, something I’ve put off, danced around, hemmed and hawed at, and frankly didn’t know how to approach: the talk. You know the one, the birds and the bees. The uncomfortable, sweaty-palmed, God-please-let-this-end talk.
My son has flirted with the topic for probably a year while I’ve done nothing but dodge it. It’s not that I haven’t planned on having that talk. He just always catches me off guard. Driving home from school is not a good time for me to start talking about body parts and what goes where. It didn’t help when his younger sister began asking questions about our pregnant neighbor.
“What I don’t understand is how did the baby get in her tummy?” she’d wonder. It was all I could do to keep our van from veering off the road. Why did they never ask their dad these questions while he was in the midst of trying to have a normal afternoon?
The thing was, I needed to wrap my mind around what I was going to say to my son. I had to mentally prepare. I couldn’t blabber on. I had to breathe. This required rehearsal, thorough thought, simple explanation. I couldn’t get too scientific or explain too much. I had to be prepared for questions because I knew he wouldn’t be afraid to ask. This was a delicate operation. I never felt ready when the topic came up, but I knew I had to approach it. He came to me, not my husband, so I felt I had to be ready to answer him the next time he had uncomfortable questions.
My own experiences around the same age included a boy passing the S encyclopedia around the class and pointing out the passage about sex. After a minute of reading and comprehending, I merely replied, “EW!” Later I overheard more details while I pretended to be asleep at my sister’s sleepover. I pieced things together. My parents never sat me down. They gave me a pamphlet about puberty. My older sister would never answer my questions. When I felt like the only kid who didn’t know things later on, I was embarrassed. I decided not to do that to my kids. But that hasn’t made having the talk any easier.
I knew my son knew the logistics. He gave enough hints. And I planned to bring it up. We talk about a lot of things. But last night he beat me to it. He gave me the talk. He schooled me in what third-grade boys think sex is. I sat, mortified, shocked, disbelieving, and a bit humored at the whole scene—unfortunately there were demonstrations, though certainly nowhere near correct.
But I was proud of myself. I remained calm. I wasn’t nervous. I set him straight about a few things even though he giggled through a lot of it. I used all the correct names like I was supposed to, and I told him the plain and simple truth. It was easy and fairly painless. My preparation had paid off.
Then he asked, “Did you and Daddy do that?”
I totally wasn’t prepared for that.
47 responses to “A Mom’s Victory: I Survived “The Talk””
Love this post and your blog. Nice work!
Ya know.. I always thought I’d be prepared to give the talk to my son and daughter. My ex is really not in their lives so I had accepted the fact that I’d have to tell our son the logistics knowing it would be embarrassing for him to hear it from ol mom..luckily my new hubby (and more of a father to my kids then their biological dad) had the talk with my son. So I was relieved in knowing I only had to have the talk with my baby girl. She is 9 and had been asking a few little questions here and there. I told her I was going to have the talk with her but she refused saying she didn’t want to hear any of it… but curiosity got the best of her and she finally asked me to tell her. The words almost didn’t come out of my mouth! There was my precious beautiful angel of a child, so young, so innocent.. I didn’t want to tarnish her by telling her about sex. My parents didn’t have the talk with us… but I decided I needed to do it.. And like you I used all the correct terms. I explained how it worked, how the babies were made and where they come out of. This was a little hard for her because her and her brother are c-sec babies and they already knew they were cut out of mommy’s tummy. It was the toughest talk I ever had with her and when I was done she said “Gross.. I’m never having sex”… works for me.. lol
That’s a response we like to hear! It’s funny because you reminded that he did say, “Am I going to do that one day?” I just said if he wanted babies he would. But I’m really glad he even came to me in the first place and I told him that.
Love your name!
— Shanna-banana, http://www.dirtnkids.wordpress.com
It is a GREAT name.. 🙂
Oh no…as I was reading this I comepletely assumed you were referring to a junior high child. Oops my son is also in third grade and now I wonder….what really does he know? Oh boy, I have been mentally prepping for the Jolly ‘Ole St. Someone talk first but looks like something else might trump that talk. And I was worried he would recognize the wrapping paper under the tree…apparently there are bigger fish to fry! Thanks for sharing and bringing awareness! Yes, and what is it that us moms always get the BIG questions?
It’s funny because some of his friends’ moms have said things to me, like they wonder whether their kids know certain things. Well my son tells me a lot about what goes on at school, about their kids too. I want to say, “Yeah, your son knows.” But I don’t. Boys talk. They have older brothers, they hear things on the bus, they go back and tell their friends at school. And their information is not always correct! I know my son knows about St. Nick too but we haven’t talked about that either. A mom can only handle so much.
I hear you. I have a feeling my son knows about bunnies and St. Nick too! the funny thing is we talk alot and about lots of things. I guess him telling me he needs to start wearing deoderant is the first clue. LOL! My baby is growing up – in fact I just blogged about him as his Bday is tomorrow. I guess I can expect the “talk” sooner than anticipated!
ha ha ha ha!!!! Now he will go to school and inform all his friends what he has learned. 🙂 Angie
Yeah, probably. I told him not to, but I can’t control that. At least he’ll be the one with the correct information.
Great post! Just the other day my son asked the same question about how a baby gets in a tummy. He’s only 4 years old! I blame all the pregnant neighbors around us. He’s no longer accepts my answer of when two adults love one another a baby grows in the woman’s tummy. My back-up answer is usually – isn’t it time for Dora to come on tv? That’s been working so far.
Yeah, at four I don’t think I could have put anything in the right context. Diversion sounds good to me! I’ve always read to tell your kids age-appropriate things, but I had a hard time finding anything that gave specific examples. From what my son knew, it was obvious he needed the basic, simple truth.
I waited longer than I should have really, but the truth is, when our kids come to us with questions, we should find a way to answer them. I don’t want him going to someone else when he’s older. It sounds like you have a good answer for your son. Maybe when the babies are born he’ll settle down!
I was just going to blog about this topic today! My six year old son chatted with me the other day about how his nine year old friend described having sex with a girl–and it sounded pretty anatomically correct. Way too young!!! But I’m glad my son at least felt comfortable talking with me, and he has no shame which is how I want to keep it. Thank you for sharing this post!
Oh, that’s maybe a reason to consider having the talk! That it’s something adults do.
That’s exactly what I told him. I mourn his innocence, but it is a reality of life…just not one I wanted to detail with my six year old!
Okay now you need a follow-up post on how you answered that last questions lol. My kiddo is still 2 so thankfully I have some time but like yourself, I plan to be honest and factual about it rather than make it something shameful or taboo.
I wondered when someone would ask that. I said yes, but it was tough. I think he laughed. It was a blur after that. 😉
You did well ! Except for that last question,I can see me panicking and saying “No – and you will never do that either because you are going to be nuns!”
i am really dreading this with my stepdaughters (birthmom wont even tell them to do their homework, hasnt seen them in years so yeh, it’ll be me). I lucked out with my son; his best friends mom was a nurse and she was nice enough to do the honors !
Maybe you can give her a nudge when the time comes for your stepdaughters as well. Though honestly, I don’t dread it as much with my daughter. It’s my son and all of his curiosity and being a giggly boy that freaked me out. And his ability to throw me off guard with questions like, “Did you and Daddy do that?” Totally him.
I’m dreading it, and amazingly I have not had to have it. (even though I am 39 weeks along with baby #3) My sons have heard the word sex often on television, but I do think it occurs to them as an actual action. They really seem to accept that babies come from mommy and daddy loving each other and God. Maybe a few kisses. They understand how babies develop but currently are fuzzy on the big details. (I think my oldest son takes it as reproductive Big Bang Theory….) but you did well!!!
Lucky for you! I like the idea of a Big Bang Theory!
Pingback: A Reproductive Big Bang Theory… | Who notices the mess?
Great post Karen,
It is awkward at times being a parent, I have two girlls so this is something that was not very easy to talk to them about, the drug talk was somewhat easier but still kind of hard but it is something that needs to be done and reinforced again and again. Our kids act like they dont want us around but when it comes down to it they really do and they really listen.
Thanks. Yes, I agree. The drug talk has been easy and something I have no trouble throwing into a conversation whenever I see fit! Honestly, once this is out of the way with both of my kids, maybe this topic will be the same way and I’ll throw it out there often–just in case they are listening.
When we adopted our son as an infant, the counsellors suggested telling him the story immediately, as an infant and doing it constantly thoughout his life so that it is just one of those things you can discuss easily. This practice made “The Talk” much easier. Why? Because our son doesn’t think we ever had sex!
That definitely gave you an out. Very cute! Thanks for sharing.
I really dread having the “talk” with my son. Like all parents I keep putting it off too. Guess I need to put my big mamma panties on and just do it!
I’m kind of glad that he just surprised me with it one evening because I really didn’t have time to freak out in the moment. I think I freaked myself out so much with all the anticipation. You have the right attitude!
Hilarious. Love that last line. Thanks for the heads up! I will have a response prepared when Dimples asks that question!
Yes, for someone like me who tries to be prepared for everything and think through every possible outcome, it just proved that I have no control and I really don’t think well on my feet. At least I am getting good practice.
My daughter crawled into my bed just this morning and said, “I dreamed I was a mommy like you. I had a baby girl named Lucy.” Then she whispered the next part. “Tyler was the daddy.” Apparently, she’s ready to give me the talk.
Not what you wanted to wake up to, I’m sure! But you never know. When I was a young kid, my friends and I used to talk about how babies were made and one way involved being on different aisles of the supermarket. How we came up with this stuff is beyond me. I would have preferred if my son came to me with that!
Thanks for a great post! My parents never sat me down to tell me about the birds and bees, oh no… it was left for me to discover my dads ‘film’ collection (sorry dad, rest your soul).
Still, I did try and talk to my kids about it recently, but heck tey knew more than I ever did at their age.
I do think they learn things earlier these days. At least you made an effort, right?
Yes I did, as scary and red-face inducing as it was. 🙂
you brought me here through your reply to my scarymommy blog this morning. thank you. im so glad i found you. *hugs*
Thanks! Your post brought back some great memories.
oh good. i made you smile so my job for the day is done.. 🙂 i am now following you through emails. do you have a FB page as well? my blog is there and i can spread the love for you there if you do 🙂
Yes and thanks!
Your posts are always so very provoking! No wonder there are always marathon comments on your pages. Hits right through the parental heart.
I took a slightly unorthodox approach: I used nature to begin the mechanics of sex education when my kids were very, very young, but old enough to understand. By the time each of my children was 4 years old, they knew about the eggs and the sperm. At 8 years old, they start putting pieces together and realize that yes, humans must do this too, to make babies. At 10, they get the puberty talk at school. (Boys, Dad’s department. Girls are mine.) At all ages, 5 through 10, they know that having a baby is THE consequence for sexual intercourse and that Mom and Dad can still get make a baby (even though we’ve “fixed” it, nature can and does find a way). as Mom is still throwing out eggs, Dad making sperm.
They simply must get these facts from me. If I don’t tell them, their friends may give different accounts (theirs will be more inviting, interesting, intriguing). My job is to give them reality. And reality is DON’T DO IT until you’re ready (maturity, financially, mentally) to give 20 years of your life to raise a child to adulthood. I want at least that to be resonating in their little brains and hips, no matter what they see, hear or feel.
The “sex is pleasure” talk I’ll save for their wedding nights. I really look forward to that one! 🙂
That’s really a great way to go about it. Wish I had thought about that, though I guess it’s not too late for my daughter, who is 6. I’m thinking she will already put it together though and ask, “So how do people make babies?” I’m not sure I can handle that right now or at that age.
I made sure to stress that sex is how babies are made. I made no mention of it being something adults just do. And yes, their friends will have all kinds of juicy stories for them, which is what finally brought on the discussion in the first place!
It helps to have them watch a live birth. I was able to record one from Discovery Health a few years ago, a “nice” childbirth in a bathtub (no blood, very clean, genitalia obscured), so they could see that babies really do come out of a hole down there. My girls were quite impressed. They don’t even know the V-word. They call it their baby hole. LOL
Oh, THAT talk. In some families that’s trivial compared to talking about the really sensitive subject: money.
Really great piece. Funny ending. I thought you were going to say he was older. i remember when my older son was six and he asked about male body parts completely out of the blue. Awkward!
Great post. I’ve been there myself!