So here's the thing. The Boy is turning 7 next week. Agh! S-E-V-E-N!!
He's been expressing some interest in...girls. Dear lord.
We were sitting out on the front porch a few weeks ago; he was sitting with his dad, who'd just dropped off the kids, and a family with a girl his age (or a bit older) walked by. She said "hi", and he said "hi", and then he did The Blushing Head Duck with the Small Private Grin.
Oh and did I mention? Dear lord.
Also we've had the show-and-tell during bath time, so it's now Official Separate Baths for Siblings at our houses.
Oh, and he is fascinated with "tongue-kissing". Dear God, I need to block Google off this blog. Remind me to do that, k?
So. Last night we sat down to a nice bedtime story about the birds and the bees, blah blah blah, illustrated and co-authored by Marc Brown (yes, that one) and it was quite lovely and age-appropriate and so forth and so on. And went into not terribly much depth but did cover the basics, the basics being how the babies get made. Which is a good thing to be covered, because discretion be damned, I'm going to go ahead and spill the beans that a new baby is coming into the family, and not by means of my uterus, thank you very much, but the Boy and Girl will soon have a half-sibling. Tres exciting! So.
I think he took it pretty well, and he asked some thoughtful questions, such as whether you have to cut both ends of the umbilical cord and why didn't I keep his placenta? Because he misses it! And could we get one from someone else? (Uh, no.) And do sperms come out when he pees? He did get a bit goofy in the middle, which is one of his ways of coping with discomfort, and I asked him if he wanted to put this book down and read something else instead, but he insisted on persevering.
Here was the hard part (erhem): There was no pussy-footing (again, erhem!) around about the actual mechanism for the baby making: Insert part a into part b. [I hope you realize I am being obtuse to prevent this post from turning into Googling Perverts R Us.] So after I read that sentence, his eyes got a bit bigger and he said, "Wait. What? You stick it in?" "Um. Yes," said I. "Just like that?!" "Erm, not exactly, but more or less, yes." "How? How? Do you just [with hand gestures!] shove it in there!??" And in my head, I'm reviewing and thinking, "Sadly, more often than not, particulary during college." But what I say! Is "No, no, of course not. But that isn't anything you have to think about right now, that's something you'll learn more about as you get older, because remember this is something that only grownups do."
When I was a kid, my mom NEVER talked about the s*x. When I heard the word "virgin" on tv once, and asked her husband what it meant, he said to ask my mother and she told me to look it up in the dictionary. It was obviously a shameful subject; hell, I couldn't even SAY the word until I was in junior high. I think this taboo-making made it easier for me to be taken advantage of, and I will not have that being the case for my kids. I'm certainly not going to overwhelm them with information, but there are so many things I want to be different for them. I don't want them to have hangups with their bodies or boundaries; they'll develop enough hangups of their own without me starting them out that way.
"My dad talked to me about this, too," the Boy assured me while we were reading. "He tells me everything. And he always tells me the truth. Except sometimes, when he can't." I hope that telling him the truth about some things now will make it easier to tell him the truth about other things later.