When I produced my little bundle joy six years ago I though, rather naively, that I would not be addressing any questions regarding baby making for at least 10 years but little did I know that as Lulu as I sat in a bath one Tuesday night recently she would say “mummy, how do you do sex?” OMG
I didn’t want to scare her by saying words she didn’t understand, erection, vagina etc and I certainly didn’t want to make her feel like she had done something wrong by asking but goodness, I was not prepared. I was so conscious that I had to answer in a way that didn’t make sex seem bad or wrong – who can afford those psychiatrist bills when she is all grown up and blaming my crappy explanation on her dysfunctional sex life? But I didn’t want to be flippant either and avoid the subject. Were they discussing it at school? Had I missed the memo? So, I did what everyone does in situations where you have no idea what to do, I asked her a question back “oh ok darling, where did you hear the word sex?” I needed some sort of context. “Was it at school?” “no” “Did one of your friends say it?” no” “Where did you hear it?” “oh i just did”. I then asked her what she thought sex was? She said it was when a boy lies on top of a girl and they kiss, I started to panic, What had she seen? Where had she seen it? Why don’t I put parental controls on her iPad?? Instead I rely on her telling me when she comes across something inappropriate so we can discuss it but obviously my plan had failed. I had fallen at the first hurdle of grown up parenting. Then I remembered that I caught her watching YouTube clips of people kissing from the comedies she likes, Full House, Fuller House and of course on Gilmore Girls. I say caught, not because I don let her watch kissing but when I peered over her shoulder at the iPad she was shielding from me she was so embarrassed by the kissing scenes. These family comedies have the inevitable coming of age teen bit involving first boyfriends and first kisses etc, being walked in on by the little sister while ‘making out on the couch’ all golden family comedy scenes, ones that never occurred to me would produce questions from Lulu but I was foolish, of course she is wondering what is going on, the characters probably had the inevitable ‘parent teen’ chat about waiting until you are ready for sex blah blah blah
From what I could glean she was actually enquiring in relation to how babies are made, so I told her that when people are grown ups and in love and they want a baby thy have sex, which means the man puts his willy into the womans bottom because a lady has eggs in her tummy and the man can make this eggs into a baby- in have my home we don’t have two distinctive words and we currently rely on back and front bottom (arrrgghh how I hate that term) but I prefer it to flower, tuppence, fanny etc. I have asked many people what they refer to their vagina as to their children and have yet to come up with a word I can say without visibly cringing. Which is a shame because vaginas are pretty great. lu said ‘Oh, like a chicken has eggs inside her?” ‘yes, exactly” Anyway Lu seemed totally happy with this explanation, I asked her if she had any more questions to which she said no and it was back to the bath time Barbie party. Oh, she did ask if me and her daddy (my ex-husband) had ever had sex and I said “of course darling, otherwise how did we get you?.”
I did impress on Lu that having sex is a very serious thing and not to be taken lightly and that it was only for adults, not for children. As she gets older we will obviously discus the finer details but for now I was satisfied that I had answered in way that was age appropriate and addressed her queries. It was also an opportunity to talk about our private areas being just for us and that no one else should touch Lu there and if they did that she needs to tell mummy or daddy or a teacher. Exactly the same way if someone is horrible to her at school. I don’t want to make her fearful but it is a good age to start discussing personal boundaries and what is and isn’t acceptable.
I was relaying this tale to some friends who pointed put that maybe I should be more accurate re which bottom (front or back) so in passing yesterday I said to Lu that the willy went into the front bottom, she was horrified, “”How does it get in there?, in my mind I saw the missionary position as a good starting place but stopped short of saying it out loud and just re assured her it worked fine when necessary.
It is not my intention to ever make Lu think that the only romantic relationship are those between men and women, and I have being using her Disney princess obsession to address this subject with her. Lu is totally on board with the idea that Princes can marry Princes and Princesses can marry Princesses and that the fundamental basis of any relationship is love and kindness, not gender. She is also aware that it is possible for two men who are together to have a baby, according to Lu they ask a lady to “get them one” (?) and that if two ladies are in love can “get their own baby”….