The birds and the bees

I’ve finally had the birds and the bees talk, after several false starts.

I’ve done it. After trying to raise the sex education talk for months/years, I have finally had The Talk with rebel daughter. I thought she might show some interest after I got pregnant in how the baby actually got in there and had tried to raise the subject several times, but she just looked totally bored and more interested in whatever else she was doing at the time. I figured maybe she wasn’t ready, but she is 10 now and when I brought the subject up at the weekend, I kind of thought it was a bit unfair to let her go on believing that somehow the sperm jumped from Daddy to Mummy while they were hugging, which is indeed what she had decided it did. I had done the whole egg and sperm thing before. I just hadn’t gone into how the egg and sperm got together. Bonkers daughter seems to think the baby starts as a twinkle in my eye and then swims down my body in the bloodstream to emerge in my tummy.

I had been telling myself that the technicalities were not really that important. It was more about helping rebel daughter to understand the emotional stuff – trust, friendship, broken hearts, etc. I have told her that Hannah Montana is not an accurate portrayal of teenage life in that teenage girls do not spend their entire life worrying about boys, but I realise that this might be fairly inaccurate and that perhaps I was not your typical teen in this respect. However, it suddenly dawned on me that she really needed to have some sort of general idea of the practicalities before she gets to the hormonal meltdown of secondary school. I didn’t want her to have the fairly inaccurate picture I received – a mixture of my cousin’s insider information and a session on rabbit reproduction from the nuns at my school. My mum simply told me at some point during my teenage years that sex was nice if you loved each other, adding after a pause that it could be nice even if you didn’t love them.

So I took her through the process step by step. She looked aghast. “You actually let Daddy do that to you when we’re not watching?” she asked, eyes wide. It was the bit about “when we’re not watching” that threw me – like every time they go out the room we are at it. She then added with relish that she was going to tell all her friends at school and tell them I told her. I have suggested that maybe it might be better to let them find out for themselves in case I get some irate parent on the phone, accusing me of taking their child’s innocence away. The thing is from what you read in the papers you’d think all kids knew this stuff by age six these days.

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