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Next on my hit list: The genius who coined the phrase “the birds and the bees.”

Lately, Aura has been making references to our “family of four.”  This was all adorable and good until she turned to me a couple of days ago and added, “And then we will be a family of five! And six! And seven!”

Blanching with something akin to, oh, I don’t know, extreme dread, I chuckled and shook my head. “Nope, I’m pretty sure we’re just going to stay a family of four, sweetie.”

Aura furrowed her brow and looked at me pityingly.

“But you grow a baby when you LOVE someone and you and Daddy are IN LOVE and you’re not going to stop BEING IN LOVE, so you’ll just grow more babies!” she explained, looking mildly astounded by my dimness.

I for one suddenly became very astounded by my dimness. First of all, her father had just told me the night before that the new fish recipe I had tried was “kind of dry” and “maybe needed to be reevaluated,” so the whole staying-in-love thing wasn’t looking like a slam dunk at the moment. Second, perhaps my sweetness/light/looooove approach to explaining how babies are made was backfiring.

Somewhere out there, my good friend Becca is cackling at this comeuppance. She has been telling me for years to get Aura the below book, since her son started loving it. But I couldn’t, and I still can’t. Maybe when Aura’s older, like six, or seven, or…thirty-one. Maybe then we’ll begin using terms other than, er, “peephole” and “down there.” Come on. She’s my baby. BABIES DO NOT “GET SMART ABOUT THEIR OHGOD PRIVATE PARTS.”

Amazing You kids' body book

Alyssa at Near Normalcy recently wrote a seriously fantastic post about this very subject—explaining sex to a child around Aura’s age. I nodded my way right through the post, thought approvingly of how Alyssa described a very mature approach to parenting, then proceeded to edit the entire babymaking chapter of Double Fudge when we read it before bed that night, because it seems pretty obvious that Judy Blume was a sex maniac.

I just…can’t do it. It’s not that I won’t do it, or that I’m not prepared to do it. It’s just that, for us, it hasn’t gotten to that point yet. I do sense  “that point” rapidly approaching, what with a little brother on his way with his little penis and all.

It’s just that there are so many years stretching ahead of five-year-old Aura, so much time when so much of what she’ll do and hear and think about will be tinged with the concept of body parts and what they can do and what people can do with them. Hazy though the memories are, I remember elementary school. I remember “liking” a boy as early as third grade (oh, Tommy D.; how I kicked him often and repeatedly on the playground to show my love, which is how we western Mass girls used to do it, Springfield UNIIIITE).

disney balloon

So. It’s coming, and there’s no way around It, and soon enough Aura, our baby, will be thinking differently about the clothes she wears and how people perceive her and how all that translates into non-let’s-play-with-Polly-Pockets! relationships. She’ll be kicking boys on the playground and giggling about it on the phone with her best friend and OH GOD SHE MIGHT WEAR A BRA SOMEDAY.


So, for now, we’re waiting her out. We’re sticking with the Babies Are Made From Love concept, and I’ll kind of gloss over the part where her father is actually in danger of having the locks changed on him because he also said something a tad derisive about my baked chicken the other night (DAMN YOU, ALLRECIPES.COM AND YOUR TOO-LIGHT HAND WITH SAVORY FLAVORS).

Either that or we’ll just kick the entire thing into high gear by throwing in some fairies. I figure you can’t go wrong with baby-making fairies. Elusive little suckers and very, very easy to blame.

10 Responses to Next on my hit list: The genius who coined the phrase “the birds and the bees.”
  1. Alyssa @NearNormalcy
    April 5, 2012 | 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the link, darling you!

    I say go with fairies. Why not? Wish I’d thought of that.

    Honestly, they are SO YOUNG. I never imagined myself having the talk so early, and I don’t know why my own progeny came to me with such VERY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, but she did, and I felt it was time; like, if she knows enough to ask, she needs to know the truth. She’s aware of a vacuum in her knowledge and she’s going to fill it somewhere. It’d better be with me.

    But had I thought of fairies, perhaps I could have bought some time.

  2. liz
    April 5, 2012 | 8:47 pm

    two words. Baby. Hatch. That’s right. that’s where my babies came from anyhow. And a very special hug and kiss. My oldest is 8 and getting pushy for details – always, ALWAYS while in the car…which bides me more time since we can’t really TALK while in the car, right?
    Good lucky lady. It’s goin’ to be penisesplainin’ time soon.

  3. Jane
    April 5, 2012 | 11:29 pm

    i’m all for ignoring the Birds and the Bees. i am telling our angels that the can’t have babies until 1) they go to college and 2) are married. it seems to be working just fine b/c the other day Francesca was being fresh w/her boombosity and Alessandra said, “Francesca! you don’t show anyone your bum-bum except your husband!” so, i feel denial is working just fine!
    oh, and Francesca calls Massimo’s boy parts, “his tail”. lol!
    keep your head in the sand Kate!

  4. Becca Cotter
    April 6, 2012 | 6:52 am

    I can’t wait until baby brother starts getting erections and you have to explain that to Aura!

  5. Naptimewriting
    April 8, 2012 | 5:47 pm

    Love this post. LOVE. Because I, too, think Judy Blume is a sex maniac. It’s so obvious.

    We haven’t had the talk either. We’re very open about body part words and biology. But the questions haven’t come, so I haven’t said anything.

    I just deleted a long discussion about what he *has* asked and how I answered, but I decided that a)you’d think I was a sex maniac and b)I should go post on my own blog and leave your comments uncluttered with my flotsam and jetsam (that’s not what we call sperm and egg, by the way, though it’s not a bad idea…)

    Anyway, thanks for the link to Near Normal and for the book recommendation. I will now prepare for the inevitable. Gulp. My son will some day need a cup to play sports. (giggling…boys are so lame. It’s probably the cooties.)

  6. Jessica
    April 8, 2012 | 9:53 pm

    I probably would have started crying if my child said we were going to be a family of 5, 6, 7, etc. That’s just way too many kids.

  7. Cynthia
    April 10, 2012 | 12:36 pm

    Just discovered your blog via Naptime’s comments (because MY comment was actually “What Kate said” and then I thought hey, we think alike and I should check out her blog). *applauding*

  8. june seghni
    April 18, 2012 | 7:01 pm

    I have had to have the talk with my seven year old because some older kids in a playground very helpfully enlightened her and she came to me for confirmation… She was very matter -of -fact but I was squirming inside. I have also had to tell her NOT to talk about it with her friends at school as I don’t want any angry parents descending on me if she decides to teach their kids about the facts of life..

  9. Kara Buntin
    April 18, 2012 | 8:25 pm

    Too funny…I always told my kids what they wanted to know whether they liked it or not. As long as you give them the basic info with the correct terminology but don’t elaborate on it they’ll piece it together.

    When my son was about 5 my husband came tearing downstairs during bathtime (my son’s, not my husband’s) and said “He’s asking why his penis gets stiff sometimes! What should I say?” I told him to get up there and use this as a teachable moment and tell him why! Of course my husband refused to go on his own, so we both went up. I told my son that he knew abotut penises and vaginas, and how ladies and men have different parts, and that babies are made with sperm and eggs, and he said yes. So then I said “well, that’s how the sperm gets to the egg. The man’s penis will get stiff and he puts it in the lady’s vagina and that’s how the sperm gets in there.” You should have seen the look of horror and disgust on my son’s face…I said “I know, it’s disgusting! But when you want a baby you’re willing to do ANYTHING.” (I stole that line from somewhere, but I was more than happy to use it to good efect at that moment.)

  10. Abbie
    April 20, 2012 | 11:30 am

    Oh sister, this is the topic of so many of my stories. I think my favorite story to tell is, “Aren’t you glad you only had to do that twice to get three babies?” As parents we believed that we would wait until our older twins showed signs they were ready or asking about “that topic.” I just didn’t expect to have to pull over in a chicken joint drive through and explain how they got the lab in the poodle to make our labradoodle.
    ALso, so many of my girlfriends think it’s ridiculous I wont teach my kids the word “vagina” especially when my husband is a doctor. Dude, do you think my boys wont eventually learn the word? Do you think I am going to give my kids a word LIKE THAT to use in sentences like, “Your such a _____!” No ma’am! Then I wrote “The PLACE BETWEEN where the babies come out. – Said my a highly intelligent mother.” I am going to kick that sixth grade health teachers… Anyway, I wouldn’t even give my kids scissors when they were in preschool, (they nearly flunked them for not having fine motor skills) and you want me to teach them the “V Word?”

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