Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Intercourse Discourse

(Originally posted 03/06. This is a perfect example of why kids give you grey hair.)

Despite being somewhat impoverished, my childhood was near idyllic in many ways. I grew up in that golden era when AIDS was yet unheard of, the only gangs to speak of had names like "The Rainbow Rollers", and Adam Walsh was just another anonymous American kid. We roamed free until dark, when we would straggle back home, dirty, exhausted and ravenous...but happy in that oblivious way that only kids can be. My parents were loving, vigilant, and wholly committed to giving us a good life and a stable home.

However...that carefree era was also the "we don't talk about that" era. As such, most of what I learned about sex came from my Dad's purloined Mickey Spillane novels and the schoolyard rumor mill. If I hadn't read Are you There God, It's Me Margaret I might have been convinced I was dying of some horrible, nameless "down there" disease when I began menstruating. But, thus informed, and armed with an "It's GREAT to be a Woman" starter kit that I got in the fifth grade, I ventured forth into womanhood with very little fanfare or acknowledgement other than the mysterious appearance of a box of Kotex in the bathroom cabinet.

When I began having sex at 17, I took myself down to Planned Parenthood and endured my first pelvic exam alone, scared to death my Mom would find out. Taboo subject that it was, I don't know how or why I had the presence of mind to procure some birth control, but I thank heaven that I did. I never told her, though part of me hoped desperately that she would somehow discover my secret, and we could talk about it at last. She never did.

When I had children of my own I vowed it would be different. I resolved to be open, honest and matter of fact with my kids about sex, and I resolved that they would always know they could talk to me about anything and everything.

That has proven to be easier said than done.

I tend to overthink things a bit, and the whole sex issue is no exception. From the time my oldest was an infant, I started planning what I would say and how. I ran through endless scenarios in my head. I practiced dialogue and feigning nonchalance. I was as prepared as I could be, and I was confident that when the time came, I would pull it off with aplomb. I would not choke. I would be as cool as a cucumber. I would.

Unfortunately, no amount of preparation can innoculate you against the shock of your piercingly innocent 7 year old child asking out of a clear blue sky..."So Mom...what IS sex anyway?" Everything I had rehearsed fled from my brain in a torrent of panic and denial, and I said something like...."Yurg."

Mercifully, I was able to gather my wits about me and make a pretty convincing show of being perfectly at ease while we discussed the basics of intercourse and insemination. Yurg indeed.

Fast forward a couple years, and I've got this down pat. I've covered just about everything there is to cover, except for nocturnal emissions, which I'm leaving to the parent who has actually experienced this phenomenon. I figure we've got a little time yet anyway, though I'm sure it will sneak up on us the way that first winsome inquiry did. I expect to be sniffing sheets before too long. So, thinking myself quite progressive and experienced, I relaxed a bit and did not worry quite so much about the inevitable moment when my younger child seeks enlightenment.

And still I was caught completely off gaurd.

In the van on the way home from a baseball game last evening, the talk was all about batting averages, RBIs and optically challenged umpires. Suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, my sweet blue eyed diminutive one decided the time was right to start laying the groundwork for some intercourse discourse.

"Hey Mom, I heard some ladies get their stomach cut open to get the baby out."

"Ummmm...(don't say Yurg, don't say Yurg)...yes, that's true. It's called a C-section."

"Does it hurt?"

"Yes, I imagine it does."

"You don't know?"

"No, I didn't have a C-section, honey."

"Well then how did I get out?"


"You came out my vagina."

Stunned silence ensued. I bit my lips to keep from filling the chasm with gory details he might not yet want or need. Many moments passed. My husband and I looked at one other, blinking and bemused, while the pre-pubescent one snickered at the word "vagina". Finally he spoke.

"I sure wish I didn't ask that."

Me to buddy, me too. More silence, and then...

"I'm glad I'm not a girl."

Me too buddy. Meeeeeeeeeeee too.


  • At 7:54 AM, Blogger XUP said…

    Bwah - ha - ha I don't think you should have let him get away with the "I'm glad I'm not a girl" remark, though. This would have been an excellent time to discuss unwanted erections, nocturnal emmissions, prostrate exams, circumcision, etc., etc. We don't want to leave the poor boy feeling superior to us poor womenfolk, do we? The funny thing about kids and sex talk is that they seem to forget everything you tell them anyway. I've tried to talk openly to my daughter about everything since day one, yet at age 14 when they had the complete and uncensored sex classes she comes home with all sorts of "surprising" news for me -- like I never mentioned it... or didn't know, maybe? Sheesh

  • At 9:26 AM, Blogger Alison said…

    Don't say yurg! I love it!

    I almost swallowed my tongue when my 4 y.o. daughter said (remembering an earlier conversation, "You know how you said the baby grows from a seed inside the mommy's tummy? Well how does the daddy put the seed IN there?"

  • At 12:55 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    he he

    I picked up a used copy of a book my parents used with me: "Where did I come from" I've been ignoring it on the bookshelf for a while, but it probably won't be long before I need to pull it down!

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Ms. Skywalker said…

    I could feel the silence all the way in Michigan.

    Good one, BA--and good way to ensure a few moments of quiet, right?

  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    I gave my son a book all about "that" recently and said he could read it and then ask me anything he needed clarification on - he ignored it for several days and then one day casually picked it up and started browsing through like he really wasn't interested. Then all of a sudden, he looks up at me and says "you LET Dad do that to you!?"

    Since then the questions have come - do you have to do it each time you want a baby? does it work each time? why would you let Dad do that to you? how does the sperm come out?

    Yup and his Dad LETs me deal with it all - laughing the entire time.

  • At 7:11 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Love this post. Love it.

  • At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love that you posted this. Sex has come up at our house and I've ordered several books in preparation for "the talk". Like you, I didn't think I would have any trouble having this conversation with my kids but I was dead wrong. I'm a nurse and quite comfortable with talking about bodily functions and fluids. I've always used anatomically correct names for body parts and my kids have known how babies come out since they were toddlers. I treated it like it was no big deal and so did they. In fact I had to have a talk with my second oldest that asking a pregnant woman if her baby will come out her vagina or belly is a bit too personal.

    But the whole penis in the vagina thing completely wigs me out. Probably because I was 6 when I found out and completely disgusted. Like your son I remember wishing I didn't know. I guess I feel like there is a loss of innocence once the "secret" is out. My youngest is almost two and I plan on telling her about intercourse much sooner than my other three so it isn't as uncomfortable as it feels now. I want it to be a no big deal kind of thing for her like how "where babies come out" is for my older three. But we'll see. I may very likely lose my nerve.

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Jolyn said…

    I started asking my mom some questions when I was in the sixth grade. Her response was to bring home a book from the library. The next day at school I got some ribbing from some "popular" girls at school (twins) whose dad worked with my mom. She had told him! I was mortified, and so was she, as she had never imagined her loose lips would trickle down to me. I hold that lesson dear and make sure I never, ever threaten my son's trust in me, no matter how "cute" and innocent his questions and comments seem to me. (This is a challenge in this new bloggity-blogitall world!)

  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    Goodness questions hard to answer

  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Kat said…

    Hilarious! Maybe not for you, but for us to read. Sorry.
    I just started in on the delicate subject, and my oldest isn't even 5. He keeps asking me why I sit down to pee. I keep explaining to him that he is a boy and he has a penis and I am a girl and I have a vagina. The next question is always, "can I see?". Um. No.
    I MUST start locking the bathroom door!
    So glad I stumbled upon your blog. :)

  • At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I loved your post. My parents told me nothing except for basic menstruation information. My ignorance fueled library research. When I was working summers in the local library, I went through almost every book looking for information. At that time, there was none. I overcompensated by telling my kids everything. We had an extensive library of sex education books, which found their way to every sleepover, as did Natalie, the birthing doll. I corrupted the entire town:)

    My oldest once teased me that I had told them so much about sex she didn't want to think about it until she was 30. My older kids saw their 2 younger sisters born at home, so we dealt with the basics very early. All four waited until they were in college and have married wonderful guys. Two have married their one and only. So there was a method to my madness after all. As I recall, I never felt a need to explain C sections when they were preschoolers. At that time the pregnancy books warned you not to use an ob who had a C section rate over 5 %.

  • At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I found it much easier to talk about it when my girls were preschoolers. They were constantly surrounded by pregnant women, so questions came up early.


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