Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kids, Kittens, and the Birds & the Bees

So. I had my first uncomfortable "birds & the bees" talk with my almost 5-year-old daughter Gracie, the other day. It was pretty basic, and I threw around terms like, "boy bits" and "girly bits" which aren't technical, but worked fine for me.

When it comes to talking about ... you know what... my face turns red and I would love very much to hide somewhere until "the talk" is over.

I remember when my mom sat me down for "the talk." I was in 5th grade and I pretty much already knew everything that needed knowing (minus the technical terms) because of the dirty jokes I used to hear from my older brother and his friends. But my mom recorded a PBS special dealing with ... S-E-X ... and she sat me down and watched it with me, my face blazing red the entire time, and then asked when it was over, "Do you have any questions?" to which I replied, "Um-absolutely-not-and-can-I-go-over-to-my-friend's-house-now-and-pretend-that-this-never-ever-happened-pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top?"

But the other day, to my horror, our little girl kitten Somersault hopped on top of our other girl kitten Sophie and, as my friend April so cleverly put it, meow chicka meow meow.

Yeah, that's right. My kittens were gettin' it on. That, my friends, is how Gracie and Annelie got their first eyeful of the birds and the bees because as it turns out, Somer is not a girl. She is a he.

So, after shrieking for Somer to get off of Sophie, and a frantic phone call to the vet to set an appointment for their kitty-fixing, I had to sit Gracie down and explain that Somer is really a boy, and that the kitties were in the middle of baby-making, and girly-bits-and-boy-bits-and-omg-are-we-done-having-this-talk-now-why-don't-you-go-play-My Little Ponies...

It was a lot for Gracie to take in. I thought I had done a great job.

When we got our kittens back from the vet this week, Gracie excitedly ran over to Somer and checked to see if his boy bits were gone (they were) and then she jumped up and down, clapping her hands, and exclaimed, "Yay, Somer is a girl again!!"


Time for another talk.

I have absolutely no idea how to handle the questions when my girls are pre-teens and boy bits and girly bits aren't terms I can use. I might just track down that PBS After School Sex Ed special I had to watch when I was eleven.

Moms out there. Have you had "the talk?" And if so, how did you cope?



  1. ok, i'm not a mom, but here's my two cents ::

    my parents never had a TALK with me about it, per se.

    we talk about everything in our house, and sex and death are included in those talks.

    i also have 2 older siblings, so when they were of that age, i got to hear the conversation too.

    i think if you're just honest about it (and you can even be honest about the fact that talking about it makes you squicky), that your girls will be fine with it, and they'll learn a lot.

    i've also heard that talking while in the car is a good way to do it, because you don't have to sit there and stare at each other while you talk.

    hope that helps at least a little.

  2. SQUICKY!! Haha, that is the perfect word. And love the talk-about-IT-in-the-car idea! Thanks!

  3. yay! Fun post. It made me laugh and I totally feel your embarrassment! I am too. We talked about "ingredients" when my son was five. Girls have ingredients and boys have ingredients. Making babies and making pancakes were very similar in these conversations. It is still hard to bring it up. He is now 11. But I like to keep the sex talk on the table (sometimes even at the table) because it is when they are old that is matters the most.

  4. Tina, I love how you talked about "ingredients' and related it to pancake-making! That is hilariously genius!!

  5. I have my most informative conversations with all of my kids in the car.. That way they and me are not getting embarrassed.. It definitely is the perfect way to talk about IT.. :)
    If they have any other questions about anything we have talked about in the car we talk at bedtime when they are in bed and it is dark and I am sitting on the bed.. That has the same effect because we are not actually staring right into each others faces..

  6. oh man I'm thanking my lucky stars that its not time for the talk at our house yet... although the other day when Gage asked me if I have a dinkdee (his word for boy bits) I gently explained that girls have hoohah's.

  7. Oh my gosh! This is too funny:) I'm feeling very lucky that I can avoid this for another few years (i hope!) since Sophie isn't even 2 yet. I think you did a great job!! I'm going to stay safe and sound in denial thinking that my child will become a nun and we will never have to tackle this topic:)

  8. Meow chicka meow meow! Holy crap! LMAO! you just made my day! I am also not to excited about this particular subject seeings how I have one child of each gender. I like the car idea seems lees awkward, PLUS you can lock them in the car so they can't excape your fun little chat!! Hahaha

  9. Seriously...I'm all about avoidance when it comes to S-E-X. I don't care :) The other day Amelia turned over her plastic stallion figurine and pointed to his package and asked "what's that Momma?" Luckily she has a brother so that was an easy answer. More than that and I would have had to change the subject!

    Funny story, when my now 7 year old nephew saw their chocolate lab (a girl) getting mounting another dog (a dominance thing...not the other thing) he said "look Mom, they're playing double decker doggy". Uh..yeah, that works :)

  10. OMG, I'm totally going to call sexin' "double decker doggy." That will be my official term.

  11. LOL...I never set mine down to "have the talk", when they asked, I answered. My second baby came when my first baby was almost 7 years old, it was just natural to talk about it as it happened. When the second baby came along, there was, of course plenty to discuss...and as she grew, we just kept talking. There was, and still is, an awful lot of discussion about respecting yourself and your partner, about thinking of consequences, not just physically but also emotionally. Now that they are older, as in practically grown, I'm surprised how comfortable they are talking about it, asking questions about it, and are amazingly cool about it. I think the reality is I just got DARNED lucky.

  12. My mom took me, along with 2 other moms and their daughters, to planned parenthood and we sat in a little room and watched a video about getting our period and then sex and how boys change and we change and OMG my mom was sitting right there and I was 10!!! It was horrifying

    My sil found a book for me because I was totally dreading having the talk with my boys ... its called Changes in You and Me: A Book About Puberty Mostly for Boys ... it has transparent overlays that show body changes as boys go through puberty ... lots of great info ... they make one for girls too

    when our oldest starting asking questions, dad did the talk and that was that ... when our youngest started asking, he started asking me and I stuttered and stammered and got red in the face and as I used the "P" word, he got embarrassed and said okay no more and went to his room ... the book came in very handy for both of us

    our oldest has been having sex for about a year now (OMG yes its incredibly hard to type that and admit it) and so we've been making sure that he always has condoms and since he is more comfortable talking about it, we've had the "no babies" discussion, and the AIDS discussion and the STDs discussion and the I-will-sell-your-car-your-motorcycle-your tv-your-laptop if you get a girl pregnant...its so hard to know that he's doing ... it ...

  13. Creative Dream - sounds lucky for sure! Great that its out in the open for you all!

    Bombdigity - OH my face got read just reading about your Planned Parenthood experience!! So embarrassing! And oh man, I dread the days when my girls are old enough for sex. I'll definitely have the discussions... but ooooooh, I don't think I'll ever be ready for them!! Love your threat! :D

  14. Yay! I made a funny (I would be the infamous April referred to in this post)! I thought I was being rather clever. As far as talking to "IT" to my girls... I think I'm gonna make their daddy handle that one! Mmmmuuuuuaaaaaahhhhh!

  15. April - you didn't make a funny... you made a freakin' hilarious.

  16. My mom had a book called The Body book. It got a lot of attention because the cover features (an illustration) a naked boy and girl holding hands. It was all about how your body worked. Things like your digestive system. And sex. Reading that book was all the conversation we ever needed and you can start young.

    Then my mom signed me up for Every Single Sex Ed Class ever. So I had sex ed in 4th grade, 6th grade, twice in 7th grade, 9th grade, and 11th grade. I was so good to go.

  17. No talks yet, thank goodness. I'm glad Somer is a girl again too. And by the way, s/he's looking a little deprived in that top photo. Not sure if it's the before or after photo, but in either case, deprived of something nonetheless. ;op

  18. I laughed so loud when I read that Gracie said that Somer is a girl again. So funny. No talking yet about this topic at our house. I have sort of thought about how I plan to handle it, though, when the time comes. First, we will study botany...I'll discuss all of the parts of flowers and how pollen (the flower version of sperm) have to fertilize the ova. I'll give them a while to think that one over, and then we will move on to some type of animal, probably an insect, then later on a bird, leading up to a cat or dog, then finally humans. I've discussed sex with teens many times at the adolescent clinic, mostly in the context of they are pregnant and/or exactly what kind of infection they have and how they got it, how to treat it, and who else needs some medication too, but the thought of discussing it at all with my own kids makes me "SQUICKY" too! Loved your post!!

  19. Ha! With a 10-yr-old in the house, I know exactly how you feel. I've been having some form or other of "the talk" for years now. Can I tell you how SHOCKED my husband and I were to find a picture of a boy and girl in the middle of "sweet, lovely sex" while cleaning out my daughter's room last summer? It was one she'd illustrated herself!! I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

    We've always used the terms "penis" and "vagina." I try not to tip-toe around the issue too much and give them exactly what I think they can handle. My mom never had the talk with me; she just left a bunch of pamphlets on my bed. I vowed I would be more direct with my kids.

    Easier said than done!


    You did a great job.

    Also, I wouldn't show your daughters any photos of Boy George from the 80's. It might break their fragile brains.

  21. Oh my, we haven't had the big talk yet, but we have little talks here and there. i'd say you handled it very well! i will never forgot one of our little next door neighbors from our old neighborhood. her name was caroline and she was five. one day she matter of factly told me, "miss kelly. i'm a girl, like you, so i have a vagina. my daddy is a boy, like mr benny, so they have a penis." all i could say was "you are correct, caroline." :-)


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