Sunday, September 16, 2012

Crap, is it time to have "the talk"?

The kids were watching Dirty Jobs, which they find endlessly fascinating.  I mean, boys + a show about dirty things with some poop jokes thrown in every now and then = awesome.  It's just simple math.  But today, as it was playing on the TV, I wasn't paying attention to what Mr. Rowe was up to.  And what he was up to, friends, was gathering horse semen.

Oh...I suck as a mom right now.  But wait!  It gets better.  See, Boy #2 is too young to care about much except to be delighted that Mike Rowe is constantly getting filthy.  But, Boy #1 is 8 going on 30, and he did something unexpected.  He picked up on the word "semen."

"What is that?  Is it like...poop?"

No.  Not yet.  I can't possibly be time to discuss this already.  Can it?  No.  Please, no.'s a direct question, if I'm taking my own advice about sex ed, I should answer it without (obvious) embarrassment.  Boy #1 knew the following facts about the human body and babies: it takes a special part of a mommy and a daddy to make a baby, the baby grows inside a special sack inside of the mommy until it's ready, and what a period is (that part is another story that has to deal with why you knock before you just walk in to the bathroom).

So here we are, with a very specific question.  What is semen?  I admit that I was caught unprepared, so I said, "Do you remember when we talked about it taking a part of the mom and part of a dad to make a baby?"


"Semen is the part of the dad."


In retrospect I should have explained sperm vs semen, but I was caught unawares here.

That led to Husband and I, after the kids were in bed, having our own little talk.

"Is it time?  Is it time to have 'the talk'?" I asked.

"It may be.  Pretty soon he's going to be getting misinformation at school [from his peers]."

No.  Wasn't he just a baby yesterday?  He must have been, right?  RIGHT???

But...I want him to be able to ask questions.  I want him to be able to come to us.  I don't want him blindly following whatever his peers say.  I know some people may think this is too early to talk about this, but let me put it in perspective.  By the time I was 10 or 11, I had heard the following words in elementary school (I'm going to get a little graphic here.  You have been warned): fuck (as a verb), fingering, sex, "doing it," frigid, and boobs, to name a few.  Pretty soon, he's going to be hearing  a lot of words and getting a lot of ideas.  So the choice boils down to this:

-Get wrong information from his peers that we may or may not be able to fix
-Get the right information from us, even though we may be uncomfortable giving it

You could make the argument that I went to a different school at a different time.  But let me tell you that the other day while leaving the school, I heard one of the kids say, "The other night on Family Guy..."

Need I say more?


  1. I'm laughing right now, but it's in a sympathetic way. I remember the day our came home from school and bluntly asked what a boner was. Apparently, he'd overheard an older kid telling somebody that they were lame and couldn't get one, so of course that made our son wonder if it was something cool enough that he might want one too. Oh boy. And these were 2nd and 3rd graders. In the same year he questioned us about several more colorful words and phrases, all of which he'd heard from school mates.

    Before that sort of thing started happening, 'Chele and I had planned to have "the talk" with him somewhere around Jr. High age. Needless to say, we didn't get the luxury of waiting that long!

    1. Alan, I totally understand! Our two littles are incredibly inquisitive once they get an idea in their heads. Even our 5-year-old has been asking questions about himself since he was 3 or 4. It's hard to come to grips with the fact that your kids are, in fact, separate people and need accurate information. I think I spend the day practicing my straight face so I can give it without turning red or lots of nervous laughing.