Let's not talk about sex

Posted on 23/02/2017 by Antenatal Online | Leave a Comment


My parents did not mention either a bird or a bee to me. They decided to stay quiet on the issue of periods, puberty and the like, but this was the North in the 70ís. Iím sure I wasnít alone in my ignorance. Everything I knew about sex was gleaned from reading a Judy Blume book. It was a confusing time. But then growing up is confusing generally. My husband still guffaws at his dadís birds and bees chat but at least he got one. Though really was the embarrassment of `The Chatí more scarring than the ignorance caused by a wall of silence? I had Judy after all, which was far less awful than having to listen to my mother say the word penis.

Times have changed and consequently I have been far more open with my own offspring. They are fully aware of tampons and why mummy has them in the bathroom. They have both been told the correct name for their bits. Though harry thinks his sister has a `dinerí down below rather than a vagina and Evie will not tolerate Harryís penis under any circumstances. The question of sex has not reared its head. And therein lies my dilemma.

I have always vowed to answer questions about growing up honestly. The issue is however that, although Evie has just turned 9, the questions have not been forthcoming!

She was 4 when I was pregnant with Harry and I did think she might question how the baby had got in there but all she asked was how it was getting out and did it hurt. I told her it would exit through her diner and did smart a bit and she moved on, unconcerned.

A recent article in the Times instructed that after the age of 8, if a child asks about how babies are made we have to actually say that daddy puts his penis into mummy.  This has horrified me a little.

Yesterday she informed Harry that if he married his friend Jay they couldnít have a baby because Jay was a boy but if he married Sienna they would definitely have a baby. I held my breath. Surely now one of them will ask how?  Or why? But no. I exhaled, relieved that I would not have to tell her about daddyís penis.

I am still clinging on to her innocence. Until recently she was going to marry Harry but seems to have now realised this isnít the societal norm. Every new realisation makes me grieve for her childhood. I donít want to tell her Santa is a lie, the tooth fairy was me, oh and sit down darling, I need to tell you what Daddy also does with his penis.

But how long can this continue? I have always thought that she would ask when she was ready, but time is marching on and the older children at school lurk. If I donít get there first what kind of pieced-together account will filter through?

At the end of the day sex is a natural thing and she does need to know. Itís important that she gets the whole story and knows that I am there to answer her questions Ė should she ever think of any!

Rationally I know this but itís hard. She still believes in unicorns and carries a stuffed monkey around with her long past the age when most kids have abandoned them. She canít conceive of a day when she wonít want to be with me even though I can see that day hurtling towards me with alarming speed.

I need to accept that my little girl is not so little anymore. Maybe I will grab the bull by the horns. I just hope that when the time does come, I do not merely mumble `special cuddleí and throw her the Judy Blume.



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