Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Posted on September 18th, 2009

As a mom, I spend a lot of time answering questions on everything from “boogers are green—why don’t they count as a veggie” to “where do babies come from?” And frankly, I prefer to answer questions about boogers.

I didn’t think I’d be that way. I figured I was a modern mom, unafraid of answering questions about sex—until I had to answer the first one. And that’s when I realized that unless I planned my answers carefully, my son was going to need lots of therapy when he grew up. So I developed this handy list of childhood stages—which hopefully will help you more than it helped me.

Stage One – The Pre-School Years. In this stage, children are just beginning to notice the world around them—and the bodies that populate it. To them, a pregnant woman looks the same as someone who has spent several years chowing down at the local all-you-can-eat buffet.

So the day your three-year old sees his first pregnant woman, he may say something like “Look, her belly is full.” It’s very important not to laugh or otherwise encourage this statement. Because your child isn’t saying, “Look, there’s a baby in there.” He’s saying, “What the heck has she been eating?” And if you laugh, you can expect to hear, “Look, her belly is full” every time your child sees a plus-sized person—pregnant or not. Trust me. I speak from experience.

Stage Two – The Age of Innocence. Around this time, your child may realize that you didn’t purchase his little sister at “Babies R Us.” It’s important at this stage to understand that even though your child may be opening his mind to the wonderful world of phonics—he isn’t necessarily opening it to biology. So when you tell him that the woman down the street has a baby in her tummy, be careful. Otherwise, he may spend many nights having nightmares about the woman who ate the neighborhood kids. Again, I speak from experience.

Stage Three – The “Let’s See If I Can Embarrass Mommy” Years. This occurs in the early elementary school years. At this stage, kids are pacified with generalities like “when a mommy and daddy love each other very much, they have a baby.” That’s because this stage isn’t about them, it’s about you. Specifically, it’s about embarrassing you.

The minute you betray even the tiniest bit of discomfort over The Talk, your child will have a powerful weapon against you. In fact, once a kid is armed with your embarrassment, he will ask where babies come from in every public place you visit, just so all the other adults on the planet can judge your response—and maybe have a giggle at your expense.

Stage Four – The Knowledge Sharing Stage. It may take a village to raise a child—but it only takes one child to spread rampant rumors about the facts of life through the village. Sometimes, these kids are accurate about their facts. Other times, not so much. Take a deep breath, answer truthfully, and unless some questions deal with farm animals, there’s no reason to demand that the parents stop their child from speaking to yours.

Stage Five – The Denial Stage. This is the stage where a child realizes that if all the stuff in Stage Four is true, then the worst possible thing happened. His parents did it. And if he has siblings, his parents did it more than once. The best part about this stage is that once your child realizes this, he stops asking questions. In fact, he may even declare that he is so disgusted by the thought of baby making that he intends to never, ever do it. Don’t get too happy about this—remember, it’s just a stage.

Stage Six – The Teenage Years. I have to say, I don’t want to think about this stage. In this stage, the specifics are finished. You’ve had the talks. They’ve seen the movies in health class. And they’ve seen the movies outside health class. And frankly, at this stage, most parents go into denial. At least, that’s what I plan to do.

Stage Seven – The Passing of the Baton. This is the very best stage of all. Your child is an adult, with kids of his own—despite his Stage Five promises. And he is giving The Talk to his own kids. And making the very same mistakes you did.

It almost makes The Talk worth every painful stage. Almost.

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8 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby”

  1. mrsbear Says:

    Each of my kids is at a different stage according to your list. lol. My oldest is transitioning from the denial stage to the teenage stage (which in some future might possibly be the doing it stage) which will also be the when mom turns to antidepressants stage. ;)

  2. Laurie Says:

    Oh, yes, the infamous Mom turns to Xanax stage ;) Forgot that one!

  3. pixielation Says:

    We’re at stage 4, and I keep getting questioned about does it hurt when the baby comes out. I kinda lie about that one, because the truth about it would make their little eyes go so wide that they’d probably pop.

    The first stage was funny though. You don’t realise at first how their perception differs from yours. On being told that the fat lady had a baby in her tummy, this factoid ticked over and over for a while, and then a few days later came back as “Why did the lady eat a baby?”

  4. Laurie Says:

    Isn’t it funny how they think? My sister thought that there was a door in your stomach that let the baby out. Yeah, so much better than the truth!

  5. Audrey Says:

    Just submit your post to my facebook, cant wait to share this.Think all of my folks will see this…Thanks.

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  7. Ginny Says:

    You forgot the most annoying and disturbing stage in the late teenage years if you have a very wayward teenager. They actually WANT to do it and will be obsessed with everything and anything about it. Boys (and girls) will make sex jokes, innuendos up the wazzoo, and try to experiment on their own. These are the worst years of my life when I wonder where my darling little girl who used wear pull-ups went and I wonder why my boy is trying read porn and not Boy’s Life…… God help me, I need a drink, but your articles are hilarious and most of them help me get through my daily struggles!

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