The birds and the bees

August 11, 2006 at 10:03 pm 24 comments

The sex talk 

I don’t remember asking my mother about the birds and the bees when I was a little girl.  What I remember is how she would show me her long vertical scar on her belly and tell me how she was in labour with me for three long days before my father could produce the hospital money and then she had me by Ceasarian Section.  She would tell me how she couldn’t wear a two-piece bathing suit because of her ugly scar.  So years later, when I was on the operating table about to deliver my first baby, I asked the doctor to please make it a bikini cut.  “Of course,” he said, with a smile on his face.  I didn’t know that was how it was already being done at that time.  As if that was the worst of my worries. 

But kidding aside, it’s not easy to talk to your parents about sex.  It’s awkward, for both the parents and the children.  I was reading Ann’s post about her 12-year old daughter who approached and asked her about sex.  At first she didn’t know what to tell her, but after consulting with her husband, she did tell her daughter what she wanted to know. 

None of my children have approached me with that question yet.  Well, except that conversation with my youngest son which you will read later on in this post. 

I think my 16 year-old son have already learned about this in school.  At the beginning of every school year, my children’s schools ask parents to sign this consent form authorizing teachers to teach sensitive materials to students, such as drugs, alcohol and sex.  Like Ann, I think it is best for children to learn about these things at home.  But if they’re not going to learn these three things at home, I think the school is the second best source, not their friends or some kids from the street.  It’s easy for me to talk about drugs and alcohol to my kids but I still feel awkward talking to them about sex.  But if that time comes when they ask me, I would definitely sit down and talk to them about it. 

I have learned about sex, not from my parents, but from school.  I was in grade six when I was first taught about the reproductive system.  There were two grade six classes in my school and both classes were divided – boys and girls.  Mrs. Jambi, our science teacher, took all the girls from both classes and showed us these huge pictures of the female and male reproductive organs.  She drew the pictures on manila paper herself, beautifully and anatomically correct, may I add. Of course there were giggles in the room as probably most of the girls haven’t seen the male reproductive organ (in picture or a real one) before.  So we learned how a female menstruates.  It was very important as we were at that age when a girl gets her period.  And I guess it was also important to the boys when they were taught in the next class, because they were also at that stage when they were experiencing these body changes and they were starting to notice the girls.  We also learned how the male transfers his sperm cells to a female, how one of those unites with a female egg and how she gets pregnant.  

Where do babies come from? 

My children have asked me before where babies come from.  I’ve always told them the truth.  When I was a small child, I hated it when my mother would tell me, “You’ll know when you’re older.”  It just left me wondering all the time.  So I make it a point that when my children ask me about anything, I try to answer them the best way I could according to how their young minds could handle it. 

On the question, “Where do babies come from?” I’ve always told them: 

“A baby grows inside the mommy’s tummy.”   

“How do they come out?” would be the next question.   

I guess this one has always been easy for me to answer honestly because I had all three of them by C-Section.   

“The doctor cut my tummy, but he sewed me back up again,” is my answer.  “But some babies come from where the mommy’s pee pee comes out.”   

“Eeww!  That’s scary,” my youngest son, Ryland, would say.  

How do you pee? 

When he was a lot younger, Ryland thought that everybody (boys and girls) has a titoy (his term for the boy’s private parts). 

“Mommy, do you have a titoy?” he would ask me. 

“Ryland, girls don’t have titoys,” I would tell him. 

Then one day, we had that same exchange and he added another question. 

“So how do you pee?” 

“We have something down there but it’s not a titoy.  There’s a hole there where pee pee comes out.” 

“That’s scary.” 

“It’s just like how your titoy has a hole so pee pee can come out.” 

Oh!” 

He finally got it! 

Puzzle pieces 

I think it was a few months ago when he told me, “I think I know how mommies have babies in their tummy.” 

“You do?  How?” 

“My friend told me.” 

Uh oh, I thought.  Both he and his friend were only eight years old so I wondered what they knew.  I thought I was going to have that talk with him this early.  I’ve seen a Dr. Phil show that tackled this question.  I was ready to tell him that boys and girls are like puzzle pieces that fit perfectly.    

“What did he tell you?  Tell me and I’ll tell you if he was right.” 

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said. 

“Please tell me,” I begged. 

But he wouldn’t.  So I just dropped it.  Maybe later on he’ll ask me.  But I don’t know.  It’s probably easier for girls than it is for boys to talk to their mothers about this kind of stuff. 

How do you become a grandma? 

The other day, I was telling my kids how I just learned from an email that my elementary school classmate is already a grandmother. 

“How did that happen?” Ryan, my 12-year old asked. 

“Her daughter, who’s 18 years old, had a baby.  So she’s now a grandma,” I said.  “And she’s just my age.” 

“How will you become a grandma, Mommy?” he asked. 

“Well, when you guys get married and have babies, then I will be a grandma.” 

“Eewwh, that’s yucky!” Ryland blurted. 

“Mommy, do I have to get married?” he asked.

Ha ha ha. Here we go again.  We’ve had this conversation before. 

“You don’t have to.  But I think you’ll want to get married when you are older.” 

“No, I don’t want to get married.” 

Well, when that time comes when he tells me that he wants to marry some woman he’s in love with, I will remind him about this conversation.

Entry filed under: Birds and bees, Raising the 3Rs. Tags: .

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24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bw  |  August 12, 2006 at 10:41 am

    I think the granularity of the explanation depends on the child’s age. With younger children they won;’t really understand the physical explanation of sex. My 4 year old thimks that marrying someone is just being price and princess – so she willask my wife – Mommy can I marry Josh? Josh is her classmate a pre-school.

    Reply
  • 2. Eric  |  August 12, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    Come to think of it, I didn’t really learn about this subject until I read, “Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex — But Were Afraid To Ask.” My high school gym teacher who was assigned to teach us that subject was always noticeably uncomfotable; whereas, my parents were much too conservative to do it.

    Reply
  • 3. mmy-lei  |  August 12, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    i learned all these in school and with friends. Im too shy to talked to my mom.

    Reply
  • 4. Joy  |  August 12, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    I didn’t ask my parents either. Nor did they tell me. I’m not sure how to talk to my kids about it when they’re older too. Right now, they’re content with the answers I give them that the baby grows in Mommy’s tummy and when it’s time and the baby is big enough, I push the baby out and it comes out. They haven’t asked beyond that. Whew!

    Reply
  • 5. sesame  |  August 12, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    This is interesting cos even though my son is only 3, I do wonder how to communicate these things to him especially knowing how fast they grow and like to experiment these days. I figure it would be a whole lot easier if I have a daughter. But I think the relationship is very important and I agree, not to evade and make them more curious.

    Btw, I don’t even remember where exactly I learn about sex and stuff. I think it was reading on my own.

    Reply
  • 6. Toe  |  August 13, 2006 at 6:21 am

    Hahaha Niceheart… cute conversations with your boys. 🙂 Someone really should write a book on how parents should deal with these awkward questions with their children. Not all have the same foresight as you do thinking how they would answer these questions when they pop up.

    Reply
  • 7. niceheart  |  August 13, 2006 at 8:43 am

    BW, that’s what also Dr. Phil said. That it depends on the child’s age. I remember when my youngest son was in kindergarten. He came home one day and told me, I think Amelia likes me. Why?I asked. Because she kissed me. Where? Here on my cheek. And he asked me if he was going to marry her. I said of course not.

    Reply
  • 8. niceheart  |  August 13, 2006 at 8:45 am

    Eric, I think I’ve also read a similar book. Or it could be the same one, but I think it’s titled “Everything Girls Wanted to Know About Sex” and another one that said “Everything Boys Wanted to Know About Sex.” I read both. And then my sister came over to my house. This was around the time she just left the convent. The next thing I know, these 2 books were missing from my shelf and also my copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Oops, sis, if you are reading this, it’s okay. I’ve forgiven you a long time ago.🙂

    Reply
  • 9. niceheart  |  August 13, 2006 at 8:49 am

    Mmy-lei, same here. Learned it only from school and from talking with friends.

    Joy, I think most of us didn’t ask our parents. The subject is quite taboo in our generation. I think this generation now, they are more open about it. Your children are still small. You still have quite a few years to think about your answers.🙂

    Reply
  • 10. niceheart  |  August 13, 2006 at 9:02 am

    Sesame, I don’t have any daughters but I also think that it would be a lot easier to explain these to girls. If only boys could ask their fathers questions like these, no? But I also think that it’s more awkward for fathers to talk to their children about sex.

    Reply
  • 11. niceheart  |  August 13, 2006 at 9:05 am

    Toe, you know what, I’ve come across this online book about a mommy and daddy doing it. Forget that it’s written in German because the pictures say it all. I just find it very graphic to show to my children.

    For anybody who’s interested, here’s the link. http://www.planetdan.net/pics/babies/index.htm

    Reply
  • 12. ann  |  August 13, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    When I explained about it to my daughter, she was listening but I know she’s still wondering. When she asked me if we (hubby) are still doing it…I said yes…I’m waiting for her next question but she did not ask anything. Maybe she was satisfied with my answer or thinking whether I am telling the truth this time.

    Reply
  • 13. niceheart  |  August 13, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    Bilib nga ako sa anak mo, Ann. She had the courage to ask you these questions. So did it make you blush when you told her that you are still doing it?😉

    Reply
  • 14. Sidney  |  August 13, 2006 at 11:14 pm

    It seems that the school is taking care of those issues nowadays. Maybe it is better. They got teachers trained for that.
    Of course my son is always welcome to talk it over with me if necessary.

    Reply
  • 15. Hsin  |  August 14, 2006 at 7:40 am

    Funny that I should read this right now. For the first time, Sara noticed Papa pees differently today and asked why. I can’t remember where I learnt about sex, but I think it was at school rather than at home. Not because my parents didn’t want to talk about it – I just think I was too shy to ask.

    Reply
  • 16. earthember  |  August 14, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve explained everything in detail, once my kids are old enough to understand the word “sex” “penis” and “vagina”, and asked about them. It was a good thing that I started early, because there is less barrier now, when they learn something from friends or in school, and need clarification.

    Reply
  • 17. niceheart  |  August 14, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Sidney, I’m also glad that schools are teaching these to students.

    Hsin, you know what, each one of my boys learned peeing sitting down first. It’s only when they got older that they learned to pee standing up.🙂

    Good for you Ange. But could it also have been easier for you to explain it to them because your two older ones are girls?

    Reply
  • 18. ladybug  |  August 14, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    Hi niceheart! Nice blog you have here.🙂 Very informative. I especially learned a lot from your current post on how to deal with those “sticky” situations. I remember I did not have that conversation with my mom. I learned about the birds and the bees from school and from books of course.

    Reply
  • 19. niceheart  |  August 14, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for the visit, ladybug. It looks like most of us learned it from school and books.🙂

    Reply
  • 20. Cathy  |  August 15, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    How wonderful to find another 40something blogging Pinay! Will visit again and thanks for visiting my blog too!

    Reply
  • 21. niceheart  |  August 16, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for dropping by too, Cathy. Hey, that’s also my name.🙂

    Reply
  • 22. ladybug  |  August 18, 2006 at 3:42 am

    hi niceheart, mind if we link ex? I like visiting your blog.🙂

    Reply
  • 23. niceheart  |  August 18, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    Sure, ladybug. I also linked you.🙂

    Reply
  • […] growing up and they’re getting curious. And isn’t it better that they learn about the birds and the bees here at home rather than from the streets? And since almost all of the shows that we watch will […]

    Reply

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