Last time the ol’ birds and the bees question piped up, the conversation went something like this:
TWIN 1: Mum, the lambs are gone.
TWIN 2: What? (gasp!) The lambs are gone.
ME: No they’re not, that’s them over there – they grew up. They’re sheep.
TWINS: Oh. Wow. (etc)
ME: There’ll be more lambs soon.
TWIN 1: Why will there be more lambs soon?
ME: Because the grown up women sheep – the ewes – have got lambs in their tummies that will be born soon.
TWINS: WHAT?! (etc)
ME: Well it’s like how you grew in my tummy and when you came out – that was you being born.
Pause for reflection.
TWIN 1: How did we get in your tummy?
ME (eeek): You grew there. Did you pack your library books?
TWIN 1: How did we get out?
TWIN 2: Out of Mum’s dajina dumbo.
TWIN 2: Where did you grow?
ME: In Granny’s tummy.
ME: Did you pack your library books?
TWIN 1: I want to be in Granny’s tummy.
Actually I stole the dajina line from my niece and I’ve forgotten bits but that was the jist of it.
Essentially I haven’t been as open about it all as my mum (Granny) was (“When you’re giving birth you want to die but the making love bit is very nice”). I’ve done a bit of a euphemism dancing with doodle and peen and gyna etc and kept telling myself they were too young for facts and anatomicals. I may have mentioned miracles and storks and gooseberry bushes. I know, I’m not proud. If I don’t make amends soon I’ll be faced with dumping a great big scary revelation on them (“forget the gooseberries darlings, it’s all penises, vaginas and penetration”). Better for them to grow up knowing. And I want to get in before school does, or (God forbid) the internet – just so I’m there to answer questions and reduce horror reactions. But where do I start?
“See that bull over there in the cow paddock?” A power point presentation? It’s too late to dig out our old copy of “Thomas is Different” (“Thomas has a penis, Sarah has a little slit”) – they are boy-girl twins, they’re all over the penis and little slit variation (“you can’t do wees on the toilet because you don’t have a doodle”) and WTF is with the little slit description anyway, how come Thomas gets a correct anatomical referral while the writer beats around Sarah’s bush?
According to recent research in the US, it is important to start sex education at ‘key stage 1’ – between 4 and 7. Well I only have a short time before 2 of my children will have to skip key stage 1 and have to advance directly to key stage 2.
Here’s what’s recommended: “When a man and a women love each other and decide to have a baby, the man puts a seed from his penis inside the woman and a baby grows from the seed. The end have you packed your library books?”
So wish me luck, as soon as I’ve done all the housework and washing and updated the photo albums we will be sowing the seed for a lifetime of healthy attitudes toward sex. No more doodling about.