Thursday, July 1, 2010

To Do list

One item of unfinished business haunting me lately is having The Talk with Young Son. He'll be eleven soon and I know it's been coming for some time, but for some reason I just have not been able to nut up and get through it. I'm guessing it's because I'm not ready for him to (gulp) enter puberty, and maybe my inner magical thinker believes delaying The Talk will delay the process.

I wish.

I was thinking back to what I thought about sex as a child and concluded I didn't think much about it at all. Other than a few attempts at playing Doctor, which wasn't even connected with the word "sex", the first time I remember it coming up was when I was maybe eight or nine. A group of us -- probably Elaine, Ann, Michelle, Mary Helen, and Holly were playing Barbies on Holly's patio on a hot Indiana summer afternoon.

BTW, when was the last time you used the word "patio"?

Mary Helen, second eldest in the only Catholic family in the neighborhood, decided it was time to show us how babies were made. She stripped Barbie and Ken and stood them face to face, with full body contact.

The group fell silent.

"But where do they do it?" someone asked.

"At the hospital," Mary Helen stated with authority. "They go to a special room and take off all their clothes and stand right up against each other like this. Then they get dressed and go home. When it's time for the baby to come out, they go back to the hospital and the doctor cuts it out."

The cutting out the baby part didn't bother us too much, but we were fascinated and repelled imagining our parents doing that first thing. Especially Mary Helen's parents whom, by my eight-year-old criteria, were not particularly attractive people.


No one had any better explanation, so it had to be the truth. Besides, Mary Helen had six kids in her family so she should know. What can I say? This was back in the late Sixties.

All together now: It was a much simpler time.

Thanks to the tsunami that is today's media and entertainment industry, I'm pretty sure that Young Son, almost 40 years my junior, has probably seen and heard more sexual innuendo than I had when I graduated high school. He's seen enough animals mating on TV and recently learned that humans also mate, so it probably will be no big deal to connect the dots for him. Piece o'cake!

Ummm yeah... I'm sure I'll get to it eventually.


  1. My friend's 8 year old son is already googling that stuff. On the computer, I mean.

    I remember after a brief "talk" with my Mom, which involved very vague pointing of her finger, I thought, "That's what women's belly buttons are used for."

  2. IKWYM -- at one point I decided that babies came out through belly buttons. It made so much sense. The belly button would expand just like a camera shutter.

    When I got older I so wished that was true...

  3. I didn't think that's where they came out of, I thought that was the "input" port.

  4. That does make a lot of sense, anatomically, and it backs up Mary Helen's standing-face-to-face theory rather neatly.

    It would also potentially cut down on the amount of leg shaving required and I'm all for that.

  5. Talk? I was s'posed to get a talk?


  6. I got a book. No talk. I suppose I got a "talk" about why someday there would be blood gushing out of my body and yet I should not be worried or try to stop it. But just a book on the rest.

    Incidentally, a friend's 10, almost 11, year-old son recently asked her about all of this because he'd been hearing about this "sex" thing and wanted to know. After a nerve-wracking, but appropriate and frank explanation, his first response was, "ew."

    Brace yourself.


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