Happy Friday! “Mama?” K asked the other day, “How is it that I have both your DNA and Daddy’s DNA? I don’t get it.” I gulped. At her eight-year wellness check during the summer, our pediatrician warned me that the questions will start. Not MY little girl, I thought smugly, I still have all the time in the world. But here we are, just two months after the warning, and K has been peppering me with some variation of this question almost every day.
So I ordered a book recommended by the pediatrician. Because let’s face it, I know myself and I will end up using weird, untechnical cute-sounding terminology (e.g. “weenis”) and completely botch up the explanation. I am utterly unprepared and unqualified for sex education for kids. My parents never even tried to broach the topic with me. I remember when I was about 11 and had some vague notion of reproduction, I genuinely wondered whether people took off their underwear. A German friend tells me that it’s such a non-issue in her native country, kids know all about the birds and the bees practically from birth. Ditto with a Dutch friend. It makes me want to move to Europe to soak in that blase attitude toward a subject that causes me to squirm when discussed publicly (being of Asian-descent raised by immigrant parents in the US exacerbates this, I think — I have never seen my parents hug, much less kiss. In their homeland, people bow to each other and celibacy is a hip and happening trend, for crying out loud).
The book arrived yesterday so I’m working up the courage to go through it with K this weekend. So awkward. Then again, if you think I’m bad, you should see M. He won’t touch the topic with a 1000-foot pole and has insisted I would be better at enlightening K. He’s got German roots so I don’t know what his excuse is.
Anyway. I’m subsisting on cough drops to avoid the usual bronchial infection I tend to get with every cold and I’m going to go binge-watch Game of Thrones season 3 (thanks for reminding me of the show, Greta!) as I build up my nerve to dive into the it’s-not-the-stork story with K.
Oh, the winner of the giveaway is Lacey, who studied linguistics. Congrats! I absolutely loved reading everyone’s favorite classes, areas of study, etc. So fun!
Have an un-awkward, relaxing weekend, all!
No Monday Outfit
We’re switching thing up next week
Stay tuned for Friday*
*I’m featuring a cool indie pattern on Friday – I think you’ll like it!
24 thoughts on “Happy Friday + Randomness”
Try to fake casual-ness, you want her to keep coming to you with these questions not her friends lol! My daughter’s younger but she started getting curious when I was expecting her brother. Luckily for me she was most interested in the result (ie baby). I’m a book person too so I tend to plant books on important topics in her bookcase and we just read them randomly along with everything else so that they’re not a big deal. Good luck!
Thanks for the wise words, Kathryn! Yes, fake casual-ness is probably the best way to go…of course, my plans were foiled because I had forgotten that we had birthday parties and sleepovers this weekend and we had no time!
Hahaha! I love this post, Sanae! I agree with the above comment, to fake casualness. The car is the best place for these convos because you can avoid eye contact – haha! The first time talking about it is awkward, after that it’s not big deal. I remember after we told Jude when he was in first grade after Iris was born (he was asking) his eyes got big as saucers and he exclaimed, “So you and dad did that THREE times???!!!” Dan joked to me later, “Yes, only three. I sucked it up and took one (or three) for the team.”
Too funny, Rachel! I can just hear K asking me that question!! I love the car recommendation too!
We got the precursor to that book (it’s Not the Stork!) for our then 3 year old. I found that reading about certain topics was so much easier than the idea of coming up with my own explanation. Our daughter was very interested in the differences between boys and girls from a young age. She would mortify her grandmother at the playground by asking strangers, ” Do you have a penis/vulva”? We’ve become very matter of fact about the facts of life, which I hope makes the whole topic easy to brooch as we get into the more experimental years. This is very different from how I grew up in the Midwest! It feels good though and I hope the same for you!
By the way, I heard once that girls who have a close relationship with their dads where they can discuss all sorts of topics (including sex!) delay having sex compared to their peers. Might be a reason to get M on board!
When K was about three, I thought I’d be all prepared and went to hear Julie Metzger (known as the Puberty and/or Sex Lady) speak. She said something very similar about father-daughter relationships and I’ve been trying to drum that into M ever since, but no go with this topic…
I got this book about a month ago. And my daughter had already read the younger version. Of course she devoured it and loved it. I also got the American Girl The Care and Keeping of You for Younger Girls but my daughter says that it looks like a boring book and refuses to read it. For us it is more about her already body changing (she’s nine!). And she needs to know some of the stuff, I remember how surprized I was when my period started and I can see that her body is doing what mine did just before it happened. I thought I had a few more years but I think I already need to prep the emergency I started my period kit.
It is really hard to talk about these things, I considered myself a modern parent and clearly I am not. For us the moment just came that it was easy to answer some random question that segwayd into the topic (body fluids & pads etc). But I had been thinking about it tensely for a couple of weeks. It isn’t helped by the fact that my daughter doesn’t care to talk about things, like most things (friends, books, school, etc). She likes to keep everything for herself and often I feel that I have to use a hook to pull words out of her. She is just not talkative, never has been and we have maybe two or three or four real conversations per week and I can expect about five minutes at a time. And I thought it was hard when she was a baby (who didn’t sleep during the day).
Good to know about the American Girl doll series since I also considered getting those. I’m pretty lucky that so far K can’t help but blurt out everything on her mind, but I imagine that will change with time. I don’t even know if I consider myself a modern parent, but I’m definitely flubbing this one in a big way! Thanks for the helpful comment, –anu!
I’m Belgian and I really like how sex education goes here… Most kids get it from their parents in a way but every school teaches it as well. I got the whole explanation when I was around 9 years old, just the basic technicalities and how bodies change as you grow up. Then we had the biological side again, at twelve, with more information. I remember more classes between age 14 and 18 about stds, birth control, healthy and unhealthy relationships… It was nice to have a source of reliable and correct information!
Overall, I think Europeans do the whole sex ed think in a much healthier way, Annette! I had sex ed in grade school and again in high school, but I remember thinking how uncomfortable the teachers were, and now I totally understand! 🙂
My oldest is almost 11 and we are in the Seattle area (OK, Eastside) and attended a moms and daughters class through this organization: http://www.greatconversations.com/?page_id=712. It is for girls 10-12 but the instructor was really great, a few of my daughter’s friends and their moms went too and everyone had a positive experience. My daughter also likes the American Girl series, Care and Keeping of You. She told us in class, it isn’t about one big 200 minute conversation, it is 200 one minute conversations that will matter. Also, the kids tend to hear the parts that they are ready to hear. Don’t stress about it too much 🙂
I think Julie Metzger (who I mentioned in an earlier comment) is part of great conversations! She’s really awesome. I loved her talk that I went to five years ago, and I will definitely consider attending one of those classes. And yes, 200 one minute conversations sound so doable, I love that approach!! Thanks Bonnie!
You’re ahead of the game – I only just had the conversation with my (then) ten year old this past summer. For both of our two oldest kids, we waited until they were about to start fifth grade which is the year they learn basic sex ed. We wanted them to hear it from us first, and it was pretty bare bones. I agree with the casual attitude mentioned above, but we actually made it a date with each of our kids: my husband took out our son for dessert when it was his turn, and I did the same with our daughter. That approach seemed to work for us, esp. since we have multiple kids and one-on-one time with a parent is pretty special. Whatever approach you decide to take, good luck with it! I have a feeling your little K is a bright little thing you may be asking you more questions than you might feel ready to answer!
What a great idea to make it a special date, Lucinda! That’s genius. It imparts more meaning to the talk, I’m sure, though I bet I’m just going to guiltily just place the book where she’ll find it and feign nonchalance….;-)
That’s a great book! There’s a lot of info in there so it is more of a “many conversations” book than a “do it all in one go” kind of book. I second the idea of just leaving it out on the bookshelf for casual discovery. 🙂
To link to Rachel’s experience, I clearly remember a similar playground conversation in elementary school after we had had some sex ed in class… my friend Julia had four sisters and I distinctly remember saying, “Julia, that means your parents did it FIVE times!” So hard to understand their motivation! LOL
Schoolyard conversations are so so funny, aren’t they? K came home one day to tell me that there’s a rumor going around that babies are made in the thighs and somehow come out of women’s bottoms. Wha???
Okay well I’m glad E is only 6 and I don’t need to have this conversation yet (though we have recently needed to tell her it’s not okay to have naked dance parties with the 5 year old neighbor boy…yipes). But omigosh “WEENIS!!!” you cracked me up so hard with that one! I showed your post to my husband and it got a chuckle out of him too. Nice one, Sanae. ;D
Um and good luck. Let us know how it goes?
Ha, we’ve had to have some discussions about K’s love of taking off her clothes. When she was in preschool, she used to strip down at any given moment, and one time it was especially awkward when the plumber happened to be at our house and turned around to ask me a question and was faced with a naked babe. I make up words like Weenis all the time! Apparently, when I myself was a little girl, I invented a Japanese word for privates that translate to: front butt 😉 And of course, I totally chickened out to have the “talk” (though I had some good excuses because we were crazy busy this weekend and K had a sleepover)!! I’m plotting for next week….
My almost 3 year old’s favorite topic is penises (ever since her baby brother arrived!). I don’t even know how she learned the word, but the pediatrician said it was better that they use real words anyway, to make things less awkward later on!
I’ve heard that it’s better to use real words too, which makes it all the more difficult for me since I always end up coming up with, um, creative nicknames. That’s so hilarious about your little girl!
I think that it is so important for both parents to be able to fake the casualness, and at the same time, communicate how special our bodies are. It’s so important that our children grow up with a positive and serious view of all things sex related. They have enough poor images of sex being tossed at them, it’s our job to make sure they know what sex really is, as opposed to what our culture tells us it is. I wholeheartedly agree with the dad thing. Dad’s are their daughter’s first male model of love. If a father hopes that his daughter can always come to him, in any situation, whether it is because she is heartbroken, or has made a mistake, or if she needs advice, he needs to show her from the youngest age, that she doesn’t need to be afraid of making him feel uncomfortable or angry or upset. That he can handle it. I always knew I could talk to my dad in that way. It came in handy when I needed a clean pair of undies and a couple of tampons in high school. I still remember the feeling of knowing my dad was the dad who wasn’t freaked out about that. He brought it to me in a brown paper lunch bag. Later on, he was there for the bigger stuff too. I hope that M can work through those feelings and consider the long term goal. I think it will be so rewarding! 🙂 I think we have taken a more “European” approach. My oldest is only 5, but all three of them know what boys and girls look like and know the proper names. If you do approach it as a matter of fact, it seems like the information that builds on it is much easier to navigate. Of course, I say all this without going through much of it yet. I am sure it will be a bit strange to explain sex to my children when it comes down to it. I wish you guys the best 🙂
Wow, Amber, you’re so lucky you grew up with such an amazing dad! I didn’t have that kind of experience and I have to say that M is fabulous with K and really talks to her about almost everything (this one topic is the exception) — which is one of the key things I love about him. Thanks for wishing me luck, I need it!!
This is going to be my task in our family for sure. Homeschool mom of girls. They’ve already got questions from being aware that I was giving birth, and seeing their brother’s nine. That’s what we call it. Clover said it looked like the number nine when she first saw it. Hahaha! I also made the mistake of telling the kids how he was going to come out….. Omg. Clover offered to shove a toy up there for him in the meantime.
Omygosh, I almost spewed out my drink when I read that last line!! SO funny, Tara. Good luck with the birds and the bees – I have a feeling you’re going to make it super fun and hilarious and totally normal for the kids.