THE QUESTION EVERY PARENT LOOKS FORWARD TO. SO WHAT DO YOU DO? A) TELL THE TRUTH B) MAKE UP A FANTASTIC STORY OR C) AVOID THE QUESTION ALTOGETHER?
Recently, Beaver, our 4 year old, has become interested in how we all fit together as a family. Then, this morning, after our most recent genealogy conversation, she asked me how Grandma and Grandpa made her. Clearly I’ve covered the basics well.
‘They didn’t make you,’ I said. ‘Me and Daddy made you.’
‘Well, HOW did you make me then?’ she asked.
Good question. I know, obviously. I’m just pretty certain I don’t want her to know. Yet. So, what to say? I’ve been burned before. The last time I got asked a difficult question.
‘What is semen, Mummy?’
Beaver’s curiosity was totally my fault for allowing her to stay up late one night and catch part of a movie she shouldn’t have. No, it wasn’t a porno movie. Just a very innocent rom-com. I ended up telling her it was a kind of juice. Disastrous I know. But, so far, she hasn’t wandered into a café and asked for a ‘glass of semen.’ So no real damage done.
I’m ashamed to say that this morning I took option c) and avoided the question altogether. Partly because we were on the way to school and I need more than 30 seconds to come up with a better response than, ‘Erm. You drink a glass of semen. And nine months later you have a baby,’ which is probably what I would have said. In the moment.
She knows how babies come out. Strangely, I’ve been completely honest about this. Just not how they get there in the first place. And this is the part I need help with.
So, those of you who’ve been there, what did you say? Did you dress it up (enter The Stork, stage left) or just tell the truth? And if you told the truth, how much do they really need to know at this age? If you’re not quite there yet, what are you planning on saying?
‘Absolutely nothing,’ you say. I can avoid the subject altogether? Wonderful…
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Surviving Motherhood Tip#16 – how NOT to tell your kids about the birds and bees
- Don’t let them stay up late, hoping they’ll learn everything there is to know from Eastenders or worse, Skins.
- Don’t look shifty and squirm around. It’s always easy to detect a lie this way
- Beware that anything you do tell them will get passed on. To the supermarket cashier. The postman. The vicar.
- Never refer to semen as a juice. ‘Have you got any semen?’ apparently doesn’t go down well on playdates when offered a drink.