So my seven-year-old son has been asking that infamous question, “How do babies get in Mommy’s stomach?” Ugh!
My wife and I previously agreed that I would talk to our son about sex and, when the time came around, she would talk to our daughter about it (Thank God). Now the time has come for “The Talk.”
Last night he was telling me about a certain girl at his school that likes him, and he obviously likes her too. He told me how she likes to hug him on the playground. He’s seven years old, dear God it can’t be time for that already! That’s what I was thinking but nonetheless, the time was upon us. What do I do? How do I begin? What questions will he ask? Do I prepare a powerpoint presentation?
I believe I was more nervous than he was, so I took a few minutes to prepare myself. I’d done my research on best practices and tips for having the sex talk with seven-year-old boys. So I felt I was ready for anything. Yeah, right. I actually tried to sneak upstairs to my home studio but he heard me and yelled out, “Are you ready to have that man-to-man talk, Dad?” He obviously wasn’t going to let me back out.
With a deep breath I yelled back, “Yep, come on up to the Man Cave.” He zoomed upstairs and jumped in the chair across from me.
I started by reminding him that the conversation we were about to have was for his ears only, and not to run back and share with his classmates. Once he agreed, we began. I asked the question, “Have you ever heard the word ‘sex’ before.”
He laughed and said, “Dad, only in grown-up movies.”
I asked him what he knew about it and he responded, “Nothing.”
Judging by the smirk on his face, he knew something but he wasn’t going to share it. I proceeded to go over the miracle of life with him from conception to birth. I talked a little about puberty and the changes he’d experience in his body so that he would know that he is normal. I can remember being a little boy and wondering what in the world was going on with my body and why certain things changed and grew for no reason (usually right before the teacher asks you to come to board to write an answer). To bring it all full circle, I brought in this young girl that likes him and hugs him. I didn’t want him to be caught off-guard if he felt a “change” in his body when she came around.
After all the “icky” sex talk and miracle of birth animated video, he had one major concern. To my surprise it wasn’t the fact that a baby comes out of a vagina, nor was it that a man actually puts his penis in that very same vagina. It wasn’t even the fact that his body will start to change. His main concern was sperm coming out of his penis. To him this seemed like a very scary thing. To have little living tadpole-looking things inside him just didn’t sit well in his mind. He wanted to know everything about these little creatures and I calmly explained to him that it doesn’t hurt when they come out and that when he finds the young lady that he wants to spend the rest of his life with, he’ll love it.
Lastly, I asked if he had any further questions. He seemed completely unbothered by load of information I had just dropped on him, while I, on the other hand, was still trying to keep myself from running out the room and hiding in the bathroom until bedtime. Before he headed down the stairs to continue playing, he did drop one last bombshell question on me. On his way out the door, he looked back at me and asked, “So Dad, do you and Mom have sex?”
I was not ready for that. My natural response was to laugh and say, “More than you want to know, buddy.”
Ironically, he laughed too and kept walking. Whew!
Case in point, all that research and preparation goes out the window when you’re face-to-face with your kid about to have “The Talk.” The good thing is that now the door is open, he will hopefully feel comfortable with asking me anything. I’d rather he hear it from me than from a classmate or, worse, learn by experimentation. I’m so glad I don’t have to do this with my daughter. I’m sure that conversation would’ve started out with a stork bringing the baby in a blanket. Ah, the joys of parenting.