I am walking my daughter and a visiting six-year-old through the park. On a bench is a couple embedded in each other's larynxes.
'They're having sex!' says the six-year-old conversationally.
My nine-year old notices me freeze. 'Don't worry, she consoles me. ''Sex' means kissing.'
I am unthinkingly relieved. Then a horrible thought dawns. If sex means kissing, does kissing mean sex? What might she tell her school mates about daddy's goodnight peck? I realise that the Moment has Come and, as usual, I am not ready for it.
I tramp onwards in weighty silence while I muster my shreds of courage. And then, with agonised effort, I tell her. 'Sex,' I gabble, 'is kissing ... without clothes on.' But I am whistling in the wind. The girls are shrieking with glee over fallen conkers. The moment has passed and I don't have the bottle to resurrect it.