Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Facts of Life: the Climax

I am leading a flotilla of small children to Sunday school. My daughter hurries to catch up with me, the big Bible under her arm. 'Ali says that Madison says that if you want a baby you have to drink from a man's dinky,' she shouts over a row of bobbing toddler heads.

'You explain,' I hiss to Ali's mother and burst hastily into prayer. Ali's mother busies herself with Pritt sticks and doesn't seem to hear. My daughter clocks the embarrassment and saves it for later.

Later comes when I'm sorting the laundry. 'So how does...?' I've braced myself for this moment for the last two years. Ever since an inflated picture of a sperm nosing an egg billowed from a street banner outside her primary school and she thought it was a worm that liked apples. Calm, frank and measured, I was going to be. Only when she asks I dash for the walk-in wardrobe and shriek for the Vicar. And the Vicar steps on one of her Sylvanian family rodents and the ensuing trauma distracts her.

The former Sunday School teacher is concerned. Says it's essential to be calm, frank and measured. That afternoon there is a package on the doorstep. It's the Usborne book of the 'Facts of Life' with a note suggesting that my daughter and I explore it together at the kitchen table. It falls open on a brief description of the '69' in the glossary and hastily I hide it under my back issues of Gardener's World.

I decide I will fall back on calmness, frankness and measurement and steer clear of printed illustrations. I steel myself and approach my daughter. 'You know you were asking about babies...?' I say shakily. She doesn't glance up. 'Oh that!' she answers casually. 'Daddy's already explained it.' I am slack with relief: 'And is there anything you want to ask?' 'Yes,' she says. 'Why would anyone ever want to get married?'

19 comments:

  1. Oh yes!! Been there too with the boys. Horrendous, that's all I can say.

    By the way, there's an award over on mine for you http://www.sarahhague.com/2012/01/liebster-blog-award.html

    Hope it brings some more traffic your way. :)

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    1. I'll turn to you when I need wise advice, then. I'm grateful for the award.

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  2. my 9yr old son asked me "what is a blow dry mummy" - "it's when your hair is wet and you dry it off with the hair-dryer"......... He pondered for a moment and said "Oh not a blow-dry - I mean a blow J..".............

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    1. Fabulous! I'll have to brace myself for that one. Although my 7-ye-old did ask her sister to s**k his w***y in the bath last night. I screamed for the Vicar...

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  3. Will the Vicar be available to talk about the facts of life in my house when the time comes?

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  4. Of course, love! The Bible is full of interesting examples of biological adventuring.

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  5. So glad Sarah mentioned you on her blog: I came to visit on her recommendation.

    I'm married to a doctor so passed all that sex education palaver onto him. Mind you, our house number is 69 so our son had to have that explained too as people have a habit of sniggering every time we give our address.

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  6. I'm thrilled you visited and thank you for taking the time to comment. I am mighty relieved that, last year, we left our address in Hornyold Rd before the kids were old enough to realise.

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  7. You'll always be known as Hornyold Anna in this house!

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  8. Hey, Kate! How lovely to hear you in cyberspace!

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  9. Thankfully I am now at the end of my explaining the facts of life stage...my daughter is now 21 and my boys are 12 and 13. I have to say that in all 3 cases the occasion passed without trauma and embarrassment. I have no idea how or why it was not traumatic, but I remember speaking to my daughter and her saying "hmm ok Mum, won't be doing that for a long time yet then"....That being said said daughter had several conversations about the relative merits on different methods of birth control, and on one trip to our doctor with her the doctor said she needed to ask my daughter some 'personal' questions and would it be best if mum waited outside to which she promptly told the doctor that Mum knew everything anyway and there were no secrets....I was rather proud and it was one of those times that make you feel that you must be doing something right as a parent!

    The boys were a little more "oh Mum" about it, but not embarrassed. I wonder if it has alot to do with not hiding bodies away from children, never locking the bathroom door etc, although i will admit that I found it quite embarrassing when my youngest came to me one morning and said "Mum, do you and Papa have to make so much noise in the morning?"

    Seems I am no longer able to embarrass my children, but they are still capable of embarrassing me!

    Lou

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    1. sounds just like my experience Lou - though with my adult children I do sometimes wish they remembered I don't need to know every little detail!! lol

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  10. You're absolutely right. The embarrassment is all on my side. My daughter took it all in her stride, but I am a total prude and, when it comes to biology, only really fluent on the subject of herbaceous perennials.

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  11. I remember you mischievously asking our father what 'sexual intercourse' meant. A horrified pause. Then: 'Oh, I expect you mean social intercourse. It mean making conversation'. No wonder I've only got one kid.

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  12. Love the panic - I won't be like that when my DD asks of course.... I'll let you know. Btw, is this reply facility a new option on blogger?

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    1. Must be. Isn't it good! Could never reply before which seemed rude.

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  13. Ah, I am awaiting the moment and I fear it is not far away. Usborne has clearly changed a lot if they expect to educate children not only on the facts of conception but the best positions! 69 is something you really don't need to learn until you leave home - if ever!!
    Horny Old Road - ha!
    Thanks for putting this on the Love Mummy Blogs showcase :)

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  14. Yup, we had this...in fact it degenerated into a conversation about hairy willies which was, frankly, disturbing for both of us. Usborne are, it has to be said, a total lifesaver! I gave my son the book and he said, 'Why didn't you give me that years ago??' :)

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