I remember getting “the talk” when I was in 5th grade. It was horrible, but I grew up in a home where you didn’t talk about “those things.” My home with my kids is a bit different. I think having a boy and a girl makes it different as well. They bathed together for years, so they already know about boy parts and girl parts in general, whereas I had a sister and was generally clueless for far too long. We’ve always been pretty open with the kids. They know the proper names for things and we’ve never used nicknames, although we also refer to “private parts” in general.
My son has been more and more naturally curious. I knew it was time to have a more serious talk with him after this conversation in Wal-Mart. WAL-MART, people, while grocery shopping, around other people.
Sass decided my breasts looked like a great place to rest her hands while she sat in the cart.
Me: “Sass, please stop that, those are Mommy’s.”
Sass: “No they’re not.”
Me: “Um, yes, they are.” (removing her hands)
Buddy: “Sass, those are private parts because they are covered by a bathing suit.”
So far, I’m not having a major issue with this conversation. Then...
Buddy pulls his shirt down so his nipple is showing.
Buddy: “See, Sass, this is a pipple. When I get bigger, mine are going to be the same size. But when YOU get bigger, yours will get big like this” and then he demonstrates by cupping his hands in front of his chest. Meanwhile, Sass is looking at him like he has 3 heads.
Me: “Buddy, first of all, they are called nipples, not pipples,” as we pass an old couple “and second, can we please have this conversation at home instead of in the middle of Wal-Mart?”
So, enter the book Amazing You: Getting Smart About Your Private Parts. It was recommended my Michelle AKA BurghBaby. If you’re not already reading her blog, it’s a must-read. She read a bunch of these types of books and liked this one the best. She also included photos of every page on her Flickr account, so I was able to preview it before I bought it. Be warned: there are naked babies, kids and adults. It’s all very straightforward. You can read about it on her post A Well Stocked Toolbox.
So, it was time for The Talk. My husband and I sat down with Buddy after putting Sass to bed and read the book with him (I read it aloud without him around first to make sure I didn’t freak out or giggle inappropriately). He was very interested. He especially found the part about girls interesting, which I’m not sure how I feel about that. But he didn’t blink an eye and it was totally cool for everyone, until my husband uttered the word “sex,” which is not in the book. We never talked about bringing that up. The book talks about how babies are made (egg meets sperm) but glosses over exactly HOW they meet. So my husband ad libs something about when a man and woman share their egg and sperm it’s called sex. He left it at that which is good, because I nearly had a heart attack at just the mention of the word. Buddy took it in stride and didn’t bring it up again or ask for more details, which I am still thanking God about. Ultimately, I’m glad he brought it up so if Buddy hears the word he’ll have some idea of what it means.
He had a few questions, which we answered, then he scampered off to bed. We did impress upon him that we only talk about private parts in, well, private, and not in, say, Wal-Mart, an example that just came to mind.