When I was a teenager, I could never understand why my mother had never told me about babies, periods, sex etc. I was sure that when I grew up, got married and had children, I would have such a wonderful relationship with them that I would be explaining all this without a problem. And so it has been, every so often they ask a question and I answer it with a little knowledge. We had got as far as babies grow in tummies and mummies have eggs. Also they know that seeds grow in tummies. It was all information given out at different times you understand, I know that sounds like a very mixed up picture. By the way, if you want to know what a TGM is , I wrote about this last year as a bit of a p*ss take, it stands for 'thoroughly good mother'.
Well this morning my 8 year old daughter asked me how the babies actually get in there though, how do they get in there to start growing?
I knew the time had come. 'Can I tell you when the two younger one's aren't around?' And so it was agreed.
So off I went to work, emailed my good friend in Australia, spoke to two other friends at coffee and lunch time. I also googled 'telling children about the birds and the bees'
Not panicking though!
I think the scary thing was, how much should I say, and how to go about it. What words should I use. I was scared of a look of horror on her wee face. 'Mummy!' she might say; 'I can't believe you've done that three times with Daddy!' (that actually happened to a friend of mine). The fact that not knowing was such a big deal for me when I was 9/10 now meant I felt such a burden of responsibility to get it right.
So after I consulted Amazon for a highly rated book, I went to my local library on the way home and got the said book. Doing well for a psychotic control freak mother, eh?! Read the book. She could see that someday, but I needed to ascertain how much she knew or needed to know. By the way, that is not that book pictured above! Can you imagine!?
At bedtime I put the other two to bed.
'Can we play x's and o's?' she said.
'No, I'd like a wee chat if that is okay? 'I said
' Oh' she giggled, 'a wee chat'
So we snuggled up in her pink pre-pubescent bed, and I started.
'Well, you know you asked me about babies this morning, I thought I would explain a bit about that'.
She was all ears.
I asked a few questions about what she knew and why she was asking. Found out she knows virtually nothing, no friends have been talking.
So far, so good. I gulped. 'Well, I am so glad you asked me about this. I always want you to come to me when you have questions like this. You can also ask Daddy (heh, heh). Now, you know how puppies are made' Our dog had ten this summer.
'Yes, but how do they get in there?'
Right, I was really going to have to explain this from the very beginning. So, we talked about the sheep and how the ram mates with the sheep.
'Gosh, the ram has a lot of wives, that's a lot of ewes to kiss!' She was not taking the thing seriously at all. Brilliant, this made it easier.
'Well, humans mate too, women have the eggs, and men have the seeds'
This took a bit of explaining, with the word 'vagina' being found incredibly hilarious as it rhymes with 'in china'.
I explained it simply 'the seed gets put into the mummy, and it mixes with the egg, and that forms babies.' I waited for the realisation to form on her face about what grown-ups do.
'Ah, I see; can we play x's and o's now?'
'Yes' I said enthusiastically, 'that sounds like a great idea'
So we played the game, and I resisted the urge to place a 'y' beside her carefully plotted 'x'