I did blush, well internally for sure. You see there was never any talk about our bodies and what they do when I was growing up. My mother signed the permission slip for first, the film strip in 4th grade, and then the movie in 5th grade about puberty and all that goes along with that. When I got home after each event, she asked if I had any questions. Yep that was the extent of my learning about my body and what it could do as a girl and woman.
We have taken a slightly different approach in our home. We have regular matter of fact conversations and are open to questions about what is this and how does that work. There may be days you may enter and hear a conversation about penises and vaginas. I think back to when our oldest was just over 3 years old and asked me how she got into C’s tummy (her birth mother) yep that stumped me not so much the question but the age and it’s not the love and marriage conversation. After checking in with other mom friends who too are mothers through adoption I had a good response that I hoped would help answer her question with age appropriate discussion. After that she followed up with a “how did I come out of there?” question which I could more easily answer since both my husband and I were at the hospital for her birth on C’s invitation.
We’ve been talking to our girls now 8 and 6 years old about what will be happening for them in the next few years as they reach puberty through some great books – The Care and Keeping of You 2 and It’s not the Stork. Our conversations have been on a question answer system as we read through these books and learn about what’s to come.
Recently we added a new dog to our family. A 2-1/2 year old male German Short-haired Pointer, Freidmann. He joins our other dog, Pepper a 19-month old female Weimaraner. As the two dogs have been bonding, there have been more than playful encounters. Ones where the male dog has jumped onto the rear of the female and it’s a bit more than fun and our girls have witnessed these moments. It is now that this brings us to the next discussions about sex and procreation. We shared age appropriately how a baby can be made. After sharing what they witnessed and also letting them know humans do this too, they both seemed satisfied with the scientific details of the how since they had just witnessed two dogs trying the act.
Like other discussions in our home and our comfort of allowing questions of any kind, I think we are headed on the right path of knowledge for both our girls. Giving them the info that will help them better understand themselves and what happens as they grow up. The birds and bees are a part of our lives and not going away even if we shy away from these discussions. I really don’t want our girls to learn this from their friends. I am happy both my husband and I have the same belief about this. After all he is surrounded by girls and it will be in his face whether he wants it to be or not. This is the man early on in our relationship had to run to the store for me to get me tampons. So you see he gets it on some level!
What do you share with your children about the birds and bees?