By BEC SPARROW
I need to pour myself a large wine just to write this post.
Okay. So. Last week I found out my four-year-old daughter Ava gave a close friend’s eight-year-old daughter the sex talk.
Holy mother of pearl.
Now before we all lose our minds, I will say it wasn’t the full blown ‘and the man’s penis goes into …’ sex talk. Nope, it was more the babies-come-out-your-vagina type of talk. Well more a statement really. Ever since I was pregnant with Quincy and explained to Ava how I’d be having a caesarean she’s been most alarmed.
“What do you mean someone has to cut open your tummy? I don’t want anyone cutting open my tummy EVER!”
She looked at me waiting for a response.
So I did what any mother would do in this situation. I said, “Fine. Now here’s a cheese stick. Go eat that in the playroom while mummy watches Ellen…”
I’m joking, of course. (Maybe). I casually explained to her the other way babies can be born. And let’s all say this together shall we? THROUGH YOUR VAGINA.
And then I gave her a cheese stick and sent her away.
Ava meanwhile thought this whole vagina caper was both fantastic and completely ridiculous (initially her eyes narrowed in case she was being punked). But once she accepted the notion that a baby can indeed slide out your va-jayjay (I may have made it sound like a Bouncy Castle slide) she’s let it be known to me repeatedly that when the time comes for her to have babies, she’d be having them out her vagina.
And I think this is fabulous. Frankly, you’re never too young to have a birth plan, I say. I half expected her to walk away and start compiling a list of Justine Clarke songs she wanted playing in the birth suite during her contractions. Nobody mention candles and incense.
Anyhoo… fast forward to last week and my dear friend Vanessa tells me that apparently Ava has started announcing her birth plan to the unsuspecting public. Including my friend’s eight-year-old daughter who apparently up until Ava’s “vagina intervention” had no clue how babies came out of your body.
My friend was fine about this rather shocking revelation from my pre-schooler and not at all upset. Me? I was a little rattled.
Am I the only person shocked to find an eight-year-old who doesn’t know that babies come out your vagina? Because when my friend told me her daughter was clueless until Ava “Dr Feelgood” Robinson opened her mouth, I was dumbfounded.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOUR EIGHT-YEAR-OLD DOESN’T KNOW HOW BABIES COME OUT?
I knew a child-suitable version of the birds and the bees by the time I was eight. How do you get to that age and not know that a baby comes out your vagina?
That’s not rhetorical, I’m asking you.
So I started asking my friends with primary school aged kids … Do your kids know how babies exit the building? Have you had the sex talk with them yet about how babies are made?
And I’ve been met with silence.
Several of my friends with 10-year-olds (boys and girls) have yet to give their kids any type of sex talk. At all. In fact one friend’s 10-year-old girl only recently asked her parents the other day how babies were even made. She apparently wasn’t even aware men were involved at all. And my friend had decided not to explain things until she asked.
Did you hear that sound? That was my eyes falling out of my head and onto the floor.
By not telling our kids about sex ourselves, aren’t we risking them being told all kinds of rubbish from other kids at school?
(Ava informed me last night that when magpies swoop at you they also peck your head so they can SUCK OUT YOUR BRAIN.
That’s her theory on magpies courtesy of a kid at kindy. Forgive me if I don’t want the kids at school explaining sex to her since it’s likely to involve, you know, ZOMBIES).
And yet many of my friends feel like we’re stealing a child’s innocence by telling them this ‘grown up’ info too quickly.
So obviously I’m in the minority here in thinking that kids should be given an age-appropriate ‘birds and the bees’ chat as they go through primary school. And clearly I need to tell Ava that right now she needs to keep her birth plan (and her birth suite music play list) to herself.
When did you – or do you – plan to tell your kids about sex? Is there a right age? Or do you take a different approach with every child?