Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Birds and The Bees and Me


"When Nicole, my second child, was 4, she said, "Mommy, could you hurry up and kiss daddy so I can get a new brother?"

Hmm, okay, we'll see..

On to the next question:

"How can a baby go inside your tummy?  Does she have to rip your belly apart?"

Okay, well, you see...


I have read somewhere that sex tops the toughest thing to talk to kids about.  It certainly is a tough topic  for a mom who spent her entire school life in Catholic schools run by nuns (preschool to high school) and by priests (college).  I have finally figured out why.  Each stage of childhood brings a new surprise for us evasive moms (or dads, if the mom is lucky) in charge of sex education.  

Three kids and countless stammered answers and perpetual blushing have taught me only that however weird you feel, it would be weirder to ignore the subject entirely.  You just have to take a deep breath and bravely plunge in.


Children's Play bymarin







Stage 1: The Flowers and the Birds  (Roughly ages 1-3) 

When they were little babies, they all look alike.  And so, us mommies go on  wild shopping sprees and buy only blue sporty shirts if our tiny one is a boy or we overdose on cute pink bows and dresses if a girl.

The big surprise: Curiosity does begin early!  At first, they just need to know what their boy parts and girl parts are called.  Simple enough, right? But you will be floored at what will happen when your daughter suddenly runs on a boy who left the bathroom door open.  On vacation in Manila years back, my two daughters who were around 2 and 3 ran on their two-year old cousin in the bathroom screaming to my mom,  "Lola, what is that???" They can't believe how he can pee standing up, too. (and I caught them a couple of times trying to pee standing up!)

Stage 2: Where Do Babies Come From?  (Roughly ages 3-5) 

At this stage, you will realize that this big question does not require a big answer.  A lot of us mistook preschooler questions like, "Do boy babies come from birdies and girl babies from flowers?" as a cue to go into the mechanics of human reproduction.  

The Surprise: Now I know that when my little boy asks, "On the first day that you got married, did I pop out of your belly?" my correct answer is simply, "No, because it takes nine months to grow a baby inside my belly-and I also had to grow Paula and Nicole first!"  But I am not yet done with my answer and  he is already off changing to his new clothes and marveling about how cool he looks in his new clothes.

Stage 3: How Do Babies Get Started (Ages precocious on up)  

The surprise:  How quickly those clever kids put two and two together.  Eventually they want to know how the seeds and eggs get together.  That's when you say, "Go ask your father."  Some parents are comfortable with touchy-feely euphemisms about mothers and fathers "loving each other", while others prefer more scientific explanations of fertilization. (I rely on those quirky illustrated kids' books myself.) But whatever your own level of discomfort, for a few blessed years anyway, you can bet the typical response of your curious little babes will be "Eeeeewwwwww!"

Stage  Beyond Babies (School Age)  

Unlike my generation, this generation freak-dances  around innocent kids.

"Why can't I sing "F***' Perfect" by Pink out loud? It's on the radio all the time!" 

"Is the L Word like the F word?" (From another daughter, just reading Seventeen magazine.)

I'd rather go through the Kotex Talk again than have to pick my way through topic I'd never even heard of myself until I was a grown up.

Stage 5: Preteens 

The surprise: You realize you are getting old!  While your tween will discover lip gloss and training bras,  you are spending a lot on anti-aging creams, Obagi and Lycra body shapers.

I'd be depressed-if I weren't busy laughing and feeling glad I am not a tween again.  I have a ten year old nephew, for instance, who whispered to me in the middle of Sunday mass, "Tita, Katherine is now my girlfriend." I asked him, "Since when?".  His answer:  "Last Thursday.  But she does not know it yet."  

Clearly we will have many more talks ahead.






27 comments :

  1. Sometimes, kids will ask questions from nowhere and to our suprise we cannot give a definite answer. I think we should always be ready with our aged-appropriate answers.

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    1. I know! They ask the strangest questions a lot of times!

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  2. This is something I should be prepared for. I have a so makulit boy so I'm sure he will ask me tons of questions. Hehe. Natuwa naman ako sa nephew mo, un son ko din daw may GF na e. Little girls here love him.

    Mommy Maye

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    1. Haha yup sis, there is an age for boys when they like girls. My son, when he was five, pumoporma sa isang 14 year old and he even dresses like Justin Bieber (cuz yung girl looks like the girl in Justin's Baby Baby video) and may classmate din siyang the entire nursery preschool yakap yakap nya around the waist. Pero once they reach seven or eight, they hate girls na!

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  3. I think I have to ready myself for my son's questions when the time comes.. :)

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    1. Humanda ka sis and if di masagot, tell him, ask your dad hihi

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  4. My kids aged 5 and 6 got to ask me tons of questions when I got pregnant with their baby sister. So many questions. I am preparing myself for more questions when they are all older.

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    1. I know, and it is so hard to explain di ba.

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  5. If only explaining all these will be that easy....

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    1. Hay naku, true, doc. I bet my parents were as embarrassed as I was ( I cant even remember them explaining to me.Most of my education is from Mills and Boon books hehe)

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  6. You know, I have a friend writer who has no qualms discussing these things with her children when they were that age. For one, you should just answer what the child is asking and don't go into all those details...always think age appropriate responses, she says. There's really no shame in discussing this topic, and it's best if it comes from the parents rather some other people.

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    1. Buti pa siya. I think it is part of the Filipino culture kasi and you know, sometimes kids do never stop asking!

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  7. Oh, my. I never really thought about this thing yet now that I am a mom to a one year old boy. But, time will come that I will also deal with questions from my son. I am sure I will be bombarded with a lot and one question might be this topic. I hope by then, I would be able to handle it gracefully. Thanks for this post! :-)

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  8. you really a sharped eyed mommy to your growing kids, i am amazed of the write up, your documentation of your experiences...this sex thing issue in each stages of your kids life...
    clever post!
    love it!

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  9. well written! XD i enjoyed reading this post.. hehehe. when i was child i thought babies are from the stork, this is the result of too much watching of cartoons.. i think me and my mom didn't have that talk. it seems a little awkward.hihi i just learned the scientific details from school then figure it out by on my own.

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  10. These questions from children sure are mind-boggling! I should consult with my hubby on how to answer these questions, baka iba sagot nya hehe.

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  11. Oh no, di pa ako ready! Hahaha. Yung tatay na nga ang bahala. But what's weird is that I never remember asking my parents about this stuff. Bakit kaya?

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  12. It's never easy to approach this topic but we do have books and have been talking to our kids off and on about it and what is appropriate/ non -appropriate behaviour.

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  13. reading your post made me think... i never really had a serious talk about it with my boys now aged 19, 16 and 9. the closest we had was joking about it and hearing them say that very familiar "ewww". lol

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  14. Whenever we talked about how my mom or officemates got pregnant and the delivery, I am feeling a bit nervous. Parang I do not want to conceive.

    -anne lei

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  15. I totally agree, this is the hardest topic to discuss with your child. Parang ako ang nahihiya. Hahaha.

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  16. I agree with you about this subject matter inside the family; very tough indeed to explain even though you've tried so hard to reach them.

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  17. When I was in 5th grade, I asked my father about it. He answered me point blank. No flowery words.

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  18. Hahaha isang kiss lang and poof, the baby is there. MY son always ask me why there is no more baby forming in my tummy.

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  19. Been there sis. I think my daughter was around 5-6 when she asked how babies were made. I skipped the birds and the bees and explained it to her (with matching medical encyclopedia as props!) like how it should be in a very scientific way. I taught her not to be malicious and all so we call it what it is in our household. :)

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  20. If you go about the questions this way, it sounds amusing but if you,re in that situation,sometimes your mind just goes blank on how to anwer them.

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  21. My daughter is also on the stage where she would imitate how her brother pees. It is quite funny, though. I remember doing that myself when I was young. But anyway, whatever stage the kids are in it is always a must to give the real name of the body parts rather than using other names because this has a psychological effect on them.

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