The Birds and the Bees

Like most young children, five-year-old Big Brother is unabashedly interested in the human body. We’ve had conversations about the bones, muscles, blood, and where poo comes from. We’ve talked about the heart, lungs, intestines, and why we’ve got snot. We’ve even had a very funny (and graphic) discussion about how girls can possibly pee without a penis, using a tap and a garden hose as props.

So when Big Brother asked me whether the brain or the skeleton is the “Chief of the Body” last night, I didn’t have any idea what we were about to get into. I thought it was just another night in the Eberhardt house.

“But the brain can’t be the Chief of the Body, Mummy. It doesn’t move.”

“No, but the brain makes the decisions. Your brain sends messages through your nerves to your muscles, and they move your skeleton.”

“Wow. So your muscles are the bits that do the moving? So what does your skeleton do?”

<Insert brief description of the role of a skeleton.>

“And what about… what do you call those balls that only boys have next to their penis?”

“Um. Testicles?”

“Yes. What do testicles do?”

…. Where did that come from?

Big Brother and I had talked about where babies come from before. He already knew that Mummies have little tiny eggs in their tummies (“Even smaller than a baby ant?!”) and the egg has to be fertilised by a Daddy for it to grow into a baby. And since he remembers my being pregnant with Little Brother, he more or less knew what happened next. For quite a while I’d been expecting him to ask me: How? How does a Daddy fertilise the Mummy’s egg?

And last night, the time for that question finally came.

I’m not going to fill you in on the whole conversation. I’m pretty sure you know how it works. (And if you don’t, perhaps you should go ask your own Mummy or Daddy!)

I’ve heard a lot of people say that The Talk is difficult. I didn’t find that at all. I was honest, direct, and answered every question he asked using the real names of the body parts involved. The hardest part was keeping a straight face.

Here’s a few gems from Big Brother.

So, a Daddy squeezes and squeezes until sperm comes out his penis, and then the sperm goes into the Mummy’s womb and fertilises the egg, and then the baby grows and grows until the egg hatches and a doctor cuts the Mummy in half and takes out the baby?

Why is it called ‘semen’? Does it taste like the sea?

So the Daddy puts his penis inside the Mummy’s vagina? Wow. You should tell this to Daddy!

Do you remember your parents telling you about The Birds and The Bees? Have you had The Talk with your kids? Any funny responses you’d like to share?

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15 Comments

Filed under Life With Kids

15 responses to “The Birds and the Bees

  1. Oh boy, I’m so happy I still have a few years before having to face the Talk! Right now, Charlotte is content in knowing that one day a baby will grow in her belly, that mama has a vagina and dad has a penis, and that (as far as she knows) there is no connection between these facts.

  2. I never had the talk from my parents. I learned everything from my sisters and school – no wonder I had such a warped sense of sexuality when I was younger (my sisters told me that if I ran a lot when my boobs grew, they would end up falling to the ground like lumps of jelly! So I always held onto them when I ran and my sisters would cack themselves laughing). You’d think with six kids my parents would have been good at ‘the talk’ but my 83 year old mother still says she didn’t know where the babies were coming from when she had them! Weird!!! 😀

    I bought ‘where did I come from’ books for my kids when they were young and sat down to discuss it all with them (and I learned a bit too). 😀

    • That’s really funny. 🙂 I didn’t really have the talk from my parents, either. I picked most things up from friends and books, and then learned more when I was an adult.

      I’ve thought about getting Where Did I Come From? for my boys. I probably still will at some point. I remember reading it when I was a teenager as part of our health class at school. (And can you believe that at age 15, there were written complaints from parents about the information being inappropriate?)

  3. We gave my daughter a copy of “What’s the Big Secret?” when she was six, and that seemed to settle it. My autistic boys are a different subject.

    As for myself, I got the films in school, but then nothing at home until, at the age of 20, I fell in love with the woman I would later marry. My father took me aside and said, “We never really had the birds and the bees speech, but it’s clear you’re in love with this girl. Um… girls get pregnant. Be smart.” And that was it.

    These days I hear a lot of sex educators talking up some website called “Scarlet Teen”, but I’ve never checked it out myself.

    And as a side anecdote, I know a couple who are waiting until their daughters 18th birthday to out themselves about their unconventional kinks, but they recently found out that their daughter is secretly a sex education blogger (at the age of 16) with a significant following of other teenagers. While she seems to know what she’s talking about, it looks like she’s still in the dark about her parents. I can’t wait to hear how that conversation eventually goes.

    • Best advice ever from your Dad. I guess he figured you’d already worked out the basics by that age. 🙂

      I haven’t heard of ‘What’s the Big Secret?’. Perhaps it’s a more US-oriented book. Over here, it’s all about ‘Where Did I Come From?’.

  4. Yes, so my husband will be having this conversation. Thank you.

    • Good luck with that. In my (albeit limited) experience, they spring these questions at the most odd and inopportune moments.

      (Also, how lucky will you be if you have to explain it all to three eager little people at once?)

  5. Thank goodness my daughter is only two. I have a while yet until I can figure this talk out lol!

  6. I don’t remember my mom telling me but I don’t remember not knowing. I do remember speaking to Noah about it and being honest about it. This is how it works, the end. However, he’s 13 and I know for a FACT that he STILL doesn’t completely get it. Every time we discuss it he understands a little more, like it’s enjoyable for the man! Not the woman. Hmmmmm…

    • I totally didn’t touch on the enjoyment factor. Big Brother was really just interested in the mechanics at this point. But I’m sure we’ll have many, many more conversations about it in the future.

      I’m sure Noah will get it in good time. 🙂

  7. ava

    Wow, from a 5-year-old? You’ve got a very smart boy in your hands Jo. And the question about the semen tasting like a sea? Epic! 🙂

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