Monday, April 9, 2007

Two conversations not to have with your 4 1/2 yr old before talking with your TBM mother

I was running around on Saturday doing some errands and thought it would be a good time to talk with S about Easter. I told him that some people believe in a God and think of him as kind of like a papa that they can't see. They believe that this God had a son named Jesus and that Jesus was killed. Three days later he was resurrected. We talk a moment about what resurrection means and all that. Then I talked about how Gluby doesn't believe there is a God and that I am not sure if I believe that there is a God or not. So some people believe there is, and some believe there isn't, and some aren't sure.

And then I talk about the Easter Bunny and that he is like Santa Claus. Not real, but it's kinda fun to hunt for easter eggs and get candy. That was the best part of the conversation for him. Yum!

So, later that night we are dying easter eggs and, out of nowhere, he asks, "Mama, how do you and Papa mate?" I try not to drop the egg I am painting onto the counter.

"How do we mate? Well, basically we get naked and then Papa inserts his penis into my vagina." (I know, I am leaving out all the good parts.)

"Oh. Is it hard?"

At this point I was trying really, really hard not to smile or laugh or send him to Gluby because I know he will get a kick out of his question. But instead I say, "No. It's usually pretty easy."

And then he asks if it's harder when Papa is on the bottom (what?!!? Oh, yah, he's been watching nature movies. Take a deep breath) Again, I am tempted to send him to Gluby to ask this because I know he'll get a kick out of it, but I don't give in to the temptation. "Um, well, I don't think so." And we eventually move on to another subject.

Ten minutes later my mother calls and I talk to her for a bit. Then M, our 21-month old wants to say hi. So I give him the phone. Then S wants to say hi. Panic sets in. Is he going to talk about how we are dying easter eggs and that some people believe easter is about Jesus' resurrection, but that his Mama doesn't believe in God? Or is he going to say that it's not hard for his Mama and Papa to mate? So, when I hand him the phone I ever so deftly say, "S, tell Grandma all about the egg you are painting!" And then I pray, to whom I have no idea, but I pray anyway, that he does not mention anything about God or mating.

Fortunately for everyone involved he only talked about the purple egg he was coloring with green glow-in-the-dark paint.

I know some (many? most?) people will not agree with how I handled either conversation. How would you all have told your kids about other people's belief in God, your dis/belief in God, and/or sex


Hellmut said...

You did better than I could. In my opinion, the best thing to do is just to answer children's questions when they ask them.

The one thing that DW and I have added lately was a privacy notice. It's OK to discuss sex with your parents but don't raise the topic in the presence of outsiders.

Cele said...

Oh mi gosh I am laughing so hard. As a mother I would have been mortified had my daughter come up with one of those untimely comments to my mother (although there was a phase where her stick figures well nude and well endowed.)

As a grandparent I find the thought hysterical that my 5 year old grandsone would say something like this.

Purple is a good color for an egg.

Bishop Rick said...

Gee, i'm still talking cabbages to my kids so don't ask me for advice on talking sex with kids. Also, I'm not allowed to say how I really feel about religion with my kids, no help there either.

Freckle Face Girl said...

Two tough conversations in the same day. I think you handled both very well!

Lemon Blossom said...

Hellmut – I don't know that I did better than you could have, but thanks! And thanks for the advice about the privacy notice. It's one of those obvious things I hadn't thought about.

Cele – I was definitely caught off guard, but I am so glad no one else was around to hear it. Phew!

Ha, well endowed stick figures. I love it!

bishop rick – well, cabbages are good, right? I'm sorry to hear about not being able to talk to your kids about how you really feel about religion. I know that was so hard when Gluby and I were in completely different books. We may not always be on the same page (I know, who is) but things are a lot easier now that I am more open to things.

FFG – Thanks! I was definitely more nervous about the religion one than the sex one. We have tried to be really open about the human body since he was born, but boy I was I knocked for a loop when he asked how we mate, not just how people mate in general.

The Sacred Sister said...

Wow, great job explaining Easter, Jesus and sex to the kiddos! LOL
It's hard talking to the kids about these things. Like you, I'm honest, but coming from a family that never talked about anything makes it difficult.
I did read a great book titled, "Questions children ask & how to answer them" By Miriam Stoppard. The book covers a variety of questions on several topics and gives examples of how to talk about them. It gives answers for each child's age range; I think it covers from 2-12 yrs or something like that.
When my mother calls, I dred my children saying things as well. They have said things that offend her, but she's gotten over it. I hope your family is understanding.
Take care,

Sideon said...


They think I'm completely nuts here at work - I have been laughing so hard, reading your posts. They ask "what's so funny?" and I have to shake my head and wave them away because they just wouldn't get it... and well... because I'm not reading email, I'm reading a blog at work... and you know.