Wednesday, August 27, 2014

the big one

It finally came.

'Mum, there's something I've been meaning to ask you for years. If a lady wants to have a baby does she just decide to get pregnant, or is there something she must do first?'

Thanks to Sir David Attenborough she's had the science down pat since she was 3. She's known all this time about ovaries and that she's born with her lifetime supply of eggs. She knows about menstruation, she knows that animals mate, she even knows how twins come about. She was just missing this key piece of the puzzle.

Luckily I've had my answer ready for years so despite also making school snacks and with 5 minutes left until we had to race out the door, I think I gave her a fairly coherent, simple and manageable answer.

She was suitably amazed. Her eyes got the slightly glazed look she has when turning inward to absorb new and fascinating information, and then she came back to earth in a rush - eyes shining now, and rushed off calling: 'Steeelllaaaaaaa!'
Info that astounding has to be shared right?
And while there's a part of me that felt her sister, at just 4 and a half, was maybe not quite ready for the low down, I certainly wasn't going to ask Frieda to keep it a secret. My biggest goal on this is to make sure the space exists for both girls to ask me (or each other) anything, anytime, for ever.
Channels of communication = open.

What broke my heart a little bit though, was overhearing this conversation later ...
Stella: 'Feeda, we can't marry each other hey?'
Frieda: 'No silly!'
Stella: 'And we can't marry the same person hey?'
Frieda: 'No, of course not!'
Then Stella: 'But Feeda, we'll still be friends hey?'

Oh my baby, that gradual realisation that she and her big sister won't always live in such comfy unison, sharing a room, a life, a home.
Big moments for small people.

There's been some follow up questions, and age-appropriate books have subtly been introduced. For a few days it was a hot topic but that's petered out, for now.

Someone said I made it seem so easy, talking about sex with my children. It wasn't particularly, but it also wasn't as difficult as I'd anticipated. I've got girl children (though it really shouldn't be any different if they were boys) and they've got to grow up this crazy world - it's terribly important to me that I give them as many tools with which to do that as possible. I think a healthy, open policy on sex talk is one of the best they can have.

Which is why I was so disturbed to eavesdrop on a conversation on Facebook this morning. A mum had been asked The Big One and fluffed it. No judgement there, it's a really hard talk to have, but what freaked me out were some of her friends responses as to what they'd told their kids.
Ranging from 'you're too young to know', to 'mummies pray and then Jesus brings them a baby'!

And we wonder why there's so much sex confusion and mismanagement in the world ... oi vey.

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