My daughter is an exceptionally bright and articulate almost 8 year old. And she, like all kids, seems to have a never ending supply of questions to throw my way. I generally do a pretty good job (I think) of answering her questions. But a couple of weeks ago I think we managed to traumatize each other just a little bit. I had just picked her up from school at the end of our day and on the way home some how the subject of S. E. X. (yes in my head I just spelled that out) came up. Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve touched on this subject. Molly already, from previous conversations, had a basic understanding of how babies are made. She understood the man’s sperm fertilized the woman’s egg. But what she didn’t know, and had never asked in any of our previous conversations, is how exactly did the sperm get to the egg. And there you have it. That question – How does the sperm get to the egg – stopped me cold. I was not prepared for this. At all.
I glanced back at her through the rear view mirror. She’s sitting there, in her booster seat, waiting. My God she’s still in a booster seat and I have to tell her about sex. What do I do? Panic started to set in. I took a breath.
Me – “I think mommy might need some help with this. How about we go to the library this week and get some books to help me explain all of this to you?”
Molly – “No, I don’t want to wait. You KNOW the answer.”
Me – “Well, yes that’s true. I know the answer. But I’m not sure exactly how to explain it to you. There are people who know better how to talk to kids about this and those people have written books!”
Molly – Just sitting there now with her arms crossed, her head tilted, glaring at me, waiting.
Ok I’m going to have to just do this. She isn’t going to let me off the hook. Deep breathes Shayna. Deep breathes.
Me – “Well do you know where the sperm comes from? We’ve talked about that before right?”
Molly – “Yes. From the penis.”
Ok, close enough for now I guess.
Me – “Yes, that’s right.”
Molly – “But how does it get from the penis to the woman’s eggs?”
I’m sweating now.
Me – “Well the man puts his penis in the woman’s vagina to get the sperm to the eggs.”
Molly – “WHAT? He does what? Did daddy do that to you?”
By this time we had pulled up in front of the house. Thank goodness. I was now far too distracted to drive. I put the car in park, undid my seat belt and turned to face Molly in the back seat. She was still trying to process this (so was I) and the look on her face was equal parts horror and fascination.
Molly – “I think we should get those books mommy.”
Me – with a sigh of relief “Yes, Molly, I think you are right!”
We got the books.