Maybe I’ve been prompted by the flowering of the blossom trees though its been on my mind for some time. Probably since her observations on the survival of the species last year. With my son safely ensconced at his Judo class I seized the opportunity – 45 minutes to have “the chat” with my ten year old daughter. I’d heard from another mum at the class coffee am that Year 5 have SE (Sex education) on Fridays. She attends a Catholic school so I’m guessing terms are cloaked and fluffy. Her teacher that day is a year shy of retirement, a rather austere woman. Old school. They started learning about birds and will move on to some other species next term. Humans would wait until Year 6. I feel I have a small window to get my speak in. Leave it another few months and she won’t want to have this chat. I think it’s important that she knows I am not awkward about speaking to her about sex or listening to what she has to say. Her father asked me to at least let her have Christmas without “knowing”. Like I am somehow going to annihilate her childhood in 45 minutes.
So sat side by side on a bench I ask my daughter what she’s learning at SE. She tells me about the birds and how they make their eggs by “rubbing their bellies”. I probe further and she concedes that there is more to it than that. They rub their “openings”. I ask if she has any idea how it happens for people. She tells me that when girls get their periods (we’d spoken briefly about that) they can have babies. I ask what’s missing and she says ‘sperm”. So I say we don’t rub our bellies together to get the sperm. Does she have any idea how that happens. She says No. But doesn’t sound remotely curious. I am guessing she’d happily stop our conversation now.
So I tell her it gets in via the penis.
UUGhh she says and without a pause “Mum, what do you prefer decimals, fractions or percentages”
I know she wants me to wrap this conversation up so I just end it by telling her that I am happy to talk about this again anytime she wants and if she hears something from pals that doesn’t make sense just to ask me about it. I tell her that not having a brother I had no idea what a penis looked like and that that caused me a lot of confusion and embarrassment later on.
Mindful that many of the parents won’t have had the chat with their children yet I tell Amber that some of her pals still think all babies come out of stomachs and not bottoms and it’s not our job to set them right so best not to share her new knowledge in the playground.
There was a little more speaking to do so later that night when the children were tucked up in their beds I broke it to DH that his daughter knows about his role in baby making.