Friday, February 20, 2009

What no one tells you about the birds and the bees.

Here's what no one ever told me about the "Birds & the Bees."

No one ever told me that I should pay close, close attention to what my parents said about this because someday as a result of the Birds and the Bees, I'd have a daughter of my own to explain it to and no freaking clue how to do it.

No one ever told me that said daughter would start asking about these important things before she even reached her 5th birthday.

No one ever told me that it would be so hard to answer questions like, "Why is our Rooster riding piggy back on our hen?" and "If they're going to have babies, which one of our (8) hens is our Rooster married to?"

And, most importantly, no one ever told me that these issues would come up at the most mundane times and render me completely speechless in 5 o'clock traffic.

So, now what? With a baby on the way and a barnyard harem in the backyard how on Earth do I explain to my 4-year-old exactly what is going on with the whole reproductive process in a way that doesn't guarantee her a spot on a therapist's couch in 10 years?

Here's where I come to you for some help. Because somehow I woke up one morning to find myself swimming in the deep end of the parenting pool completely unprepared!

What went fantastically right and/or horribly wrong in the Birds and Bees discussions in your own life? Did your parents shove a book at you to read or scar your for life with an overshare? With your own kids, when did you get into the whole thing and how did you explain it in a way that answered questions without giving them more than they were ready to hear?


Crayl said...

Here is my advise, having 3 kids older than yours:
Always ask a question or 2 back, to really make sure you know what they are asking. Sometimes they just want to know what hospital they came from, not the whole womb story...
Start slowly, a little information goes along way.
When it comes to animals, explain the truth...they are different than humans and they don't get married...he is the "father" of all those baby chicks.
ALso, I read this blog today :
she recommended a great book and I am considering it for my own 8 year old boy, who has started asking questions after reading his Bible, like what is a virgin?...well, the answer won't make much sense without other information will it? The book starts with basics at your girls ages...
It's something to at least consider. Good luck.:)

Jen said...

Here's my embarrasing story: I grew up on a sheep farm. One day, I saw a ram stretching and exposing his "male" parts. I was so concerned that something was wrong with said ram that I called my dad at work to ask if we needed to have the vet come over. He was about as embarrased as could be. That said, I still never really made the connection that what I was seeing on the farm happened to humans, too. Go figure. I hope to be more honest and explain things, because what I picked up from watching sheep really didn't give me the whole picture, if you know what I mean. :) So, I guess, if you explain what the roosters and hens are doing, your daughters might not make the translation to humans. I never did ...

Carey said...

My daughter first asked around age 4 as well: "How does the baby get in the mommy's tummy?"

My answer: "The daddy puts it there."

Her reply: "Does the daddy have a magic wand?"

My response: "Yes, honey. Yes he does."

Years later, I gave her a fantastic book that I borrowed from a friend of mine that teaches the very simple basics of the process, starting with animals and working up to people. I wish I could remember the name of it! It was published in the 70's and the illustrations prove it! I definitely suggest some kind of book aimed at whatever age she is when you're ready. It at the very least sparks a lot of questions and a great bonding conversation. Good luck!

Staci said...

Yikes! I'm not ready to hear this question. My son has never really questioned animals having babies, even though he has literally seen it happen, so I guess I should count myself lucky.

Whatever you do, just keep your answer short and simple. Any response will probably curb curiosity. Good luck!

Rae said...

I missed the whole birds & the bees talk. My mother was convinced I was too embarrassed to discuss it, and I was too mortified to ask her. So...I got the whole reproductive & lady parts & period stuff explained to me by my high school boyfriend. No wonder I married him. You gotta love a nurse's son's ability to talk about heavy flows and proper use of tampons without batting an eyelash. God love him.