Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Talking the Talk

About three weeks ago, while on our way to Lexi's dance class, we somehow got to talking about twins.  It was just Lexi and Ellie in the car with me, and they wanted to know the difference between identical and fraternal twins.  We're trying not to sugar-coat anything in our family, so I explained that a sperm comes from the dad and the egg comes from the mom, and when they meet, sometimes the egg splits into two.  When that happens, you have identical twins.  But sometimes there will be two eggs, and if they each are met by a sperm, you'll have fraternal twins.

By this point, we were at the dance studio, so I thought the conversation was finished, but as we got out of the car, Lexi said, "Mom, I was wondering.  If the egg comes from the mom and the sperm comes from the dad, and the baby grows inside the mom, how does the sperm get to the egg?"

Oh, boy.

Considering the fact that we were about three steps from the door of the dance studio, there wasn't time to go into any sort of detail.  Besides, I'm pretty sure the parents of any of the other girls in the class (who range in age from 6-8 years old) wouldn't have appreciated me going into that sort of detail, anyway.  So I told her that that was a really good question, but there wasn't time for me to answer it right now, and could she remind me later when there was more time?

Of course, she didn't.

But we knew it was time anyway.

Time for The Talk.

Such fun.

We had The Talk with Vicki when she was about Lexi's age, and it went fairly well, all things considered.  After sitting in serious silence through the majority of the discussion, her only real reaction was, "Ew."

Lexi's turn, yesterday evening, also went well, but it was more fun.

We couldn't get her to say any of the names for private body parts (which I am purposely not naming here, since I can only imagine the Google searches that would end up here if I did) - she preferred to keep her face buried in her hands during that part of the discussion, even though we teased her by saying things like, "nostrils", "elbows", and "armpits" to try and make her understand that we were just talking about body parts.  Didn't work.  At one point, while we were talking about how boys have a [certain body part], she said, "This is just disturbing."

But she was really interested in the location of ovaries, and how that whole process works.  I got to stand up and do a lot of pointing through my jeans.  And she was somewhat relieved, it appeared, to understand that the eggs inside of moms weren't the size of chicken eggs.

It will probably be about three years before we'll have to have The Talk again, but I think it will be even more fun with Ellie, since she's already shown us that she has absolutely no problem with saying the names of boy or girl parts.  She announced to us at the dinner table one night, much to her sisters' horror, that her friend Timmy* has a [boy part]!  And she's seen it!  While they were going potty!  Isn't that cool!?!

Being a parent is fun.

*name has been changed to protect the innocent.  Although I'm fairly certain the innocent's mother will read this and know exactly who I'm talking about.


  1. Go you! I'm a little freaked out about having "the talk." You seem to have it down. Can you send me your notes? Seriously!

  2. We kind of had the talk with Camryn... She was grossed out too. Then she had "puberty ed" in school a few weeks ago...I think we are more embarrassed than they are sometimes.

  3. You guys will be pros by the time Ellie needs the talk!

  4. I'm so glad that you are open with your family. My family was always open, and I have been so grateful for that many times. Even though I was grossed out - I appreciated it so much. Jeremy's family wasn't open at all. So he only learned things from friends at school - not a good thing. Needless to day, I had to do quite a bit of explaining and correcting a lot of half truths after we were married!

    We plan on being open with Clara, but we'll see how things go.

  5. I also think it is great to be open with your children. The part I struggle with is finding age appropriate ways to talk about it. I don't think a four-year-old answer is the same as an eight year old answer. The problem is that Abbie asks a lot of the same questions.

    I try to give her enough information to correctly answer the question without going into details that are above her level. Trying to correctly determine her "level" has been interesting. I know I am more explicit than some think I should be and less than others. Oh, well!

  6. Good for you! I thought I was the only one having these talks in elementary school!

  7. hahahahah......... oh thats too good. Props for being so detailed with them.

  8. We've had the same conversation with Isaac about fraternal vs. identical twins. Being from the gene pool that he is, he turned it into a math problem..."so, if one egg comes out and it splits, that's two babies. But if two eggs come and only one splits, that's three!" He did that for about 15 minutes, getting more and more complicated problems as he went along.

    I also took my kids with me to the OB appointments when I was preggo with Spencer. They learned a lot from all the fun pregnancy pictures and diagrams and models in the doctor's office. Keltsy said, "that looks like it hurts" and she is sure she doesn't want to have kids now, which makes me sure she understood a little too clearly :).


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