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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Talk

Thinking about this after reading Darby's posts...

I don't know what my girls know exactly. I've never sat down them down and gone through the whole thing (soup to nuts?!), but have pointed out pertinent facts when applicable. They've got a copy of The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls, so they know plenty about that. Once they left that book at my parents' house and my father, opening it up to the wrong page, nearly had a heart attack, thinking he had discovered some kind of porn after seeing the cartoon of the little girl demonstrating tampon insertion.

My parents are a little on the uptight side. Sex was explained to me in a very perfunctory, clinical way when I was about six. A cousin, 15 years older, loves to remind me how, at that age, I asked her if she wanted to hear something really weird, and then launched into the whole reproduction story. Just a few years later though, I remembered none of it. After seeing someone stick their middle finger out, I asked my mother what it meant and she explained that it represented what a husband and wife do when they want to have children. I grew up thinking it was a secret code, some hand signal you flashed to someone when you wanted to have sex, and your potential partner would flash it back to you. She also left me unprepared for my first period, which had the misfortune of making its appearance when she was out of town, and I was staying with my grandfather.

So, I began my sex ed, in earnest, as an autodidact. Between the "R" volume of World Book and my grandfather's collection of Harold Robbins novels, I learned more than enough.

I want my girls to be at ease with their bodies, and understand that sex is normal and natural and even enjoyable; not purely an act of procreation between a husband and wife. I may not be approaching this the right way however, because the other day, after hearing of another of S's friends who have started their periods, I casually broached the subject of puberty with S and G, and they both went running out of the room with their fingers in their ears, "Lalalalalalalalalalala! I can't hear you!!"

On a positive note, I now know how to instantly clear a room.

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