I've had "The Talk" with Aubrey, my oldest, about a dozen times. She was 4 years old when Sadie was born, and while little 2-year-old Emma was unwrapping her new baby to look at her toes, Aubrey was jumping up and down on the bed yelling, "HOW DID SHE GET OUT?! HOW DID SHE GET OUT?! HOW DID SHE GET OUT?! HOW DID SHE GET OUT?! HOW DID SHE GET OUT?!"
Aubrey, at the ripe old age of 8, has known the down and dirty for a looooooong time. In addition, she's learned a few bad words over the last year that we have discussed ad nauseum. Every time she learns a new word at school, she comes home and tells me. I tell her what it means and that if she says it at school she will be in deep, um, well... sh*t. *Ahem.*
Someone I respect a lot told me you should have "The Talk" with your kids before second grade to make sure that they are getting their first bits of information about sex from you instead of some kid on the playground. I'd been looking for opportunities to talk about this with Emma since she is in first grade, but the child is so sweet and innocent! She's curious, but she'd rather disassemble the pencil sharpener to see how it works than wonder where babies come from. An opportunity hadn't presented itself, so I'd been reluctant to give her extra information.
After school one day a few months ago, Emma perched on the kitchen counter while I cooked dinner and chattered away. She spoke of Valentine's Day and a certain little boy's name she had been writing in hearts on the back of her worksheet. (Sidebar -- a totally different little boy than the one she said she was going to marry last week. #WorriedAboutThisOne)
Then out of the blue she said, "Somebody said The Aff word at school today!"
Her eyes got big, "YOU KNOW... The AFF word!!"
"The Eff Word?"
"Oh? In your class?"
"No. In another class."
"How do you know they said it?"
"I heard it!" (She beamed.) "I have GREAT ears!"
I snickered, "Oh... well, then. Do you know what The Eff Word is?"
She nodded her white-blonde head. "Yup."
I don't know why I did this. Y'all!? WHY did I ask? I don't think I really believed her, so I said, "What is it?"
And that sweet, innocent little baby looked me straight in the eye, with her index finger halfway up her nose, and said, "F***." Matter-of-factly. Nonchalant. No biggie.
This face. This face is the one that looked at me and said that word.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I turned my face away from her and let out an all-purpose snort. I turned back to her with a straight face.
"Who told you that?"
(I was FILLED WITH A FIERY RAGE which she saw in my face.)
"Oh. Did she tell you what it means?"
She looked scared.
(Deep breath. I gave her a hug.)
"You aren't in trouble. I want you to talk to me about this stuff, OK? Did she at least tell you how bad it is?"
"Oh YES! It's the worst! The MOTHER! The Queen Mother! The F Dash Dash Dash word!! The worst word in the whole world!"
I nodded my head. "Right. And it means having sex. Do you know what that is?"
Sweet Baby Jesus. Help me, help me, help me.
I cleared my throat. "Um, well..." I launched into a brief but thorough AND anatomically correct description. Her eyes got huge. I took another deep breath.
"Do you have any questions?"
She shook her head, "Um, NO. This is weird, gross, funny... and a little confusing."
Then my husband came and picked up all three girls to take them to church so I could do a podcast interview. Fingers crossed she didn't tell everyone in her class what she learned.
When did you talk to your kids about sex? How'd that work out for ya?