09 March 2010

That Awkward Conversation

My parenting style is fairly laissez faire. I don’t own many how-to books, although Ferber and Weissbluth live under my bed, talismatically, as magical thinking tells me that bedtime will be shot to hell if I get rid of either one.

But the other day, I had one of those bath-time conversations with the kid that I really wasn’t prepared for: “Mommy, I can feel my vagina!”. It went on from there, and though I’ll spare you the details, it wasn’t her vagina she was talking about. At that moment, I felt a need for reinforcement, and I was damned glad that I had a glass of wine in the bathroom with me.

As one does these days, I put out a plea for help on Twitter/Facebook. I got a mess of good responses, and so armed, I headed off to the library.

The book I came home with was perfect. It’s straight-forward, and not at all cloying, with a bird and a bee acting as a sort of Greek chorus. It works for boys and for girls, it’s got all stripes of families, it offers IVF and c-section and bottle-feeding as alternatives to the old-fashioned less technological processes, and it points out the similarities between the sexes, as well as their differences.

It’s called It’s NOT the Stork! and I’d recommend it if you’re looking to impart some dispassionate information to a six year old on what it’s all about.



Because I’m all about sharing, here’s the complete list from the Twitterati and Friends – in case you too are looking for resources. No guarantees - I've only read the first one.



Oh, and in case the FTC is reading over your shoulder? No one paid me to chatter about any of these books, and no one gave them to me either. In fact, you could say that I bought It's NOT the Stork indirectly via my library taxes, thank you very much.

22 comments:

Kelly said...

I know I am late for suggestions, but I read this book awhile ago and thought it was really funny.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Willy-Went-Nicholas-Allan/dp/0375830308

Rima said...

Thanks for the rec! I've been dodging the bullet for some time now, but I know that the day will soon come when I, too, will be having the bathtub convo.

FreshHell said...

We have a vocabulary issue. She calls where she pees her "butt" as opposed to her "poo butt" and finds urethra a hilarious word which is a mouthful for a five year old. I've skirted the issue a bit because I hate cutesy terms for parts of the body and yet never came up with anything other than "where you pee". I'll have to look at that book. Maybe I can come up with something she'll go for.

My nine year old has circled around the birds-and-bees discussion but never wants to know too much so we've never had a full-on conversation about it. I know it's coming and I'm actually more prepared to talk about that than coming up with a term for "the place where you pee." Sigh.

Becky said...

Glad you found one that worked. My kids like the first two on your list. In fact, I think my son has them memorized and often shares much of the information by starting with, "Did you know ...?" :)

Harriet said...

It's funny, but while I've always dreaded the birds and bees conversation, when AJ actually asked point blank about it a week or two ago it was a total non-event, because he was so matter-of-fact about it. Specifically he wanted to know how the sperm and egg got together. And because he was asking an honest question, I surprised myself by giving him a non-flustered honest answer. I had a small heart attack later in the privacy of my own room. I also had a shot of bourbon. :)

erin said...

I'll have to check those out...

The most shocking I've had yet was when my oldest told me she figured out that babies don't come out of mommies bellies.

"Mommies poop babies out, don't they Mom?"

Sort of?

Pinky said...

I think I was the first one to suggest that one, so I'll pat myself on the back now.

Anjali said...

Thanks for the list. I've been surprised by how little my children have asked. They asked some questions when I was pregnant, like where the baby came out, but were quite satisfied by my very simplistic explanations. (My motto: tell the truth, but answer only what they ask.) These books will help gear me up for the bigger, more detailed questions.

Life As I Know It said...

I'm going to write these book titles down...my 8 year old has been asking about how EXACTLY babies get into the mom's belly.

thanks for the book titles!

susan said...

I love both It's So Amazing and It's Not the Stork. We actually got It's so Amazing first--a friend gave it to CG for her 2nd birthday, in a period when CG was totally fascinated by this same friend's pregnancy. It's Not the Stork is much more geared to her current age, though, and I like just having the books around so she can leaf through them as she want.

phd in yogurtry said...

Thanks for the list. Always good to have. The Care and Keeping is on my girls' bookshelf.

daysgoby said...

Awesome! Thanks, M!

anymommy said...

I dread this conversation. But I'll have it. Thank you for the resources!

nonlineargirl said...

I am definitely filing that one away. I will need it soon I think.

painted maypole said...

my parents used "where did i come from?" with me, so i bought an old copy at a library sale when MQ was still a toddler. a looked through it about a year ago wondering if I should be using it with MQ, but it seemed a bit TOO much, and I have to confess i have yet to have the talk with her. I know I should do it now, before it becomes an issue. I mean, she knows what all the basic parts are called and uses the correct names and all, but other than peeing she has no idea of their other functions.

Carol said...

I'll never forget a blog post I read by a friend's sister. Her son asked her how the baby would get out, and she told him. And he burst out laughing and said

"But mommy, your BAGINA is full of PEE!"

And went around for the day chuckling to himself over Mommy's hilarious joke.

Which I found hilarious.

de said...

I so wished Tony was there with me when Fiona looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, "So you and Dad did that TWICE!?" Classic!!

Off to check the library catalog.

Patois said...

Thanks for all the great laughs in the comments!

Glad you found a keeper of a book. My daughter was so opposed to knowing the "truth," that I had to resort to this: You cannot watch any TV or play on the computer or do anything but sit in your room until you read this book. It worked. (And, for the record, she was nearly 11. And sex education was coming up in days. And it's not like I didn't TRY to get her to talk with me and let me tell her, but she'd put her hands over her ears and shout, "I don't want to know! I don't want to grow up." Fun times.)

Kyla said...

I'm definitely going to check these out. Sex is evidently a BIG thing once you get to 2nd grade and I have been dodging some of BubTar's questions.

The Library Lady said...

Don't know if Pinky came up w/that one first or moi, but either way I'm delighted that it came via the LIBRARY.
:D

Gwen said...

How about for an almost 10 year old who is way way WAY overdue but still fervently believes in fairies, Santa and things that go bump in the night?

Anonymous said...

There was an old joke; boy asks loudly of his mother, "Where did I come from"? Mother takes a deep breath then tells a birds and bees factoid story thinking it was age appropriate. Kid responds, "But Johnny came from Seattle, where did I come from"? A cautionary tale :)
Linda