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Sharing the birds and bees with young children
It was inevitable that one of my kids finally asked THE QUESTION. Somehow, even when hugely pregnant with babies #3 and #4, no one wondered how the bulging belly came to be and some preliminary discussion before the big 5th grade sex movie at school (and follow-up after, as the segment on wet dreams apparently wasn't very clear as both believed bedwetting was one of the signs of puberty) seemed to handle it .
Unfortunately, THE QUESTION was being asked during lunch and in front of my older sons, who were valiantly trying not to choke on their peanut butter sandwiches while tears of squelched laughter at the anatomical incorrectness of the innocent query from their littlest brother rolled down their cheeks.
"Mommy? How do babies get in your penis?"
Unlike the Beckhams, I obviously had not done a very good birds-and-bees prep job on this kid.
In hindsight, tracking down a copy of Bebek prior to this exchange probably would have made our lunch conversation a lot easier. Scans of the German(?) children's book that lifts the veil on the mysteries of sex and childbirth with simple, graphic (OH MY HEAVENS ARE THE GRAPHICS GRAPHIC!) cartoon draws are available online.
My favorite picture is the birth scene: the baby appears to be swimming out of the mother's girlie bits with a huge smile on his/her little face, with tiny arm reaching out making a V for victory sign. (My births were all C-sections, so I missed out on that part!)
Apparently the text is pretty amusing as well. A commenter where the book is scanned shares that "Mutter und Vater möchten gern, das Vaters Glied in Mutters Scheide kommt. Das ist nämlich schön." loosely translates to "Mom and Dad like when Dad's penis enters Mom's vagina. Because that's very nice."
That was information I neglected to share at lunch. I was having a hard enough time trying to unravel the web of confusion my oldest son created when he helpfully said, "Babies come from storks! The end! Pass the milk!"
How did you handle THE QUESTION? Did you take pre-emptive measures when they were young or let the subject come up when they were older?