Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Sheet of Secrecy and Other Vaginal Mysteries

My five-year-old son's curiosity about sex and babies has continued unabated. 

Now that I've scientifically answered "Where do babies come from?" the boy wants to know "How do the babies get out?"

"The birth canal," is not cutting it as an explanation anymore.

"Where is the birth canal?" is the new refrain. "Is it here?" He waves his hand over his belly-area. "Is it here?" He waves his hand over his pelvic area. "Do babies come out of the mama's toes?"

Oh lord.

"How about we buy a book?" I suggested. I don't know why it took me so long to think of this. I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

"Where's the Sex Ed for Preschoolers section?" I asked the Borders lady. She took me to the Sex Ed section (they actually have one!) and showed me three titles that were appropriate for the preschool/kindergarten set.

After previewing them (and snickering at the pencil-drawn naked man and woman, with their hairy gender-specific parts) I couldn't decide which Cracky would prefer. I decided to turn it over to him.

"Which book do you like best?"

"Let me see," he said, all business. He grabbed the three books, sat on the floor of Borders and started flipping through the pages. He studied each drawing, nodding his head here and there, asking me, "What's that?" and approving my answers ("Those are sperm, that's the vas deferens") as he scoured the books like a doctoral candidate.

When he got to the page with the baby pictured in its mother's uterus, I could feel his excitement build. He flipped the page and at long last beheld the birthing room. There stood the doctor, poised between the mother's legs. The nurses and father were standing by. Mother pushed and did her lamaze breathing behind a modest sheet draped across her legs.

"What?" he said, confused, bordering on outrage.

He quickly flipped the page back, then forward, then to the next page. He flipped through several times, frantically looking for the birthing scene.

"I think a page is missing!"

"What do you mean?" I said, feeling like a fraud.

"Here's the baby inside the mother's tummy," he explained, clearly exasperated. "Here's the doctor and the mother with the sheet over her tummy. Why's that sheet there? And then here's the baby." 

"Yep, that looks right to me!" I chirped.

"But HOW does the baby come out? Where's the HOLE?"


"The baby comes out of the mother's vagina," I said, at long last.

"There's a hole in the vagina?"

"Yes, and it stretches so the baby can get out."

"But where is it?" he flipped through the other books, only to confront the same draped sheet of modesty. "Why do they have the sheet over her? I can't see!"

"I think they put it over the mother so she has some privacy," I said.

"Oh. But I want to see the baby come out."

"I might have to buy you a DVD for that," I said, recalling a Miracle of Life video on PBS or the Discovery Channel.

"Yeah, let's get that!" the future doctor said.

As I sat there and thought about my son's thwarted curiosity, and how matter-of-fact he was about the w(hole) thing, I realized that it was my fear of revealing that a baby comes out of a mother's vagina, my discomfort. Five-year-old Cracky is not shocked or surprised by anything. It's all new to him, so nothing is a surprise. If I say a baby comes out of its mother's vagina, and that the vagina stretches so the baby can get out, it is no more shocking to him than the fact that the stars are planets or that a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

He finally relented and picked the least disappointing of the sex books, the one with the picture of the baby happily floating in his mother's tummy. He decided he could live with the SHEET OF SECRECY in the birthing room, and we went home to read it three more times before bed.

When I closed the book for the last time that night, Cracky put his finger in the air and raised his eyebrows. 

"I have a great idea!" he said and reached around to grab the throw blanket from the back of the couch. "You go lay down on the floor. I'll put this over your legs and we can pretend to have a baby! I'll be the doctor!"

He busily started unfolding the blanket and was just heading towards the floor when I finally managed to speak.

"Noooooooo way!" I said.

"What?" he looked up, honestly confused by my reaction. "Why not?"

"I already went through this once! For real. I'm certainly not going to act it out again." I was laughing and kind of shocked all-at-once.

"Oh. Okay," he said, and scrunched up his eyebrows. But I knew what he was thinking. 

He was totally thinking of the girls at school. And I totally knew I'd be getting a call from his teacher the next day.

Oh well.

I'll let the school know I have a video they can borrow.


  1. love this.

    and ewwlaughglarelaugheww at Dirty Jesus!! Way to make anal sex DIRTIER. jeeze.

  2. That conversation never really has to happen, right?? *goes fetal*

    Sometimes I need a brown paper bag for these posts. The Boy is only a little older, and he hasn't had many questions so far... But it's bound to happen. And I have got to figure out how NOT to be a pussy about it.

    Send help!

  3. Ok now Cracky is having too much fun putting mama on the spot LOL!

  4. My kids have (mercifully) let this topic slide for the past year or so, but they know where their 'amginas' are and that, when a daddy puts a daddy seed in there, a baby can come out.

    My 5-yr-old was desperate to get a Ken doll, and immediately ripped all his clothes off when she got it home. I could tell she was disappointed she didn't get to see things in more detail (though I imagine she'll have more disappointment along those lines in years to come...)

  5. I enjoyed reading this and had lots of things to comment about. But it is all null and void. I simply can't stop laughing or get past the very first comment. Nothing else really matters now.

  6. Isn't the birth canal somewhere in Panama? (There are very, very rare times that am I glad to have never fathered kids, and this might be one of them).

  7. Your kid cracks me up . . . as do you.

  8. I love Vas Deferens. It's my favorite body part. Just cause of the way it sounds.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Cracky knows a lot more than I did when I was 10 years old. How embarrassing! My mother didn't teach me squat about anything! Thank god our school system offered sex education or I probably would have been knocked up at 16!

  11. (deleted above to fix a typo)


    My kitties never ask such awkward questions, but they sometimes poop on the floor.

    I was going to say you probably had lots of time before having to worry about the anal sex thing, but the way Cracky is progressing....

  12. I never had a problem with discussing the reproductive system with the children, due to the fact that I was on the "Health Council" in high school. I actually had to say words like "semen" and "vaginal secretions" in front of crowds of people, and even on the morning announcements. That would desensitise anyone. Yay Canada!

  13. Bwahaha! Ok, that was great. i never had to discuss such thing too much with mine as young one's. But, when the teens hit...I had lots to explain. And well, let's just say...I think you'll still be shocked at what he may ask at that point..bwahahaha

  14. re: DDG Reminds me of the gay question..

    Richard the 3rd

  15. Dear Cracky's Mom,

    It has come to our attention that Cracky has started his pre-med studies quite early. And while we strongly encourage this enthusiastic approach to learning, we do feel compelled to ask for your help in controlling the recruitment of 'interns'.

    While the sheet of privacy set up on the merry-go-round is a definite plus, we are worried that the 'getting the baby into the mommy' may be of concern to other parents (especially the part where the mommy makes sounds like a donkey).

    If you could come in at your earliest convenience (a picture of your boyfriends noise maker wouldn't be frowned upon ;), it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    The Management

  16. Your kid is awesome. He's probably dropping the word "vagina" into every sentence he can think of at school today.

  17. My son has seen the birth DVDs I have, so his curiosity was quenched long ago. But OMG to Cracky asking you to play patient so that he can see where the baby comes out!!

    BTW, there are birth videos all over YouTube. Maybe you can find a somewhat discreet one - sans sheet - to show him.


  18. Or, better yet, they also have videos of animal births!!


  19. Ha!

    (Hope you're making hard copies of these blogs to show his fiance when that day comes...)

  20. Dirty Dirty Jesus' comment remind me of the time I had the sex talk with my firstborn. At the end, I said, "Do you have any questions?"


    "Yes. How do homosexuals have sex?"

    (He was seven.)

  21. "Where's the hole?" ???????

    I think DDJ might be rubbing off on your boy.


  22. Got me again, the pictures, OOOHHH the pictures!

  23. Are you going to warn the teacher :-)

    What a hoot! He sounds like a fabulous kid!

  24. My daughter has never asked any questions. Thank Goodness.

    ~!Mickey Joe~

  25. He is TOTALLY gonna play obgyn at school. I know, because I used to stick pencils up boys' butts to take their temperature. I was a future doctor too.

  26. I remember being so curious when I was little like that and so frustrated when I couldn't get a straight answer that I could understand. I'm thinking he'll be a doctor someday...or at least play doctor until then. Tee!

    DDJ needs to be spanked.

  27. DDJ's comment made me snort.
    Now I'm glaring.
    Oh think of the blog fodder you are going to be ripe with in the next few years.......

  28. Wow...I never thought to ask those questions. Then again, my parents would not have answered them. I had to learn it on my own, and luckily not get anyone pregnant in the process.

    So...Is DDJ volunteering to have the *anal sex* talk with you son? Needless to say, great 1st comment...

    How old are those books? They look like (from the drawings) they're from the 70's...

  29. I still ask where the hole is.

  30. I love this kid persistence. My kids haven't really asked me this stuff yet ... Is Cracky interested in having a sibling?

  31. I'm so pleased I haven't had to go through that much detail.

    Eldest waited for sex ed at school and youngest picked it all up in the playground.

    Mind you, there'll be questions later I'm sure.

  32. You better start saving for medical school. I feel fairly certain that Cracky's going to grow up to become and OB/GYN.

  33. Ah! At last! These type of blogs from you are my favorite! I'm having such a crappy day and this totally made me laugh and smile.

  34. Did you have to watch "Miracle of Life" in high school health class? I'm pretty sure my ovaries dried up and shriveled to raisins at that point.

    If the day comes when my child decides he needs to ask his own mother about sex,I will remember this post, and hopefully react in a calm demeanor while instilling a belief that sex is to be feared until the age of eighteen.

  35. OMFG!! too funny..just wait until "Cracky" figures out how much fun it is gettin the baby in through the same opening!. He reminds me so much of my Samshine and this post

  36. "Vaginas and other cosmic holes"

    Love it.

  37. Minor caveat....

    Stars aren't planets.

    What are you teaching the boy Mandy?

    Did any of the books show the Filipino tubes?

  38. Hi Mandy,

    The conversations between mom
    and son are so refreshing and
    priceless. Thanks.


  39. I loved this post. It brought back memories of when my boys were that age and a little older. We read the book "Where did I come from?" The younger one had me read it to him 3 times...he started seducing girls when he was 15, or maybe they seduced him! Anyway, the teenage years were a challenge! Of course, now he's married and has a 5 year-old daughter and he says she's not dating til she's 30! lol

  40. The sad thing is, he's going to ask you about this stuff again in a few years and insist that you've never talked about it before. At least that's what happened with my son. I answered all his questions as they came up and he promptly forgot everything I told him. Maybe he just didn't believe me!

  41. A coworker told me COSI in Columbus, OH has a great demo of the miracle of birth. If you're ever down that way, and he's still curious, check it out.

  42. I was going to say something along the lines of what Donk said...wait until you find the pages of that book stuck together. Then you'll know he gets it!
    Heh. What's scary is I remember enjoying looking at boobs in my dad's Penthouses and Cheri's even as young as six and mine is about to turn six. *shudders*