I Will Tell My Kids The Truth About Sex

by Marinka on July 11, 2008

although not necessarily during my lifetime. Perhaps I will leave them a letter to be read by my attorney, together with my will.

To confirm: I have no “mother’s instinct”. It has been surgically removed from my body. I’m hoping that Aetna will cover it.

I thought that she was ready for TheTalk. Well, not really TheTalk, because I think it’s best that they pick that stuff up off the street, with as little parental involvement as possible, but I wanted to talk to my at-the-time 9 year old daughter about How Bodies Change, and not in the Kirstie Alley/Valerie Bertinelli sense, either. I’ve also been inundated with stories of girls menstruating stigmata-style (but from their vagina? Do I know how to work an unpleasant and offensive image in, or WHAT?) at early ages, and I thought that I should prepare her. Because with my luck, I’ll be getting the call from school that she’s all flipped out right as I’m watching General Hospital.

So I did what any normal person does under the circumstances, and went to the American Girl Place and got a book. Seriously–The American Girl Place? Sixth circle of hell. But I got her the The Care and Keeping of YOU: The Body Book for Girls.

I thought she was ready for a book about getting older, hygiene, privacy.

We interrupt this post for a surprise quiz!

I’ll list the chapter headings and you tell me which one she picked first. ok? ready? GO!

Hair Care
Hair Scare
Sun Senses..

skipping ahead…

How to Insert a Tampon
Sports Safety
Sleep Troubles


First and most adorable of all, she pronounces it “tampam”, so it sounds like a fusion appetitzer or something. Her eyes became enormous and she said “WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?” so, I explained. And by “explained” I mean I said “haha, we will talk about this when you’re a bigger girl. For now, what’s important is that you never mention this to anyone at school.”

So, I dodged *that* bullet, heh?

One year ago ...

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonathan July 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm

LOLOL! Will you have the talk with me? because I don’t understand why my yoga tape says menstruating women are not allowed!


Marinka July 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm

You know, when I took yoga, the instructor would warn women who were menstruating not to do some exercises that involved lifting legs over their heads. Their own heads, I’m assuming. Something about the blood flowing backwards. I don’t think that I’m ready for that talk myself.


wfbdoglover July 11, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Our school district covers everything, starting in K5, so everything we have discussed, is based on whatever questions he had during the day.

Good blog!


Maura July 11, 2008 at 10:54 pm

This is a conversation I will never need to have. And now I am VERY grateful for that!

Thanks for stopping by my place.


anymommy July 11, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Excellent avoidance technique. No, seriously, could you figure out the best way to do this please and post all about it before I get to this lovely entering womanhood milestone utterly clueless as to what to do.


Alice July 12, 2008 at 1:42 am


I’ve got a fistful of books myself. I didn’t quite know what to say when my PRESCHOOLER started asking about where babies come from. I sure as hell didn’t want to be the Mom that reveals all to the preschool class.

Luckily, the picture of the sperm frightened her into not asking anything else.


Wendy July 12, 2008 at 4:11 pm

This tampon thing is very spooky–maybe I’ve told this story already but my 12-year-old neighbor had sex ed at school last month and her burning question to the teacher was “Does it hurt to use a tampon?”

By the way, the teacher is 26, he looks like Wally Cleaver’s missing older brother, and I’ll bet *I’ve* done more kinky things than he’s ever *thought* about. And I have no idea what his answer was.


sdl July 12, 2008 at 8:35 pm

It *is* funny that I knew exactly which question she asked you before you said it. I asked my mother that question numerous times when I saw tampons, and she always gave me the extremely helpful answer that she’d tell me later. As an adult, I asked her why she’d never tell me what they were, and she said it was because she didn’t want my younger brother discussing it with his friends.

??? Mothers are very weird. I can say that, since I am a mother.


Marinka July 13, 2008 at 5:06 am

WFB-is K5 kindergarten?

maura–what? I was counting on you to fill my kids in about the facts of life.

Anymommy–don’t worry, I’m on it! Check back in with me in about a decade, and I should have it just about sorted by then!

Alice–does the sperm picture have that weird determined, racing face? Those always scared me.

Wendy–OF COURSE IT HURTS! especially when you laugh!

SDL–yes, mothers are weird. My mother is still traumatized that we taught our kids words like “penis” and “vagina” because WHAT IF THEY USE THEM AT SCHOOL?


Inzaburbs July 13, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Funny. I never needed that book because when I was growing up, all the tampax ads in the magazines came with diagrams showing how to use a tampon (just under and to the left of the photo of the smiling girl wearing a woolly hat and raising her arms in the air in triumph).
No idea why. Maybe tampons were new to the country and a little public education was in order?
My “What’s Happening to Me?” puberty book didn’t make any mention of tampons but did feature plenty of “boy-oriented” sex ed which we girls found very … um… interesting.


wfbdoglover July 13, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Yes M – K5 is 2nd year kindergarten.

They are 4 and go to K4, then 5 and go to K5, then 1st grade, 2nd grade etc…

AND although we are not allowed to mix religion and public schools, they speak to the local religious leaders as to what they are going to talk about and how much in each age group. I of coarse, would LOVE to bring that up, but they are probably glad that I didn’t.


Marmite Breath July 20, 2008 at 11:40 pm

I’ve tried to have the talk with Hadleigh, but she seems terrified and fascinated all at once with the concept of puberty. She also has no idea that if she’d stop being a 10.5 yr old beeyatch (apologies, but truthiness prevails here) then I wouldn’t assume that she’s on the brink of starting her period and need to bring her a “Your Changing Body” or somesuch crap from the library.

After fifty very loud exclamations that she would NEVER use tampons in her ENTIRE LIFE BECAUSE IT JUST SOUNDS LIKE IT WOULD HURT, I got her this book from the lye-berry and left it on her bed. She brought it downstairs, put the book in my hands and just said, “No thank you, I’m not ready for this”

Le sigh.


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