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Ready for the birds and the bees – but not sexy

Submitted by on Friday, 15 May 2009 No Comment
"Mommy, why do girls have bigger boobies than boys?" Big Guy asked the other night as he bathed.

OK, I can handle this one. He's asking for simple anatomical information, not for a dissertation on the difference between Dolly Parton and Kate Moss.

"Mommies have bigger breasts because when babies are born they use their breasts to feed their babies milk."

Quizzical look. "I don't remember you squirting milk at Boots. Didn't he have a bottle?"

"Yes, he did after a while. But at first, I fed him. Same with you."

"But can't daddies feed the babies with a bottle?"

"Sure they can. Sometimes they even feed them the mommy's milk from a bottle. And sometimes they feed them store-bought milk. Remember when you helped me make Boots' bottles?" I asked him in an attempt to deflect.

"But I don't get it. If daddies can feed babies bottles, why do mommies have to use their breasts?"

"Because that milk is healthier for babies, especially at first. It lets them get protection from germs from their mommies."

"Oh."

That one was easy compared to the next day's discussion.

"Mommy, what's sexy?"

"Where did you hear that?" I asked in a casual stall.

"From the new kid at school. He talks about it all the time. That and kissing. A and I think he's boring."

Whew! I thought.

"Sexy is hard to explain. We'll talk about it when you're 18."

"I thought you said the other day you'd tell me when I'm 12. Why do I have to wait?"

Oh, that's a whole other discussion. And, geez, does that kid have to remember everything I say, except when I'm telling him to put away his shoes?

I was totally unprepared for the "sexy" question, though I should have been pondering a better answer than "wait until you're 12" after he asked the first time. I don't want him to get the idea that sexy is something dirty, forbidden or evil. But I don't necessarily think he needs details yet.

He's only 5. The question never would have occurred to me in kindergarten.

We're very careful about what the guys watch and hear, so I can say for certain he didn't pick up the concept at home. He has older cousins, and it's not impossible that his first question might have been triggered by a movie or television show he saw while visiting them.

The second question, though, clearly was triggered by a fellow 5-year-old. Granted, one who probably didn't have a clue as to what he was saying, but a 5-year-old nonetheless. Don't they know that kind of talk can draw a visit from the authorities in some cities?

And here I thought I would be ahead of the talk on the street if I started tackling the question on fourth grade. Looks like I'm wrong.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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