Before we had children, my husband and I agreed we would be open and honest about things like how babies are made. I kept waiting for my seven year old to ask questions (especially as he waited for his younger siblings to arrive) and occasionally we'd have simple conversations about parts of the puzzle, but he never seemed much interested in the whole process.
My husband, of course, felt inclined to just ignore the whole thing, because whether or not he thought in theory that full disclosure was the best policy, when one is the parent of a bright and talkative child, there are things one doesn't want to hear brought up in conversations with strangers.
Now that The Boy is seven though, it seemed like he really ought to know what's what, and since my husband continued to shirk his fatherly duties, a few months ago my son and I had a little talk. Naturally, he thought that it was all a little weird and gross, but we moved on and haven't chatted about it much since.
The other night we were coming home in the car and the children were a bit fractious, so my husband proposed singing songs. "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast" and all that. My four year old wanted to sing "I Gave My Love a Cherry" which always makes me think of John Belushi smashing a guitar in "Animal House" but I was willing to overlook my biases.
We launched into the song and when it was sung through, my daughter said, "If you want a baby not to cry when it isn't sleeping, you have to give it lots of nur-nur." I was so pleased to think she'd picked up a little subtle breastfeeding propaganda.
Then my seven year old said, "If the guy singing the song wanted to give his love a baby, he'd have to marry her first."
"True," I said. I didn't like where this conversation was leading though. I know that boy too well.
"And he wouldn't actually give her a baby. He'd just give her some sp-rm. [singing] I gave my love a..."
[Both parents scream] "NO!!!! No more singing."
Maybe my husband was right.
5 years ago