Girl Talk: Teaching children about the birds and bees and butts
It is a known fact that kids say the darnedest things.
Bill Cosby made millions of dollars off the concept before his pudding pop-pushing career ended in hot water, but it is true. As a mother, some of the ideas and concepts that my daughter comes up with are more entertaining than most stand-up routines.
As she is getting older, she is starting to question certain aspects of growing up. The birds and the bees are popping up in daily conversation and frankly she has no clue (which I am somewhat grateful for). How do we transition our children from Disney Junior to Cinemax?
My daughter’s ninth birthday is quickly approaching. As a gift this year, I have decided she is old enough for a puppy. I think it will help teach her responsibility and give her something else to play with. As we went to go see the new puppies, she asked me if they will have all the poop cleaned off of them by the time we get there. Perplexed, I asked her what she meant.
She explained to me that since they are only babies, they just came out of their mommy’s butt and might still have her poop on them because, she thought, babies come out of your butt.
Well kiddo, not exactly.
I wanted to phrase this conversation as innocently as possible.
I don’t know that she is ready yet for all of the gory details that come along with birth, but I certainly didn’t want her going through life thinking she started out as nothing more than a piece of shit.
I tried thinking back to my own conversation with my mother about where babies come from. It was then I recalled never actually having one. I was given some pamphlets and watched a video with one eye shut as moms on TV pushed out their children. I remember how traumatic their facial expressions and screams were. The whole process seemed to resemble watching “The Exorcist.”
I wanted her experience to be less traumatic so I tried to explain using kid gloves.
“Honey, babies don’t come out of your butt, they come out the front.”
She smiled with an air of understanding. Then she said, “Ohhhhhh, you mean the belly button? That makes more sense since your belly gets so big when there is a baby inside.”
I guess my kid glove approach was not going to work.
The gloves came off in what became a car ride that will go down in history and likely pop up again in a therapy session when she is 25. Things got graphic, adult terminology was used.
The word “vagina” really sent her for a loop. She said she heard it before but always thought it was the Spanish word for butt. I guess this explains her pooping-out-children theory.
We finally arrived at the puppies; informed, slightly confused and definitely uncomfortable. Thankfully, as soon as she saw their little puppy faces, nothing else seemed to matter.
I am hoping my parental guidance sunk in to some regard and she learned a thing or two not only about the human body, but also the Spanish language.
By the way, the Spanish word for butt is “extremo.”
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.