Sex talk… an update

As I mentioned previously, we are talking about sex around here.  BB is taking to it quite naturally and I thought I’d share a bit about it.

Recently, BB discovered a tampon, took it out of the wrapper, inspected it (visually and orally, kids do that, ya know), and asked what it is for.  I explained its purpose,

“when girls get older sometimes blood comes out of their v*ginas, which cleans them out.  The tampon catches it so it doesn’t get on their clothes, which would be messy.  That one is clean now, but after it’s used it’s yucky and it gets thrown away.” 

BB said, “Oh, can we make some eggs?” 

One time in the bathtub, I was telling her how girls have three holes and other things “down there” and boys have two holes.  I was explaining where they are and what they are for when suddenly she said,

“does Reba (our cat) have a clit*ris?” 

Not having ever thought about this, I said,

“Um, yes.  I suppose she does.  But I don’t think we should look for it.  It’s private for her.”

Again in the bathtub, I was explaining about the holes (yes, I use the scientific names, but I won’t go into all of that here, as I might faint from embarrassment.  It’s difficult enough to use them all with her.  I’m, um, a bit shy).  I explained that the v*gina is where babies come out when they are born.  She asked if she came out mine.  I explained that she wasn’t born to me, but to a mother in China.  She came out her v*gina. 

“I don’t like her,” she pronounced. 

“Huh?” I said, surprised. 

“I don’t know her,” she clarified. 

“I know.  I’m sad you don’t know her.  I don’t know her either.  You were very little when you last saw her.  You don’t remember.” 

This has been interesting, as her adoption issues have been expressed as anger that we didn’t come to China to get her sooner. 

“Why didn’t you come sooner?” 

“We came as soon as the people in China said we could.” 

“Why did the people in China make you wait?” 

“They had rules and it took them some time before they said we could come.  We came as soon as we were allowed.” 

I’m wondering, too, if she’s frustrated that she wasn’t born to me? 

At the breakfast table,


“Uh huh?” 

“How come babies are so tiny and then we grow and grow and grow?” 

“Oh!  Remember that hole I told you about?  The v*gina, where the baby comes out of a mommy?  Well, you know how small it is, right?  If people came out all big, it would really hurt the mommy, don’t you think?” 

Her eyes just got really big.

Each of these conversations are very short – a minute or two at most, so there isn’t much time for depth.  Each time is a new layer and it really shows me the importance of talking about these things – sex, adoption, life – early and all the time.   There is no special time for these topics, as each time they build.  Each time, I think about where I’d like it to go next, as I know there is so much more to say, but she’s off track now.  She wants to make eggs.  And she’s three and I just have to go with the flow.


7 Responses

  1. I can’t believe at her age she is so aware of all of this. I can’t get E to accept that she has a vagina and not a “front tooshie”. Like you I use the proper terms and she just laughs. I guess there’s a pro and a con to that. Kudos to you for addressing it head on. I’ve discussed with her that her body is private and the not letting people touch. When she’s mad at me she slams the door and tells me she needs privacy.

  2. I am taking notes. And I am convinced that God thought it would be funny to have my prudish self parent the Tongginator, who is full of questions about her three holes: “there are THREE, Mommy! Did you know there are THREE?!?!”

  3. I am very impressed with your accurate and honest communications about sexual information with your child. By the time I was in second grade I knew the scientific terms for body parts before I connected the slang terms to them. My parents were unusually honest and accurate about the information they shared. I think our culture would be healthier if our children were less confused about the guilt and shame issues around sex.

  4. M has always been very interested as well, I know due to her adoption and the trigger of my sister having a baby three years ago. We start with the book It’s Not the Stork and now have Amazing Me–she really likes them both.

  5. I love that you post these conversations, as they are very thought provoking and useful for the rest of us. Your girl is lucky to have a mom who is able to be there and help her with all of this.

  6. On Friday night when we were all at Mom & Dad’s, E asked me if babies who are born with a lot of hair tickle their mommies when they “come out down there.” Guess I’ll tell her to ask you next time 🙂

  7. you are doing an amazing job. i give ellis so many opportunities to ask questions (not just about adoption, but sex/birth/etc) and the kid is not biting. she sees my tampon and doesn’t wonder. she sees me naked and the only thing she has ever said is “i like those (points to breasts) they bigger”. (she loves all things big, lollipops, people, jungle gyms, etc).

    her adoption though? everyday it’s a common subject here and one she really wants to hear again and again.

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