Yeah, I'm about to open the sex door, haha.
I've always considered myself to be pretty open about sex since I was a teenager. I was so lucky to have a Mom that was completely up front with me from early childhood, and by the time I had my first boyfriend, I had already been to the gynecologist and was on birth control. I appreciate my Mom so much for this, cause it must've been uncomfortable to talk to her little girl about very adult things. I feel like it made a huge positive impact on respect for myself and my sexuality. I had a mature, realistic idea and expectations of sex and puberty, so I was prepared when the time came.
Recently I realized that teaching my son about sex is something I need to start thinking about now, not in five or 10 years. I have been nannying three kids for the past couple months, and the eldest girl(who is ten) asked me, yes ME! the big question. How are babies made? I was speechless. First of all, that she had no idea, and secondly, that she chose to ask me. This is roughly how our conversation went...
"Sarah": I can't wait till Max is born! You know something I always wonder, Ashley? How come there is always a Daddy when there is a Mommy?
(It took me a minute to realize what she was asking... and some prodding, because I honestly thought that she would at least have some idea, but she had none.)
Sarah: Does it happen when you kiss? And where does the baby stay at in your stomach, and how does he come out? I wonder a lot.
Me: Has your Mom talked to you about babies and why there is a Mom and Dad? Do you know about your womb, or that it's called a uterus? What about sperm and eggs?
Sarah: No, what is that? Does it happen like when animals mate? I saw two lizards outside hugging and I know they were mating and that's how baby lizards are made... is that how it happens?
At this point, it was obvious she didn't know what the sex organs were, or how they were used, so I backed up and innocently put an end to the conversation by distraction. I told her Mom when she got home from work that night, and she was really upset and nervous about having to talk to her about it. She just said it's something she is afraid to talk to her kids about and just wants to keep them innocent and young. I didn't give her my opinion, because it's not my place to tell another parent what to say or do, but the experience bothered me a lot.
So I've been playing this conversation in my head over and over, and I've thought a lot about how I'm going to teach our son about sex... I'm scared to death. I'm glad I'm having a boy first, because like Woody has pointed out many times, when you have a boy, you only have to worry about one penis. When you have a girl, you have to worry about every penis. But it's still scary. Thinking back on my childhood however, I don't ever remember not knowing about sex and what Mommy and Daddy were doing in the bedroom once in awhile. I just knew it's what adults did, and I was curious, not ignorant. Woody and I both agree that being open right away is important. I took showers with my Mom. I remember seeing her change her tampon and shave her legs and bikini line, everything that women do in the bathroom my Mom did in front of me. We want our son to have the same experience. He's going to shower with Daddy once in awhile, to gently expose him to what an adult man looks like. He's going to see Daddy shave, and probably pee(potty training, obviously) but beyond that, I'm nervous. With parenting, I know a lot of it you can't plan, you just go with the flow, so it'll happen in it's own time and way, but yikes! The responsibility is overwhelming and humbling.
After some Google searches, I've found a few websites with advice and things to think about. O Moms in general has been pretty awesome, and their article How to Have the Sex Talk With Your Kids gives a lot of advice and options.
The website Flashlight Worthy Books has a small list of book recommendations for children, and Amazon has an extensive selection of sexuality health books for children that I've been looking through. I feel better that there are so many resources and sites to go to for advice. Here comes the adventure :)