This evening I ended up having a conversation with my daughter that, if I am honest, I hadn’t planned to have for a little while.
We have had a few conversations recently where she has heard something mentioned either on TV or by her older brothers and she has asked me to explain further. It’s a natural reaction from a curious child. A few times I have taken a deep breath and said to her that we would discuss it again when she is a little older. Maybe it’s because she is a girl, maybe because she is my last child, I am trying to avoid too many grown-up conversations just at the moment. There is plenty of time for all of that stuff.
But, she keeps reminding me that she is nearly 9 and that I can’t put it off forever. Damn you, Friends. She has suddenly discovered a love of the American show and as it did with her brothers, it does throw up some interesting conversations. Sex, surrogacy, homosexuality it’s all in there.
It isn’t just TV. Having older brothers can also be ‘enlightening.’ They seem to be oblivious to the fact that she is only 8 and as we were sat at the dinner table this evening, the teen produced a condom filled with water (he had found a packet of unopened condoms on his way home from school and thought it would be funny to fill them with water.) As you do. We then had a brief conversation about condoms and he made a comment about not even knowing how to have sex, let alone what to do with a condom. I shot him that “not now” look as I could see his little sister taking it all in.
“What is sex?” My daughter asked with a grin.
There it was.
The teen started to wax lyrical about his interpretation and I had to usher him out of the room.
“You are going to have to tell me sooner or later.” She is nothing if not persistant.
This wasn’t quite how I had envisaged having the conversation.
“My friend at school said that sex is when a man shoves his penis up a woman’s bum.” She continued.
Right, okay deep breath. I wasn’t going to be able to put this off.
I explained that that wasn’t quite how it worked and gave her a brief overview of the facts without going into too much detail. She didn’t seem too phased by that. Her brother who was still hovering around couldn’t resist adding that sometimes the bottom was involved and I shooed him away again, telling him that there were some things she didn’t really need to know at this point and that was going a bit too far.
She sat and thought about it as I cleared away the dinner things.
“So you and daddy have had sex three times then?”
Oh lord, ever wish you hadn’t started something.
I explained again sometimes people had sex because they liked each other and they enjoyed it.
“So is that the same as kissing then?’
Was this ever going to end?
We had a discussion about kissing and I explained what a snog was.
She wrinkled up her nose and said that she wasn’t ever going to have sex and she definitely didn’t want to have babies. I told her that that was perfectly normal at her age and that she would change her mind when she was older. Because let’s face it, I’m sure a lot of kids feel like that and quite honestly, her dad says she isn’t going to be allowed to have a boyfriend until she is 35 anyway (I think he’s joking?)
So that was how I told my nearly nine-year-old about sex. For now, I am going to go back to talking about LEGO and cartoons and to enjoy my little girl as she is growing up way too fast and I am done with the serious conversations for now.