How I Had ‘The Talk’ With My 5-Year-Old

“Mommy, what is the sex?” Max asked, picking at the tag on his Batman pajama top.

“Um, well, it’s complicated.  We need to get to school.  Today you get to finish your Leprechaun traps!”

Thank God we’re running late.  Again.

I knew this day would come. I just had no idea it would be set against a backdrop of tooth fairy visits, safety-pinning superhero capes, and reading The Cat in the Hat for the seven hundredth time.

According to a web search using the words “sex talk 5 year old,” I should answer his question ASAP to build trust and model a healthy attitude about sex.  Evidently his curiosity was normal, but my idea to not talk about it until he was 37 was ill-advised.

I Googled and Googled and Googled some more to try to figure out exactly what to say.  The pressure mounted as I began to see this as a chance to be the “good mom” I see in my mind’s eye. 

Good moms were everywhere I looked, except in the mirror.  You know the kind, right?  The ones whose kitchen cabinets open without Tupperware lids frisbeeing onto the floor, the ones who wipe the top of the ketchup bottle every time, and the ones who gently tend the garden in pearls and painted nails.

Above all else, good moms are prepared when it comes to having The Talk with her child.

When Max got home from school that day, I made him a snack of celery and peanut butter with raisins, spacing the shriveled grapes equidistant apart, so they resembled the famed “ants on a log” I saw on Pinterest.

We sat down at the kitchen table.  I took a deep breath and with my face arranged in an expression of casual reverence I began slowly and deliberately.

“Sweetie, I wanted to answer your question from this morning.”

*Crunch* 

“What question?  And what’s wrong with your face?” he asked.

“About… you know… what you asked me about this morning,” I said, hoping he’d forgotten entirely.

*Crunch*

“Oh yeah, the sex.  My friend Haley told me her mommy and daddy did the sex and now she has a baby in her tummy and that her Mommy was going to poop it out soon.” 

*Crunch*

“Honey, please chew with your mouth closed, okay?”

“Okay.  I really like this ceruly, Mommy.”

“Celery.”

“Ceruly.”

“CELL-ER-REE.”

“CE-RUH-LEE.” 

“Never mind,” I said, feeling my left eye starting to twitch.

“Do you have a baby in your tummy right now, Mommy?” he asked, looking at the food baby that I’d been trying to abort since 1992.

“No, honey, I don’t.”

“Maybe you should have the sex with Haley’s daddy, so you can get one.”

Now both eyes are twitching.  I took a deep breath and then another.

“It doesn’t work like that, Max.”

Actually it does, but Haley’s dad has those meth teeth and I’m pretty sure my husband would not approve.  Dammit,  focus Lisa.

“Sex is something that happens when you love… or really, really like a girl or a boy or both… sometimes at the same time.”

Shit.

Whenever I get nervous I tend to lose the ability to filter the smorgasbord of words in my brain.  Job interviews do not go well for me. 

“My friend Josh told me you get a baby by kissing and hugging someone really tight,” he said, licking the peanut butter out of the groove.

“No honey, that’s not right.  Sex is… sex is a special thing you get to do with your body and another person or group of people–not animals or relatives–who feel the same way you do.”

*Crunch*

Why didn’t I just make peanut butter and jelly?!

“Protection is important if you want to avoid unpleasant side effects like itchiness and children.”

Oh dear God.

“Mommy?  Can I have some more ceruly?”

“Uh, sure.”

“Can I eat it downstairs?”

“Well …”

“Please? I’m bored and I want to watch some TV.”

I have never been so thankful for a 5 year old’s short attention span in my life!  “Yes. Sure. Absolutely.”

He bounced out of his chair, hugged me tight around the neck, and said, “You’re the bestest mommy in the whole wide world.”

With a roll of my eyes and a shake of my head, I put on a string of pearls and tackled the Tupperware cabinet. 

Not.


Photo credit: threadless.com

20 thoughts on “How I Had ‘The Talk’ With My 5-Year-Old

  1. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA. this was one of the funniest reads ever. i really enjoyed how you described your conversation, i could totally see you sweating through it. i can’t believe at 5 yrs old he knows all those things already, like what his friends told him. but i especially like the details of your serious chat, with all the pronunciations of celery. =)

    you’re totally a good mom. even though you don’t think that when you look in the mirror. but you are!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, this was hilarious, Lisa! “Food Baby I’ve been trying to abort”, Lol! made me snort my coffee 🙂 This will be me in a few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite part:
    “No honey, that’s not right. Sex is… sex is a special thing you get to do with your body and another person or group of people–not animals or relatives–who feel the same way you do.”

    And the crunching. And the thankfulness for short attention spans. Yes, definitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the new version! And you are right… you are not a Good Mom… you are a great mom who is honest and forthright and upfront with the good, bad and the ugly.

    I had to have a “premature” talk with my son when he was 5 or 6 because his older sister (who I also had to set straight) was giving him incorrect details about childbirth. I felt that pain all over again reading this!

    Like

  5. I got so excited when I saw the title in the linkup and then saw it was you writing about it! As I expected, it was hilarious – great pacing with the endless crunching, and the awkwardness of The Talk, and the other kids’ definitions of sex.

    “itchiness and children,” omg :’-D

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pace yourself Lisa, many more talks and questions to come. I was both relieved (because she didn’t know) and a bit embarrassed (who wants to explain that to their sweet child) when my 15YO daughter asked me what a blow job was. When they’re 15 you actually have to answer…

    Liked by 1 person

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