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The Birds And The Bees

Author: Naomi Liddell

Recently, I was putting Ethan to bed and was hit by the “How did the baby get in your tummy?” question. Gagging for a post-bedtime routine cup a tea and completely blindsided by the question, the following downright hilarious conversation ensued:

Me: “The baby came from the stars, pet.”

Ethan: “How did the baby get from the stars into your tummy?”

Me: “Eh, How do you think the baby got in my tummy?”

Ethan: “I think a rocket ship got the baby from the stars then when you were sleeping, it opened your bum a little bit and shot the baby up into your tummy.”

Me: (dumbfounded at the almost-accuracy and holding back laughter) “…I don’t think a rocket ship has ever been near my bum darlin’… Now go to sleep. Night night”.

I will probably never know why my son figured I’d been violated by a spaceship vs swallowing a magic seed or something, but it did get me thinking about the birds and the bees. He’s four years old and I didn’t feel the need to get into the particulars with him at 8pm at night. But Gavin and I have always operated with the notion that we’ll explain all things honestly and fully to our kids, so I guess it’s a matter of time.

I don’t recall my parents ever explaining sex to me and to this day I’m quite thankful. I believe I learned about the concept the usual way, from some friends at school.

I have had some very progressive friends who talked about sex at home from a very early age and even bought their kids a book with big pictures explaining the whole concept. This was before I had children of my own and I remember being impressed by how sex-positive and normalised the whole thing was in their family.

But considering my flapping response at this recent encounter, I’m not sure that I’m ready for such a proactive approach yet.

Have you had to tackle the subject with your kiddos?
Or have your kids had anything equally innocent and hilarious to say on the matter?

Naomi can’t decide which she loves more: adventuring with her boys or being left alone in a luxurious bath with a great book.
Follow Naomi on Instagram @naomiliddell
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18 thoughts on “The Birds And The Bees

  1. I think we got questions around turning age 3. The Usborne lift the flap body book is quite good for all things body and we probably got questions based on that. Its not a birds and the bees book – it just covers all body things – teeth and hair and exercise and antibodies and babies.

    She said MY OWN DAD (i.e. her Grandad) had told her that babies grew from a seed and she wanted to know how the seed got into my tummy. I mean, DAD. THANKS FOR THAT.

    I must say we went with an honest “you need a Mummy and a Daddy that love each other very much”…..

  2. Admittedly I was a lot older than Ethan when I found out where babies come from but for some reason it wasn’t a shock. I think I kind of got why we our bodies were physically different.
    However at the same age (I think I was about 8) my sister told me about periods and I remember being completely and utterly terrified. It was total news to me and I was horrified and just couldn’t understand why such a thing would happen to us girls!

    1. I remember being quite horrified by the period chat too Lauren! Although I’m pretty sure I was totally cool with (if not intrigued by) the sex concept. I was also probably about the same age.

  3. My 3 and 4 year old had no interest in how their little brother got in there but they were very curious about how he was going to get out! I flapped and muttered something about ‘a special tunnel’!! And this coming from a teacher of 16 years who has taught sex Ed to very Street wise Y6 children for a number of years! I think we have an ideal but quite often these things come up an an inopportune time or without giving you a chance to emotionally prepare yourself or to carefully choose your words!

    1. Hahaha… A special tunnel! Brilliant. We recently witnessed some cows giving birth which kind of made it an easy ice breaker when he asked if the baby would be coming out of my ‘bagina’ too. We told him the truth, but now he’s very paranoid that the baby is going to come out in the toilet 🤣

  4. 3yo S has brought this up through the question of why we can’t have any chicks hatching out of our eggs! We went with the male rooster having a seed it needed to give to the female to make a chick grow inside the egg. She was happy and hasn’t asked further questions but I did overhear her explaining this to the chickens themselves which made me grin!

    Simplified version of the truth I reckon.

  5. I’m not from an a very open family when it came to sex education, but I knew the truth at infant school age. I can remember getting in trouble at 7 years old for drawing an unacceptable picture on a card for one of our dinner ladies who had had a baby. It was only a stick man type drawing, but a smiling baby’s head coming out between the stick man legs did not go down well.

    My mum once told me that when she asked her grandmother where babies came from she was told “the same place they got in”!!! If I ever get asked I think I will stick to ‘special seed’ answer.

    1. I don’t know what is funnier Claire… The stickman picture or the ‘same place they got in’ answer! That’s a brave grandmother, it would probably just invite a whole heap of new questions in my house 🙂

      1. There’s an urban myth in my family that one of my great auntie’s turned up at the maternity home and thought she was going to cough the baby out.
        Clearly the ‘same place they got in’ memo hadn’t made the way to her!

  6. We’ve had some pretty frank conversations with our eldest as he’s noticed the difference between ‘reproductive organs’ and was asking questions. He just took it on board but how loudly talks about it in public toilets which can be embarrassing.

    If you want a good factual book, I would recommend ‘Mummy Laid An Egg’.

    1. Adding this book to my Amazon list now Fionnula. Thanks. Yeah, I’ve had Ethan point out several anatomical details in public toilets. Never in the privacy of our own home though, why?!

  7. Apparently we are really bad in this country compared to places like Belgium where sex education starts around 4 I think. I read somewhere these best option with little kids is the truthrather than talk about it in a fairy tale way as they tend to take everything at face value. Also because kids have so much access to the internet now there is a real problem with children thinking that porn is real and boys and girls thinking that is how they need to do it which is really worrying .

  8. My son is a little older but seemed to feel sorry for my husband when he found out that we’d had sex so that I could have a baby. He said “he had to do THAT to YOU?”. Thanks, son. All I ever hear about these days is crotches and privates. I ended up shouting “I am sick of hearing about crotches” at one point last week. He laughed but I was being serious!

  9. This is too funny! My son is 4 and loves a “poo chat” which also recently included the question “I know the baby was in your tummy but how did it get there?”! I have to confess I fobbed him off with “it’s a bit complicated so we’ll explain when your older, now tell me about Mario again!” I didn’t want to lie but I was also taken off guard so I’m trying to think what I’ll say if he asks again. He does ask why I don’t have a willy, so he’s aware of body differences. I’ve heard of parents talking about “special hugs” but then having a hysterical child at nursery when a friend wanted a cuddle!!!

  10. My 3.5 year old son asked the same question when I was pregnant with my daughter (who is now 11 weeks). I went with ‘daddy gave mummy a special seed that grew in mummy’s tummy into a baby (supplemented, when further asked, by) and the baby came out of a special hole at the bottom of her tummy.’ I think when he asked further I told him that the seed cane out of a special tube that daddy had. He seemed fairly satisfied with the response because he hasn’t asked since!

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