The Birds and The Bees

My daughter finally asked us The Big Question…. where do babies come from… though not in so many words. More like in so many questions.

She started one afternoon last week when she was alone with my wife.

"I know babies grow in a Mommy’s tummy," Maddie said.  "But how does it get there?"

My wife gave her a very romantic version, about how a man and a woman fall in love, and get married, and from their love comes a child. Maddie wasn’t satisfied with the Hallmark card approach.

"So what does the Dad do?" Maddie asked. "Give the Mommy a special pill?"

"No," my wife said, and explained that the man has the seed and the woman has the egg in her tummy. The man gives the seed to the woman and fertilizes the egg, which grows into a baby.

"How does he do that?"

"With his penis," my wife said bluntly.  "He puts his penis in the woman’s vagina."

Maddie’s eyes went wide and she said in horror: "You have GOT to be kidding."

And that was the end of that… not another word was said… until I got home.

We were in the car, on the way to dinner, when Maddie said:  "You won’t believe the story Mom told me today."

I had an idea what was coming. "What did she tell you?"

"I’m warning you, it’s GROSS. Mom said that to make a baby, a man puts his penis in a woman’s vagina!" Maddie said laughing a little too hard. "She really said that."

"It’s true."

"I’d like the real story." Maddie said.

"That’s it," I said.

"No way," Maddie said. "Tell me the truth." 

"It’s the truth," I said and I explained again  about the seed and the egg.  I glanced in the rearview mirror and could see Maddie staring at me hard.  "I’m not kidding, honest."

"I don’t understand," she said.  "Where do you get the seed? And how can you hold it with your… thingie?"

"It’s not like a pumpkin seed or an apple seed," I said.

"I don’t get it," she said.

So I explained about sperm while my wife squirmed in her seat, afraid I was going to go into too much detail.  She didn’t have to worry. I wasn’t ready to go into any more detail, either…unless pressed.

"Is it hard to get the seed into a lady?" Maddie asked.

"Oh yeah," I said.

My wife stifled a giggle.

I braced myself for more questions. And to my great relief, and my wife’s, Maddie decided that was enough for one night.

But there’s always tomorrow…

14 thoughts on “The Birds and The Bees”

  1. When you’re a kid and you first hear this, you worry, “How am I going to do get a woman to do that?”
    But then when you grow up, you’re asking the same question. Only now, it’s a challenge. Or a recipe for humiliation on a Saturday night.

  2. Thanks for sharing.
    My son is 10 years now, but when he was 3 (!) years old, we were looking at some photos my husband took of me in my pregnancy.
    Florian asked: “I was in there?”
    I said: “Yes.”
    He asked: “How did I get in there?”
    I swallowed, because 3 was really VERY early for such a question. I wasn’t prepared at all.
    Florian continued: “Did you eat me?”
    I really tried not to laugh … really …
    After a VERY vague explanation of mine, Florian never asked again.
    But as you say, there is always a tomorrow 😉

  3. When my brother was seven and I was ten, I was trying to explain it to him as I understood it. I assured him that all grownups did it. Our parents, neighbors, acquaintances.
    He paused, very serious, very thoughtful, then looked up at me, a skeptical look in his eye.
    “Even William Shatner?”

  4. Hate to say it, but it gets worse. When my son was 5-6 we had a scene exactly like yours. Got through it honestly and with a tiny amount of squirming. I figured we were done with that. Well, when he turned 10, he was at a cousin’s house and the two of the found a web site devoted to . . . let’s say: oral situations. He came home and asked me why they would do that, and worse: if his mother and I did! Try answering that!
    My advice: keep a bottle of whiskey close to hand and rip all the internet connections out of your home!

  5. Oh man, that is funny. I can’t remember when/if I asked The Question, but my brother pulled a fast one on my parents. At the age of about three or four, we were vacationing somewhere and I guess he’d read one of these “How does it work” manuals lying around the house. So one night, he decides to give my parents a lecture. “Did you know where babies come from?”
    My parents stared at him, slack-jawed, the entire time. What can you say, after all?

  6. Well 6 kids later, 5 of them between the ages of 13 – 18, we certainly hope that we have taught them the companion piece ( don’t try this at home until you are married section of the new and improved Parent’s Guide to….)well. Lee, the fun is just beginning!

  7. See, Lee got the information while our parents were still together. I remember very, very clearly how I (and my sister Linda) learned: Our mother sent us over to the priest’s house (one of two priests she was dating — this one sort of looked like Christoper Reeve in a Thornbirds gig) and he had a rather fascinating book filled with drawings and pictures and he spent a long time going page to page with me and Linda, explaining how everything worked. It was interesting, though, because I can’t ever remember him saying anything like, “And you should do it with a divorced woman while her kids are all home,” but I believed he practiced that. He was very Dimsdale.
    Now, I’m a little pissed Lee didn’t just tell us. What kind of brother were you?!?

  8. Our 7 year old daughter has been asking lately, so my wife checked out “It’s So Amazing” from the library. After they finished the book, my daughter looked at my wife and said, “You don’t look like the kind of girl who could do something like that.”
    Then, se asked if she could watch.


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