Monday, November 21, 2005

Adventures in Parenting #926

Today, I explained the birds and the bees to Enthusio. To be more precise, I read him a book called Where Did I Come From? that has been around for quite a while -- in fact, I remember my 5th grade teacher reading it to us when we did our Family Life unit, which is why I bought it for my kids. It's full of cartoon drawings, and it makes me happy that illustrated mom and dad in it are far less attractive than Reasonable Man and myself, naked or clothed. I don't need to see some woman with Barbie-doll proportions when I'm already tackling something stressful.

Anyway, the reason this came up today was that we dropped some stuff off at the SPCA Thrift Shop downtown, and I was explaining why I like to donate our extra stuff there and a little bit about how animal shelters work, and this led to a discussion of things responsible pet owners do, like spaying and neutering their pets. Enthusio didn't understand why the boy dogs and cats would need to have an operation to help prevent babies too, and since we've had a number of these kinds of questions over the past few months, I decided the time was right and we sat down and read the book.

I don't know what I was expecting, but Enthusio was completely undaunted by the facts of conception. He was interested enough, but none of it seemed to gross him out or embarrass him, so that was good. I was a little nervous when we got started, but managed to read the whole book in a pretty matter-of-fact way, and he sat there and looked at the pictures and asked the occasional question. After we were done, I asked him if he had anymore questions, and he said he didn't and then announced that he wanted to take the book to school. I explained why that probably wasn't a good idea but said that if he if wanted to talk about any of it again, he could talk to me or his dad, and then he went to play on the computer, and that was that.

So yeah. I've now explained the facts of puberty to one very bored daughter and how babies are made to one very earnest son, and no one has died of embarrassament or, if I'm reading things right, even realized there is anything to be embarrassed about. I guess I'm doing okay.

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