The miracle of life, ruined by boys

One of my friends is pregnant. Actually; wait. THREE of my friends are pregnant right now, but only one in-town friend, who I have the advantage of being able to bother daily. I mean, I doubt she’s having a baby just to make ME happy, or anything, but I think it was awfully nice of her, anyway. Smooshy baby cheeks! Yummy baby knees! I can hardly wait! (And in the meantime: Vicarious shopping! Pregnancy jokes! Better-you-than-me comments! She sure is lucky to have me as a friend, I tell you what!)

I have thus far really been enjoying my peek into impending-third-child-dom. For example, her daughter—who is in kindergarten—is absolutely ECSTATIC. She was announcing that her mommy was having a baby to random people at the supermarket, even before it was visually obvious. On the other hand, her son—who is Monkey’s age—was completely disgusted and dejected at the news… until he found out that he’ll probably be getting a new bedroom, and then suddenly he was extremely pro-baby.

Granted, this may not be quite as amusing to the mom-to-be as it is to the rest of us, but I appreciate her taking this particular bullet for our enjoyment.

Anyway, as I mentioned in passing, Monkey had a sleepover with with his buddies Franklin and TheZ this weekend. It’s TheZ’s mom who is pregnant, so perhaps that was a topic of conversation when I broke up the giggling at 3:30 in the morning? I don’t know. What I know is that Franklin’s mom (who is also a friend, thank goodness) sent me the following email yesterday:

Franklin told me that he and Monkey came up with a secret language today at school. Among other things, they now have one for “having sex.” Ask him to show you what it is!

I asked Franklin where he heard about this? And what does it mean? He said they talked about it Sat night, and Monkey said what it was, and then Franklin and TheZ just faked knowing what it was. And what is sex, according to Monkey? When a boy pees in a girl’s butt.

Needless to say, this is not the sort of email that fills a mother’s heart with joy.

I was MORTIFIED. Particularly as I’m pretty sure that Monkey actually understands the facts, and it seemed weird to me that he would say something like that. I was plotting my heartfelt apology when she sent me a second email, asking if perhaps my son was educating all the boys on the playground, and maybe the girls, too!

Monkey is a lot of things, but covert (and confused!) sex-ed educator isn’t one of them. (At least, I didn’t think so.) Clearly I needed to get to the bottom of this.

“Monkey!” I called.

“What did I do?” he called back, which made me think that I really need to work on my tone of voice. He came into the room warily, and I had to laugh.

“You didn’t do anything,” I said, making a spot for him to sit down. “At least, I don’t think you did. I just want to talk to you, okay?” He nodded. “So, I got a funny email from Franklin’s mom. Something about you guys coming up with a secret language with a sign for having sex?” Immediately his face got the oh-crap-I’m-in-trouble look. “It’s FINE, honey, you’re not in trouble. I just wanted to talk to you about it.”

“We were just fooling around and being silly,” he offered.

“Okay,” I said. “Monkey, can you tell me what sex is?” He looked stricken. “It’s not a trick question. Can you tell me what sexual intercourse involves?”

He started waving his hands around. “It’s when, um, a man puts his penis in a lady’s vagina?”

“Right!” He looked relieved. “And then what happens?”

“Some, um, stuff comes out of his penis? And goes up to the egg?”

“Right again!” He managed a weak smile. “Okay, one more: What’s that ‘stuff’ called?”

“Uhhhhh… semen? Sperm?”

“Very good! The substance is called semen, and it contains sperm, which is what fertilizes the egg. You have a great memory, buddy.” He smiled a little wider. “But, honey, Franklin’s mom mentioned that maybe you were all talking during the sleepover and that Franklin said you said that sex is when a man pees in a girl’s butt…?”

I should’ve grabbed my camera before we started talking. The range of facial expressions that followed were really unlike anything I’d ever seen before. The poor kid didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, beg forgiveness or feign ignorance.

“Well—” he started.

“Let me just stop you a sec,” I interrupted. “I want to tell you again that you are not in trouble, but that if you start lying or making things up, you will be. So think carefully about what you want to say, please.”

He nodded, took a deep breath, and started again. “Okay, the secret language thing was just us being silly, Mom. We were just goofing around. But I’m not the one who said that… peeing thing. That was TheZ! He said that and I knew it was wrong, so then I told him what sex ACTUALLY is.”

Now it was my turn to try not to laugh.

“Okay, buddy, I think I understand what happened, now. But when I talked to you and your sister about this stuff, do you remember what I told you about telling other kids?”

“That we shouldn’t tell them?” He really does have a good memory.

“That’s right. And why not?”

“Because it’s GROSS?”

I did not actually manage to squelch my laughter, this time. “Monkey, not because it’s gross! I mean, I know it SEEMS gross to you. But that’s not why. You don’t talk about it to other kids who don’t already know, because this is something for parents to talk to their kids about. It’s not your job to explain to Franklin and TheZ how sex works, okay?” He looked sad again. “Sweetie, it’s okay, I just wanted to remind you that when a kid doesn’t already know, you should try to just let it go so that he can talk to his mom or dad about it, okay?” He nodded. “One more thing: Did you tell the boys it was a secret?”

He shuffled his feet a bit. “Well, I sort of remembered I wasn’t supposed to talk about it, after I already told them. So I told them it was a secret.”

I nodded. “Okay. I see what you were trying to do, there. Thank you for telling me the truth.”

I gave him a hug and he went back to his homework.

Then I sent an email to TheZ’s mom, handling the issue in my usual mature manner:

[Franklin’s mom] contacted me because apparently Monkey decided to inform his pals about the mechanics of sex while they were here Saturday night. First she said that Monkey said that a man “pees in a girl’s butt” and when I talked to him he said that no, THEZ said that and so he was explaining to them that the man puts his penis in the girl’s vagina and sperm comes out.

After relaying this to [Franklin’s mom], she said that she talked to Franklin and Franklin said yes, that’s right, TheZ said the first thing, then Monkey set him straight.

Dude. You got pregnant from [husband’s name redacted] peeing in your butt. ;)

I’m just glad that everyone saw the humor in this incident. With a different group of boys or moms, this could’ve been a huge mess.

(Insert your own mess/peeing joke here. Obviously.)


  1. Leandra

    Oh my god! I am SO not going to be able to have that conversation. Could you please oh pretty please come do it for me? You’ve already done it twice! And you’re so good at it!

  2. Lindy

    HAHA holy crap that’s hilarious.

    On the other hand, I wish I had a mom who was half as informative as you. Your kids will thank you for it one day. My mom… poor mom. I think I was 18 before she said the world “tampon” around me. I was left to figure things out for myself, but lucky for me I had lots of older friends and I’m a quick learner.

    My brother inherited her shyness – for a while anyway. Totally gone now. When he was 14 I drove him to school every morning on my way to class at community college. Once morning he spent 15 minutes telling me all the benefits of cranberry juice and how it helps you from getting urinary tract infections before he finally worked up the nerve to just ask (very suddenly I might add), “Lindy, do all vaginas smell bad?” And then I nearly drove off the road. Once I recovered from the shock I had to pull over in a strangers driveway because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t drive. Poor kid. I set him straight though on all things vagina-ee.

    The whole situation became absolutely mortifying though when I was in college home on Christmas break and my brother (who was probably 16 or 17 at the time) and I for some reason got into a shouting match about his messy room, and that altercation somehow culminated with us having to explain to her what a dildo was.

    Poor mom. She was a little old fashioned I guess. We love her anyway. But I’m still mad she just left me hanging (so to speak) all through the teenage years though.

    Point, though… your kids might be all embarrassed/annoyed about it growing up, but in the long run they will greatly appreciate it.

  3. meghann

    Man, my oldest is Monkey’s age, which means it’s time for us to have the talk with him. I’m SO not ready for this. Think you could send Monkey down to Augusta to do it for us? I’ll trade you cookies or something.

  4. jennielynn

    Can’t comment, laughing too hard.

  5. Kristi

    You handled it magnificently! And I agree. Good thing you had the right mix of moms or it could have been bad.

    And um, I don’t want to judge, but I believe parents who refuse to talk to their kids about this are misguided. Obviously, the kids are talking amongst themselves and at a much younger age than many think.

  6. SoMo

    Wait! That is not how sex goes? Then what is this big belly and what is wrong with my husband? ;)

  7. Megan

    Which is why I’m still grateful for being able to use salmon to teach our kids the facts of life – nothin’ like clear visuals lemme tell you! Also, gives me the life-long happy memory of Child 1 landing an enormous silver while standing right next to her sliiiightly prudish grandmother and shouting in disgust, “ew! It SPERMED on me!”

  8. Lori N

    I’ve been having conversations similar to this one (minus the butt/pee part) with my 9 yo daughter ever since her little brother was just an embryo – she was 4 at the time. Just enough information to satisfy her curiosity in language she could understand. But we didn’t get to the actual “how does the sperm get to the egg” mechanics until a couple of years ago. And yes, we had the same “other kids need to learn this from their own parents when they are ready for it” conversation.

    So far I haven’t gotten any e-mails from her friends’ moms…but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time!

    The nice thing is, when you start having these conversations so young, there really isn’t much awkwardness left by the time the kids get old enough to ask the “embarrassing” questions. :)

  9. Barbara

    Reminds me of the mommy-blog-wars last month regarding kid-to-kid revelations about Santa.

    No matter what your Mom did or did not do, forgive her.

    And what? No mention of mandated sex education in the public schools?

    I read a post last week about an 11-y/o boy who came home from school to tell his mom: “It’s normal to pee a little when you sleep…
    But it’s not actually pee…”

    This was his understanding of nocturnal-e. (No apologies for using code language. Some of the readers will just have to go ask their moms.)

  10. rasah

    This is the funniest thing ever! I love it. :) Hugs to pregnant friend. Go TheZ!

  11. All Adither

    Am suddenly very thankful to have a six and four-year-old.

  12. Jill in Atlanta

    I’m a new reader and you now have me hooked! I had to go back to the original “cleaning” post just to make sure I had every opportunity to spit leek and potato soup on my keyboard. I’d say you handled it all great. I’ve started the discussion with my 4 & 7 yo boys and sort of glossed over the part about what the mommy and daddy actually do. And tampons? Not eager to go there. Why don’t they ever warn you that they’re about to hit you with one of Those Questions? Instead I get them while driving 70mph on 285!

  13. Jess

    The comments are making me laugh almost as hard as the original entry!

  14. exile on mom street

    I still want to know what the hand signal is?!?

  15. dcfullest

    I will mention this to my fertility nurse when she calls this afternoon, maybe we have just gone about this the wrong way.

  16. Lori

    You are truly a mom-extrodinaire! Talks like these in my home were done in the rarely touched “fancy living room” and seemed more like periodic lectures than regular conversations. My mom meant well but I hope I can get a few pointers from moms like you! Thanks Mir.

    Oh, and you need to set up a hidden camera in your office!!!

  17. RuthWells

    Wow, you’re getting started early with Monkey. Good on ya’ — we waited a leeeeeeeeeetle too long on installing NetNanny on the computer the kids use, which led to some embarrassing conversations, let me tell you.

  18. J from Ireland

    That is hilarious. I think its great that Monkey knew the correct details. And as mentioned above, whats the hand signal?

  19. Neil

    That is quite inspiring to read how you deal with this age-old dilemma of telling your kids about sex. I think this is absolutely great! It makes me stop and pause, thinking how my parents NEVER had any talk with me at all. It just never happened, and like most kids of the last generation, I learned mostly through Playboy and sneaking looks at the Joy of Sex in the library. Good for you!

  20. Sheila

    No wonder that kid wasn’t excited about his mom being pregnant!

  21. Keyona

    I am seriously, laughing out loud, at my desk, right now! That’s the funniest story I’ve heard all week. Goodness, too funny!

  22. MomCat

    Oh, so glad I had a girl! LAAWWWWDDD have mercy!!

  23. Ani

    Ya mean I was dumb enough to allow my husband to pee in my butt twice?!?!?! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…WTH?


  24. Ann

    Too funny! And good for you for being honest with your kids. I grew up going to Catholic schools, and believe you me – birth was a miracle and no mention of sex was ever made. I got my sex education from Penthouse Forum letters. I have to say – it was kinda disappointing comparing my first time to some of those letters. Oh well – I think I have it all figured out now!

  25. dad

    You do some of your best work while attempting to stop your head from exploding in laughter.

    Monkey most certainly would have had to tell his friends you couldn’t restrain yourself evidently because sex was so hilarious. This is serious stuff and its tough to be eloquent and learned when you are only able to snort.

  26. Pam

    Hey there, just had to add that we’re pregnant up here in Vermont too! You can add us to your list.

  27. Rebecca

    Okay… I totally spit out my cocoa while reading that. FUNNY…

    The scary thing is I have four boys and I just saw a glimpse of my future. Oy

  28. Tammy

    So, you’re saying that I should have already had this conversation with my 13 YO??

    [puts fingers in ears]

    LA LA LA LA LA…can’t hear you!!

  29. Emily in IL

    Well, at least they know the truth… a guy I dated in high school thought that a girl got pregnant when the guy stuck his finger in her bellybutton (!).

  30. Dawn

    oh, how he would kill you if he knew you just posted this! ;)
    I have started initial conversations w/my son, but he’s not at this point yet. I know there’ll come a day, and I will likely be blogging what you just blogged.
    God help all of us moms with boys!

  31. Randi

    MWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA – oh – sorry – but this is hilarious to me. I know it’s not really funny, but I guess I’m adolescent when the whole “sex” thing comes up. God knows how I’ll tell my son with a straight face when he’s old enough – but I don’t think he’s old enough yet. He won’t be old enough until he’s 35.

  32. Gaylin

    My mom had ‘the talk’ with my older sister and didn’t with me. Did she think I was never going to let a boy pee on my butt . . . maybe that is why I don’t have kids, I have been doing it wrong all these years!

  33. StephLove

    My oldest has understood the mechanics of reproduction (both the traditional method and insemination which is how he and his sister came to be) since he was four or so. But recently we were reading a book that mentioned a character’s parents never wanted children and he wanted to know why they did the thing that makes babies if they didn’t want kids. Then I had to admit on occasion people do that thing for other reasons…

  34. Hip Mom's Guide

    Oh, my! I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I think part of the reason this is so darn funny is because we’re all extremely thankful that it wasn’t OUR kid & his friends.

  35. vanessa

    That is one o the funniest things I’ve read in a LONG time.

  36. Jane

    OK, I didn’t read any other comments. I am laughing and crying – and that’s a good thing. Husband lost his job today, we have no savings, but I SWEAR this had made me giggle! Thanks!

  37. Alisha

    Hi! My mom and i went to a mommy/ daughter class when i was 8. they loaded us up with tons of samples in a pretty little basket with our names on them . my dad came over and went to the bathroom. he came out with a TAMPON lit like a cigarette in his mouth. needless to say i was severely traumatized and did not speak to him for about a month.

  38. Anna

    My first reaction was “Mir, you are seriously one stupendous mom.”
    Second (as I read on…) “NOOOO, I don’t want my kids to grow up!!”

  39. mama speak

    I am SOOOO glad I have girls.

    I have a question asker (the 5YO) who will double check your answers, so I realized early on it was better to give her the truth than lie. The question, of course, was always “How much detail is appropriate?” Luckily I found an age appropriate book (age 4, and they also have them for ages 7 & 10). It’s a level she can understand, but she also gets bored w/it pretty quickly. My kid will be the one correcting them all (like Monkey) but damn, give me the sign so she can set them strait on that one too.

  40. Andrea

    THAT is why I’m having problems getting pregnant?!?! I’ve been doing it ALL wrong!!! now to wake hubby up…. hahahha!!

    I’m still pretty curious as to what the hand signal

  41. Andrea (again)

    On top of laughing from this post, I just thought of my own comment which made me laugh again.

    Can you imagine the look on any one of our husbands faces if we announced, “honey, *nudge nudge* i want a baby, can you pee in my butt tonight??” muahaha (okay, or maybe it’s just me laughing and it’s the endless supply of nyquil in my system?)

  42. momzen

    Too funny. But what was the hand signal? Also… if you can find it, the best book EVER for starting the converstion with kids… “Where did I come from?” by Peter Mayle

  43. momzen

    the book is for younger kids than Chickadee & Monkey though – the four to eight set.

  44. Anisha

    Oh my goodness! That story is hilarious!

  45. ImpostorMom

    I gotta say that I dread when i have to have these conversations but I certainly want to be the one that has them. I remember how I learned about that stuff and it wasn’t from my parents. I also remember educating my little sis on the finer points of several topics along those lines. Ugh, luckily I might have just a few more years before we have to start introducing these topics.

  46. Melissa

    Wow, I am always so impressed by how well you handle these situations.

  47. Stephanie

    OMG! You are SUCH a fabulous mom to have TOLD your children NOT to share their knowledge of sex with other children. A friend of Sydney’s mom didn’t think to share THAT bit of wisdom with HER daughter, after they read a kid’s book about sex, together. So, the daughter was kind enough to share every single detail with MY then 7 year old daughter. JOY JOY! Took THAT duty RIGHT off MY plate. I was SO thrilled. NOT!

    I guess it could have been worse and it could have been a boy who shared the info, but still… :-/

  48. ~annie

    Hilarious and wonderful! You are the greatest Mom. And yeah – everybody who hasn’t talked to their kids yet? Do it. Now. When they are “old enough” they do NOT want to acknowledge to a parent that such a thing as sex even exists.

  49. Ladybird World Mother

    !!! This is so good… and well done for the way you have approached a sensitive subject! My son just roared with laughter when I told him what Happened. I reckon he thought it was Gross too…

  50. Tatiana

    Honestly, I laughed and laughed at the “peeing in a girl’s butt” thing. I wonder if TheZ has an older brother, maybe one that’s internet savvy or is on XBox Live a lot, as that’s kind of a joke thing said very often among gamers.

  51. Daisy

    I am so, so glad I don’t teach 6th grade any more and I don’t have to deal with the sex ed curriculum!!

  52. Michele

    Just today, my 6 year old asked, “What does it mean when someone’s wiener goes straight?” I said, “Is YOUR wiener going straight?” (I should interject that I’ve never actually called it a “wiener” before – I’ve always called it a “penis”) And he got shy before nodding. I did the only mature thing. I said that was called an erection, and that he was going to get lots of them, and that his dad was going to talk to him when he got home. I had to bow out. I honestly didn’t think I could finish the explanation with a straight face. And yes, his dad talked to him. And I anticipate a note home from Kindergarten tomorrow.

  53. Ramblin'Red

    Oh golly….what a laugh.

    We’ve had progressive talks about sex with our kids – giving them a bit of info first and adding onto it later.

    I am so with you on the “don’t tell other kids” thing – it is a sensitive and personal matter for how other parents educate their kids (or not) prior to schools getting their curricula to them.

  54. MaryP

    My mother is a nurse, and has always been very open about anything we wanted to talk about. This made me the “go-to girl” for any questions about sex my classmates had. Thus, when I was giving my kids the facts (not one conversation, as you well know, but an ongoing series), I never told them not to tell the other kids. I told them they were to tell the kids to ask their parents. However, we all know that some parents won’t talk to their kids about this, and when it’s a matter of choosing between a child’s health and a parent’s squeamishness, the child’s health wins every time. I didn’t tell my kids to go ahead and tell those kids… but I didn’t tell them not to, either.

  55. Aimee

    Heh. Are we sure TheZ hasn’t been watching Sex and the City? Cuz peeing in a girl’s butt sounds like a mash-up of two episodes I remember.

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