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January 20, 2007



My daughter did NOT want to talk to me about any of this, so I got her What's Happening to My Body For Girls. My friends who happened to be the moms of her friends gave their girls the same book. So they all read it ragged and talked about it. Then I waited until I had her as a captive audience...in the car, just the two of us, long drive...and we had "the talk". But she was more comfortable because my eyes were on the road. I probably gave that to her when she was 10 and she just got her period at 13 (somewhat of a late bloomer). But she actually PRACTICED with tampons before she ever got her period because she knew she would not like pads!!!


There was this super book intended for quite young kids that was considered rather controversial at the time (back in the very early 90s) and what I especially remember about it was that the inside and outside glued down pages (to the hard cover) were of really funny cartoony sperm with big ol' eyes. The whole book was cartoony, but also matter-of-fact, and so Nate even learned about the Bee part when he was around 5 years old from me reading him that book. Over the years, we revisited that book often. It really did make it so that when he got older, the subject matter was very comfortable between us. I also knew when he was 5 that I was going to be a single mom for who knew how long, so I wanted to be sure he understood the WOMEN'S point of view (like "no" means "no", etc.) All kids are different -- Nate was never shy about asking me very pointed questions. But it also never bothered me to answer (like it did my own mother). I like to think I would have been the same way if I'd had a daughter. My way of thinking was to deal with it sooner rather than later (and along the way) so that it wouldn't be difficult later. I got flack from some people about my "liberal" attitudes, but what's ironic is that at approaching 21, Nate is still a virgin -- he recently told me this and he's not altogether happy about it, but I think it says something about some of the women's points of view I've instilled in him. He's aware that being too casual about it can hurt people, and he wants to be in a serious relationship first. Sorry this is so long -- it really got me thinking back!

Karen P.

When Arinn and I talked about everything I could see from her expression at one point that she finally understood. Her face scrunched up and she said, "Ewwww. You and Daddy did that twice?!" It was so difficult to keep a straight face.


My philosophy has always been to answer all questions no matter the age of the asker. The catch is to just answer enough to satisfy. "Where do babies come from?" gets a far different answer when asked by a 4 year old than a 9 year old. We also got a book to help my daughter understand when she was 8 or 9. It had birds and bees and she ate it up.

What about having the safe sex talk when your child is getting to be that age? That's what I've been thinking about lately.

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