Talkin’ ‘Bout the Birds and The Bees at the Bus Stop


These are the last days of school. I’m trying to make the most of them with my youngest by having our morning one-on-one time while waiting for his bus. We did just that today, just  talking and waiting as the rain fell.

All I was trying to do was play a little math problem solving game with him, and lo and behold, it turned into the beginnings of THE talk.

I was not going to write about this funny conversation with my youngest child, my eight-year-old boy who is a bit worldly thanks to big brother and sister.

However, Blogher and Venus Embrace are putting bloggers up to the challenge of writing about tips of how to have a talk about sexuality with your kids for a $50 Visa Card giveaway, I would take them up on their opportunity.

So, there we were waiting  for the bus when my son asks how old his grandparents, my parents, were when they got married, and how old they were when I was born.

Perfect. Time for a little math while waiting for the bus.

Me: Grandpa was born in 1940 and he got married in 1965.

Son: So… he was 25.

Me: Right. Okay, Grandma was born in 1943-

Son: So Grandma was 22.

Me: That’s right. And I was born in 1968.

Son: Didn’t grandma and grandpa want to have kids right away?

Me: Ummm….maybe, but it takes some time to have  a baby.

Son: Why? I mean, why didn’t they, right after the wedding, drive up to a hospital and say “We want a baby, please?”

Me: It doesn’t work like that….

Now, I have to say, I had these conversations a little earlier with my oldest two, who watched my belly grow when I was pregnant with my middle and youngest children.

My youngest, however, never had the opportunity to be around a pregnant woman on a daily basis, so these questions had yet to come up.

The conversation continued:

Son: So just HOW does it work? Does a mommy one day look down at her belly and say, “C’mon, belly, give me all you’ve got!” and then the belly grows and then POP! A baby comes out?

Me: No, um. It takes longer than that. It takes nine months for a baby to be born. You see, a mom and a dad have to lay very close…..

Son: Oh, they have S-E-X??

Me: Yes. (Just what does he know? I wondered. But I didn’t prod.)

I continued.

Me: You see, a woman has an egg inside of her and a man has a seed, and if the seed goes into the egg, in nine months a baby is born.

Son: AN EGG? Like a Chicken?

Me: No, not like a chicken.

Son: Was I Born this way?

Me: Everyone was born this way. And every thing.

Son: Were trees born this way?

Me: No, but most mammals are born this same way. 

….. and so on.

After having three kids, my best advice about THE talk is:

  • Be calm. Be matter-of-fact. Don’t brush off any questions.
  • You don’t have to have THE talk all at once, but take it up gradually
  • Only give them just the right amount of information they need and don’t expand. I didn’t get into the complications of birth control, sex before marriage, having babies between same-sex couples, in-vitro-fertilization. WHY? An eight year old just needs the basic facts.
  • When they stop asking, it means they’ve had enough information for now.

One thing’s for sure: I will take out a few books for him on the topic at the library. One good source I found was a blog post by Story Pockets, a blog written by the Children’s Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Good luck!

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About stacylynngittleman

I have been a public relations professional and reporter -- and always thought I would live in the New York Metro area - before my husband took a job in Rochester, New York. Most in Metro New York can't find Rochester on a map,and neither could I before we moved. I am now a columnist and a freelance writer for Rochester's only daily newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle. I also am passionate about gardening, fitness and most of all, Jewish education and Israel Advocacy. Here's my perspective on Western New York living - the good, the bad, and the snowy.

One response to “Talkin’ ‘Bout the Birds and The Bees at the Bus Stop”

  1. Mom says :

    I remember when your brother was about the same age when we had ” the talk” he said that he had had a “sex” conversation with his friend while waiting for the school bus. His little friend was more informed in the matter of conception.When your brother came home from school he was grossed out about what his friend had told him. He was surprised to find that his friend, basically gave him the correct information. To this he replied So i guess you and daddy only did it twice!!!! Mow he is a father of two and I guess he only did it twice!

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