The “P” word

tamaraPosted by

Posted by Tamara O.

I’ll be the first to admit the “birds and the bees” talk didn’t happen with my parents. My mom handed me a collection of books, which I was too embarrassed to even peek in. So I went into adulthood painfully naïve.

I wanted to raise my kids differently. I wanted them to be comfortable with their bodies and with asking me anything that popped into their brilliant little minds. For the most part, I’ve been successful. But I have never been completely comfortable with the topic or even with using the proper terms for their body parts, something hugely successful sex expert, Dr. Laura Berman, would probably say is a no-no. Berman, who is out with a new book, Talking to your kids about SEX: Turning “the talk” into conversations for life, stresses using the correct terminology.

My 7-year-old, Zoe, picked Sunday as the time to put me on the spot. In addition to her current obsession on learning how every American president died, she’s focused on the difference between girls and boys. How did I know I had a boy when her brother Marty was born? she asked. How did I know she and Arlee were girls? I decided to invoke Berman’s strategy of using the correct terminology.

I told her a boy baby has a penis. Yes, you read that correctly. I used that word.

Almost instantly I regretted “going Berman.” Zoe yelled across the room as her brother slaved over Spanish homework: “Hey Marty, you have a penis and I don’t. Boys have a penis, girls don’t. You were born with it.”

Stunned, Marty needed another male in the female-filled room.

“Hey dad,” he yelled. “Mom just taught Zoe a new word!”

I could have died right there when my husband came to hear it. I hope that parenting moment fades quickly.

Do you have any funny stories about your “birds and the bees” talk? Please share.

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