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Let’s Talk About S-E-X

April 1, 2010

The day we told Skiddle we were moving in together, she threw a hissy fit, the likes of which we’ve (thankfully) never seen again.  We were at a friend’s house for a Halloween party about six years ago and we were all dressed up. Well, they were.  Smumzie is frequently mistaken for Cruella DeVille (especially when I ask to pet their puppies, Bwahahah!) so all I did was add a long plastic cigarette holder and viola! Instant costume.

Someone asked us how our house search was going and we announced that we’d finally found something and made an offer.  Suddenly Skiddle grew quiet.  This was a bit concerning since she’d been accompanying us to open houses for the better part of a year and seemed pretty skippy with the notion.

“This will be my bedroom,” she’d announce, staking her claim on the room that we’d probably have picked for her in most cases anyway.  “And this will be your room,” she’d say to me, invariably picking the tiniest bedroom or the one as far from the master suite (which she knew was Daddy’s room) as possible.  She wasn’t quite ten yet.  We didn’t bother to share the exact sleeping arrangements with her at that point but she knew that the house we’d chosen had only a study and 3 bedrooms and both of both of the smaller ones were apparently too close to where Daddy would be sleeping for her approval.

When we realized she’d disappeared from the party that day and went to find her, she was sitting on the front steps of the friend’s house crying.

“What do Butterfly Princesses have to cry about?” her father asked softly.

Her only response was to shrug her shoulders.  He rubbed her back and talked with her about the house we’d chosen.  Asked her things like what colors she wanted her room to be painted.  She answered quietly (purple and green a la Tinkerbell),

usually after much cajoling, until she abruptly dissolved into his lap saying, “If you two move in together, I’m going to kill myself!”

BH caught my eye and I left them alone to talk. It was distressing to hear her say those words, even when I knew she didn’t mean them.  Her mother has a habit of throwing them out there whenever she’s not getting her way.  She even made good on it once before then (and once since then but that’s another post), by swallowing something like 10 whole ibuprofens to prove that she meant business.  I made a mental note to tell Skiddle the story about a certain boy who cried wolf at some point in the future but for today, I wondered what I could do to help ease her fears.

I was confused.  This was the little girl who sat on my lap at the theater and who automatically reached for my hand when we cross the street, who chose to snuggle on the couch with me as often as she chose to sit with her dad during while watching TV or reading at his apartment, if not more.  It came as a complete shock that she was this upset over us moving in together.

She finally pulled it together and returned to the party so we left the subject alone for the night and tried to have fun.  The next night we had dinner out and had just been seated in the corner of a tightly-packed restaurant.  BH cautiously broached the subject again and she finally opened up.  The sleeping arrangements, it turns out, were of utmost importance to her.  We asked why it mattered so much to her.

“Because then you two will be having S-E-X,” she said.  I noticed the couple who had just been seated beside us glance our way and gave BH a look that said, “Uh-oh.”

We let her talk and answered all of her questions, including, “Are you getting married?” and, “So, are you going to have a baby now?”

This is a subject that we had been very delicately trying to introduce to her for about a year already. We didn’t see any need to really force the issue if it turned out that I couldn’t get pregnant so we never quite finished any of the conversations we started with her on it but we felt it was important to prepare her just in case.

“We’d sure like to,” BH said.  Normally at this point Skiddle’s shoulders would hunch over and we’d see the bottom lip jut out in a pout.

Tonight, however, she surprised us.

“How?” she asked, completely catching us both off guard. The rest of the conversation is fodder for a great Monty Python skit:

Me: I’m sorry. Did you say, “How?”

Skiddle: Yeah, how? Is the doctor going to help you?

Me: Yes, remember how we discussed a few weeks ago? The doctor gives me special medicine and then he uses a long, thin tube –

Skiddle: Yeah, but what’s in the tube?

Me: [a little panicked, looking askance at BH]

I notice that the people at the table next to us are smirking and pretending in vain to read their menus.

BH: Um, well there’s fluid…

Skiddle [eyeing him suspiciously]: What kind of fluid?

BH: Well, it comes from my body, honey. Remember the talk we had with you?

Skiddle: Yeah! YUCK! Do you really put your weenie into the hole back there?! [makes gagging sounds, almost falls off the chair]

The couple next to us gives up all pretense of reading their menus and sits attentively. The guy is chuckling.

Bh: Well, sort of like that but perhaps the dinner table is not the best place to have this discussion.

Me: You know, there’s a bookstore right around the corner. If you want, we could go there after dinner and look at some pictures of how it all works –

Skiddle: But how do you get it out?

BH: [extremely uncomfortable looking by this point] Get what out?

Skiddle: The stuff – you know – from your body? How does it get out?

The woman catches my eye and winks.

BH: Erm, well, let’s talk about this after dinner –

Skiddle: Don’t you have to cut it off or something?

BH: [truly horrified expression on his face now] Cut what off?

Skiddle: Your weenie?

The guy at the next table goes into a coughing fit and sprays water all over their table.  Wife chuckles and pats him on the back while throwing me an, “I feel your pain, sister,” look.

Ed: GACK!  ARGH!  [like the pirate he is] NO! Ok, so why don’t we go to the bookstore after this and see if we can’t help you understand –

Skiddle: You don’t have to cut it off? [looks doubtful]  James told me you have to cut it off.

[Obviously, James is that kid – you know- the one on the school bus who introduces all the four-letter words to your kid…the one you want to pull aside, maybe by his ear, at the bus stop for a little ‘chat.’]

Me: No, sweetie [smiling discreetly at the people at the next table, who are practically rolling on the floor by now]. You don’t have to cut anything off.  Oh, look here! Our food has arrived.

Skiddle [munching on a French fry]:  James said you have to cut it off.

Me: Ok, let’s eat now and then let’s go to the bookstore.  I’m sure we’ll find some good books that can explain it at your level. 

Skiddle: No, let’s not.  I don’t really want to know.

A minute goes by. The people next to us regain their composure and manage to order. The guy, still chuckling, wipes the tears from his eyes with his napkin.

Skiddle: So, the doctor uses a tube, huh? And you guys don’t have to be kissing or anything?

Me: [exchanging glances with BH, wondering, just how ‘honest’ we want to be in this forum] Um, well . . .

BH: I kinda like kissing [grabs her and makes loud smacking kissy noises on her cheek].

Skiddle: Eeewww! Get off me! That’s just gross. You guys are gross!

Me [laughing and shooting apologetic glances at the couple nearby]: So, yes, Skiddle – I need a doctor’s help to have a baby.

Skiddle: [Brightening up] Hey! Maybe in the new house, we can make one room for the baby?!

BH: [looks at me and winks]

Me: [so relieved] We sure can.  Maybe you can help us paint it?

Skiddle [considers this]:  Ok, as long as it’s not pink.

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From → General, Smummies

One Comment
  1. Skiddle is beautiful! Sex talks with fertility issues are pretty interesting…

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