Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chatting about nipples.

One of the charms of bringing up children is the conversations you have, nipples being a case in point.  If you are 5, you have no idea why your nipples are different from Mum's and what yours may turn out like.  Best ask.

I was watching a very silly movie the other day that included a girl about the same age as my older girl.  She asked her mother about how babies were made. Her mother asked what she thought happened.  The explanation, fresh from the labyrinthine mind of the girl was weird and highly inaccurate (unless I did it wrong, which is possible though unlikely because I did end up with babies - I certainly don't remember a big flap opening at the top of my backside).

Then her mother, in order to ease social embarrassment (there were others present), and presumably because uptight puritanism is preferable to giving your children accurate information, lied her tail off and said, "Yes, that is right."

I try to be accurate.   I also try to give the right amount of information.  Two year olds probably need to know where babies are squeezed out but not about cervical dilation as an indicator of progress of labour.

When my mother was a lassie, being a nice Catholic girl at an all-girls school she was held in complete biological ignorance.  It was probably not a deliberate policy of her mother, just generational embarrassment.  My mother got lucky.  She had a much older sister studying medicine.  A quiet but solid read of one of her sister's text-books later and a whole class of pre-teens had a better understanding of the technical aspects of procreation than they were ever getting from their parents or the elderly nuns.  That is assuming my mother understood the text and reproduced it accurately.  Frankly, even a garbled version was probably better than myth, rumour and a nasty surprise in the back of some boy's car.

The main piece of sexual advice my mum got, nun-style, was that if you were going to chance death and or damnation by sitting on a boy's lap, make sure there was a phone book there first.  The nuns probably knew less about the technicalities than my 11 year old mother.

You can't tell from the photo but those Domincans were all wearing slinky ballgowns under their habits.

My own parents tried to be honest but they did cop out a bit and buy us each a book aimed at our developmental level.  My 4 year older brother's book turned out to be the most interesting one.  Mine was kind of dull.

Anyway, onward ho with nipples and "how does the sperm meet the egg" conversations.  At least the monsters have the ground work.  Without a rooster about, hen eggs won't ever hatch. 

Call me a doctor.  This chicken/ rooster looks remarkably like my husband.

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