Big Kid hopped into the car after school the other day and said, "I want you to tell me 'bout how kids are made. How their parents make them, the babies."
Warning bells and sirens began to ring in my head. "Why? Was someone talking about that in school or what...what makes you ask?"
"I just wanna know. I asked you before and you said you'd tell me one day when little kid wasn't around. I see he's sleepin' and I'm just tired of not knowin'. I asked you lots of times and I still never do know."
"Oh, er, um, well, when mommies and daddies love each other very much, sometimes they decide to make a baby and then the mommy carries it in her tummy and then there's a baby! Pretty neat!" My final valiant effort at deflection.
"No. I wanna know HOW THE BABY GETS INSIDE THE MOMMY'S TUMMY, I know that other stuff. I want to know HOW THE MOM AND DAD MAKE THE BABY BECOME A BABY."
"Oh, yes, that. Okay, well--"
"Is it about the S-word?"
"When you say the "S-word, you mean...sex?" I ventured.
That's when I knew there was no escaping this conversation this time. I know he is aware and confused about the existence of the word “sex”—thanks in part to the song Birthday Sex (Are they saying Birthday Sex? No, they're saying Birthday Six. No, they are saying Birthday Sex, for sure, I can read it when it comes up on the car radio screen. Hmm, what the heck station are we even listening to? This song makes no sense!) and Michael Scott from the Office (thanks, Michael) but now I was realizing that he understood more than I had originally assumed and was piecing things together on his own. I took a deep breath, mind racing.
"Yes. When a man and a woman really love each other, they might have...sex," I said, cringing. "And when they're trying to make a baby, sex makes it so the man's body puts something like a seed into the woman's body."
I glanced in the rear view mirror. He looked as horrified and as confused as I felt.
"Oh, gross! Are you kiddin'?"
"Well, it's kind of like a seed? But it's a fluid--"
(at this point, my brain is screaming OMG! TOO MUCH INFO! ABORT MISSION, pull into Wendy's, buy him a Frosty and hope to God we can put this behind us! Shut up NOW! NOW!)
"...I don't know, but anyway the seed plants itself into an egg the mommy has in her tummy and then a baby grows from that. It really is an amazing thing. I know you're still confused but I think that's enough information for someone your age. I promise that we'll talk about this more often as you get older and when it is time for you to know, I will make sure you have no questions, but...yeah, that's the gist of it."
There was a moment of awkward silence.
"Ookaaay, well, I've heard enough about that. I am confused, but I think you're right that it's enough."
"Yeah. Don't go telling other kids though, okay? That's a job for their mommies and daddies." (Mwahahaha, I will not be alone in this discomfort!)
"I'm not going to be tellin' first graders about sex, mom. Man, I'm so embarrassed I even just said that."
"Yeah, I'm a little embarrassed about all of this, too. I mean, it's a nice thing and it's a good thing but...let's be done talking about this now and try not to use that word, like, at all."
"Good plan", he said as he leaned back in his booster seat and quietly looked out the window, while I silently freaked out at how awkward I had been about the whole thing but also felt glad to have temporarily staved off his curiosity on the subject.