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June 21, 2008

Sex Ed with Visual Aids

SharonI am not a grandmother yet, though many of my friends are.  And that's okay with me.  After the last grandbaby announcement, though, I began to wonder if my situation is due to something I said, or if my children have developed an aversion to cucumbers....

As soon as my children began to talk, I made it clear that no question was off limits.  I honestly do not remember when we first talked about where babies come from:  my daughter was two when my first son was born and I remember an on-going interest in what was going on with mom's belly; my second son was born six years later, and my oldest two had lots of questions about that.  I treated love and sex like regular topics of conversation...until my daughter was ready to start high school.  Then I knew I needed to kick it up a notch because we were entering the big leagues.  High school was a whole new ball game.  I decided visual aids were needed.

In preparation for the demonstration I asked my husband how he wanted to participate.  He said that since he still asked me any questions he had, he would watch along with the kids.  Alrighty then....

I gathered my two oldest children, and my husband, around the kitchen table.  My daughter was the one going to high school, but my son was only two years behind and a real social butterfly - I wanted him to have the information so he could ask questions.  My youngest son was elsewhere - with two older siblings he already had more information than most six year-olds had about a lot of things, and I didn't need to add to his array of topics.

We started the conversation with the basics, things the kids already knew about sex.  I asked them if they had any questions.  We kept the mood light and fun.  Then I pulled a cucumber out of the refrigerator and a sealed condom out of my pocket.  Suffice it to say that I had everyone's attention as the demonstration continued, and both my children wanted a chance to practice.  I carefully explained that not every family talked this openly about sex or contraception.

Years later, when it came time for my youngest son to have the "talk," the two older children had a part to play.  No one wanted to be left out.  In the years since, my children have asked their friends if they ever had the "cucumber talk" and no one has ever said yes.  Then they proceed to explain, through the laughter, how their mother taught them to use a condom.

And it worked.  No grandchildren have been conceived, possibly as a result of the "cucumber talk."  My children have already said that I will be drafted to do the talk with their children...when they have children....


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