|Gideon has caught me off guard with his inquisitiveness about where babies come from!|
I had envisioned talking about the birds and the bees with pre-teens, but it turns out that three is the new pre-teen. Gideon has surprised me with his inquisitiveness.
To date, we have had four conversations about the birds and the bees. First and second were about male and female anatomy.
Here's what the most recent two were like:
[A week ago] "Mom, how did the baby get inside you?"
"Daddy planted a seed in mommy, and it grew into a baby."
Then a few days ago, it became clear that Gideon had been thinking about our previous tete-et-tete.
"Did it hurt when daddy planted the seed in you?"
"Where did he get the seed?"
"At the pet store." Just kidding. I really said, "He made it inside his body."
These conversations have ramped-up my thinking about how to approach this important topic. I want to facilitate a relationship and a comfort level such that my children always feel like they can come to me with their questions, concerns, or the inevitable first viewing of pornography. I have also always wanted to teach my children to be chaste but not prudish. That sex is wonderful and special enough that only married couples should share it.
There is a fine line to walk here. While I want very much to have my children abstain before marriage as I did, too often within my faith--and perhaps within other strains of conservative faiths-- in an effort to keep youth chaste, sex is taught as an evil. Young women taught within this rubric especially can enter marriage unprepared to contribute and cherish the wonder of intimacy with their husbands.
On the other hand, obsession and licentiousness with the powers of procreation and love can lead to destruction of the soul and spirit.
As I have pondered this quandary, I believe that the emphasis should be on whys rather than just obedience to commandments. If one understand the whys of chastity before marriage, one can also understand the wonder of intimacy within marriage. As one leader of my faith has called it, intimacy within marriage could be considered a sacrament, where we partake with God in the powers of creation - both of new humans but also of love and harmony within the marital companionship.
Now with the apparent coming of age of my three year old (ahem!), I need to not only sort out teaching the why of premarital abstinence, but also what to share when. In the interest of creating an open and honest ongoing conversation, I have decided to adopt an approach where I answer the question in full but limit it to age-appropriate information.
As I develop my strategy, I'd love to know what you do to instill a healthy and chaste attitude towards sex in your children? What have you found that works?
Thanks so much in advance!
* Our new, wonderful au pair (pictured below) hails from Columbia. We like to have her speak in Spanish to the kids. Gideon calls it "Spanishing." In church last Sunday, a native African got up to bear testimony in English. Gideon noticed that something in how the man spoke was different and noted it by saying for all to hear, "He-he-he's Spanishing!" Lance witnessed the explication in slow-motion horror from a few feet down the pew (mom was out with the baby) before he could extricate G from the chapel.
* Our friend slipped on the ice this week en route to our home. G found out and, concerned, said, "Can we help her? Can we get a bandage for her face? Can we get a sticker for her and put it on her belly button?"
* G has mastered the art of eye-rolling
* Daddy took the kids out for lunch and had to remove them, particularly G for being rude. Later, when asked what his favorite part of the meal was, G replied, "Being rude."
* G will often tell us when we have a small chore for him, "No, I'm busy now. I have work to do." When asked what all that entails, he will say "I need to watch a tractor show, and a car show, and a train show in Daddy's office."
* Overheard from G: "I was like, Oh my gosh!" "The monster trucks (snow plows) go the the bathroom on the road and that's why it's dirty."
* I returned one of two barn cats to the animal shelter. On the way there, the cat in a Havahart trap, G asked, "Is the cat being brave? Does it get a sticker?"
* To G "Let me think" "Are you done thinking?"
* Overheard by E: "Good job me!" "The bird is silly." "The snow is cool!" "Careful on the road!" "Bumpy road!" all said in the cutest baby voice.
* Ingy's "schedule" is coming along nicely. At eight weeks, she will wake somewhere between 4-6 a.m. for her first feed of the day. The next feed will begin somewhere between 7:00-8:30, then again at 10:00. I then try to get her down for an hour before feeding her at 11:30 and keep her up for a "double feed" at 12:30 or 1:00 p.m. right before her long afternoon nap (that is geared to overlap with G &E's naps as I have been working a little during this nap). I will often need to wake her at 4:30 to eat, and then help her sleep for that last fitful nap in my arms before she wakes for the evening routine. She now eats at 6:30, then it's bath time, a little bit of baby massage and a last bottle feed before going down at 8:00 p.m. I then don't usually see or hear from her till the early morning feed at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. So grateful for the input and advice (explained in more depth in the How-tos section) of my sister of 9, Anjenette, in being able to get so much sleep!
|8 weeks tomorrow!|
|attempting to breastfeed|
|our new au pair, Valeria. She's absolutely wonderful|