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July 29, 2005

It’s Natural, But It’s Rated “R”

“I think a baby is too big to come out of a belly button,” Finn remarked as we stood in the checkout line at the grocery store. I ignored him and pushed the cart to the parking lot and commanded him to unload the groceries.

“If babies come out of belly buttons, then why do I have one?” he asked a few weeks later.

His repeated questions made it clear to Bill and me that it was time to educate him about the facts of human reproduction. Third grade seemed young, but it had to happen eventually unless we were going to let the stoner across the street handle the job for us.

Before we summoned Finn, I told Bill, “Look, I know I’m the talker in this family, but you’re the man. You need to take an active role and give the male perspective on the process.”

“That’s why I’m here, honey,” he replied coolly.

“And we have to make this quick so we can go eat dinner,” I added.

“I understand,” he said, patting me on the back, and he called Finn into the kitchen for a chat.

We all sat there for a minute, and when Bill didn’t say anything, I decided to start.

“I bet you have a lot of questions about how babies are made,” I said by way of introduction.

“Not really,” Finn said.

“In that case, I’ll just go ahead and fill you in on some things you need to know, because we’d rather you hear this from us than from someone at school,” I continued. “If you have any questions, you just stop us and ask.”

“It’s very important that you feel comfortable talking to us about these things,” Bill said.

“Whatever,” Finn said.

I took a deep breath, and plunged in. I said that what we’ve told him before is true: when a mom and a dad want to have a baby, they do have to pray to God and ask him to bless them with one. But there’s more to it than that– you have to take some affirmative action, and that involves getting in the bed together and taking off all your clothes. Alternatively, you can take off your clothes and then get in the bed.

Finn was unmoved. I looked at Bill, who gave me a thumbs up sign, so I kept going.

“And then the mom and the dad make love, which is also called having sex, or sexual intercourse,” I said. “Basically the mom and the dad kiss and make googly eyes at each other and then they have sex.”

I realized about this time that I was unprepared for the speech. I had not made an outline, nor had I Googled possible approaches. Clearly the next part was to explain exactly what sex was, so I backed up a bit.

“So, let me back up a little. To make a baby, you have to have an egg and some fertilizer. Every month, moms make an egg.”

Finn stared at me in amazement. “Do you lay it?”

“No, I just make the egg inside my stomach, but that’s a good question,” I said, deciding to skip the whole menses part of the talk. “But you should know that it is very hard to make an egg. Sometimes it makes women crotchety. So if I’m in a bad mood you should be sweet to me because inside I am probably working very diligently to make an egg.”

“Don’t take this the wrong way, Mom, but it seems to me like maybe you’ve been making an egg today,” Finn commented.

“You’re right. But the trick to keeping women happy is that you never ask them if they are making an egg. If you think they are, you say something like, ‘Do you need me to bring you a chocolate chip cookie?’ or ‘How would you like a back rub?’”

“That sounds easy,” Finn said, nodding.

“I wish my mother had told me that,” Bill said. “Are we going to talk about women, or are we going to talk about what we came here to talk about?”

I glared at him. “Do you want to take over?”

“No, honey, you’re doing just fine,” he said, backing off.

“Anyway,” I went on, “the mom has the egg, and it needs to be fertilized. The man has the fertilizer. So the egg and the fertilizer have to get together. Any idea how that happens?” I asked, hoping he’d know and save me the trouble of explaining.

“Not a clue,” Finn said. He was swinging his feet so that they hit the bottom of his chair over and over: THUD…THUD…THUD…THUD.



“That sound you’re making with your feet. It must STOP,” I said.


I took off my glasses, cleaned them as a stalling tactic, and continued.

“Well, as it turns out, your willy is not just a cool thing to pee out of. It’s also where you carry your fertilizer. So the dad uses his willy, his penis, to get his fertilizer to the egg.”

“I thought the egg was inside you,” Finn pointed out.

Damn. He was making this excruciatingly hard. I looked at Bill. He was staring intently out the window at the back yard.

“Yes, the egg is inside the woman, and the fertilizer is in the man’s penis, so what happens is that the mom and dad kiss a little–“

“And make googly eyes at each other,” Finn said impatiently–

“Yes, don’t forget the googly eyes– and then, and then… and then…”

I looked at Bill, who continued to focus on the swing set, and suddenly I lost control of my hands and arms. As if from far away, I saw myself forming a circle with my left hand and poking my right index finger in and out of the circle, in the universal symbol for coitus as I explained, “and then the dad’s willy gets hard like a stick and he puts his penis into her vagina and the fertilizer comes out and he fertilizes the egg.”

I heard a door slam and noticed Bill had vanished.

“Mom,” Finn whispered, “Daddy just ran to the bathroom and I’m pretty sure he didn’t have to pee.”

Together we tiptoed to the door and listened. We could hear Bill gasping for air as he tried to stop laughing.

“Let’s go back to the table,” I said. “We can finish this talk without your Daddy.”

“I have a question,” Finn said. “Why did you say the dad’s willy has to get as hard as a stick?”

Good Lord, did I say that? Why did I say that? Out of the corner of my eye I saw Bill, red faced, returning from the bathroom as I tried to formulate an answer.

“You see,” I began, “you can’t have sex, I mean, a dad can’t have sex with that floppy kind of willy you walk around with all the time. For some reason it won’t work. So the willy has to get hard like a stick to have sex.”

Just as I remembered where I was going with this thought, Bill’s face started to turn purple and he headed for the bathroom again.

“So, sometimes willys practice getting hard like a stick so they’ll be ready when it’s time to have sex. That’s why sometimes you wake up and your willy is sticking out in front of you instead of hanging down. Or later when you get a little older, you might see a pretty girl and your penis might get hard as a stick. That’s perfectly normal,” I stressed. “It just means your willy is preparing for when you’re grown up and want to make a baby.”

Finn listened carefully.

The talk didn’t stop there, although as far as Bill was concerned, it was over. He came back to the table and sat stiffly in his chair with a tortured look on his face.

I explained exactly where the penis goes, and shocked Finn by explaining that babies come out of that same hole. That opened the door for me to stress the fact that whether the baby comes out your vagina or your stomach, it hurts really, really bad to have a baby, so you should be sure and buy your wife a nice present when she gives birth.

“I would think you’d want to get her something very expensive,” Finn agreed.

“Well, it doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it’s meaningful. But a ring or bracelet is nice.”

Bill rolled his eyes.

While we were at it, I decided to dispel a widely held rumor in the Glamore household.

“You should also know that women have a special place to pee from. It’s not nearly as exciting as your willy, but women do not pee from their butts. This is the only part of our talk that you can discuss with your brothers, okay?”

“Okay,” Finn said. “Is it almost time for dinner?”

Thankfully, it was, so we headed out to eat. I ate all my pasta and a huge slice of flourless chocolate cake.

That night, after we tucked Finn, Bill got in bed and started writing.

“What are you doing?” I asked. Usually he gets in bed, pretends to read Triathlete magazine for a few minutes, and then falls asleep.

“Honey, that was a fabulous talk,” he said. “You do realize that we have to give that talk two more times, so I thought I’d make some notes so we wouldn’t forget how it goes.”

“WE have to give that talk again?” I asked incredulously. “You tell me exactly where in the conversation the ‘we’ came into it. As I recall, you were pondering the swings or trembling in the bathroom while I was telling your son about erections, despite the fact I’ve never personally had one. There was no ‘we’ there; that was ME giving that talk.”

“Well, you’re right,” Bill admitted. “It’s just that I didn’t expect it to get so technical. I never could have given it as well as you. For the sake of our family, I think you should be in charge of the procreation talk from here on out,” he said.

“I will,” I said, “since apparently I’m the only one with the balls to use plain language and put it down where the goats can get it.”

“You’re right. You win,” Bill said. “Can I give you a back rub?”

And he did.

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 2:07 pm • Googly Eyes: Make Love Not War,Inventions, Creations, Experiments   

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46 Responses to “It’s Natural, But It’s Rated “R””

  1. Best Books Literary Meme

    I was tagged for this literary meme by Bonnie at Wandering Willow.

    And now I’ve tagged you!

    ~ Karen

  2. Oh, my, GOD. That was one of the funniest things I’ve read in forever. I need to wear a depends when I read your stuff.

    Can you come talk to my kids??

  3. You know you really shouldn’t be giving stuff this good away for free. You had me at “googly eyes.” As Crush the Turtle so memorably said, “You. So. Totally. Rock.”

  4. I can’t believe I didn’t read this when I was here last! Must have been late. I agree… you could charge for this. Or at least write a book, just like above, but for parents. An icebreaker. Illustrated, of course, with pictures of the dad hiding out & bursting with laughter…

  5. *runs to bathroom to keep from laughing*

  6. Awesome!

  7. I am going to print this off and save it for when my son is older. You are my parenting hero!

  8. Wow, y’all start abrainwashin’ ’em young-like, doncha? Funny how my wife and I didn’t have to pray to God to get either of our children, huh? Weird.

  9. I came over here from Corndog’s place and I have to say, I’m staying. I love this talk. Way better than my mom’s talk. And Finn is priceless–seems like you’ve been making an egg. What a peach! Great story!

  10. Oh, God! That is so funny. GREAT STORY. Thanks for giving me pointers for when Anthony is ready for this talk.

  11. Hi from Cubicle Land. Corndog sent me over and I’m going purple from trying to laugh silently.

    What a wonderful mom you are!

  12. That was freakin’ hilarious. Corndog sent me over as well, I have to say that I would like to hire you to think up the female version of that speech. I attempted to talk to my daughter about it, but it didn’t go so well. 🙂

    I also find it reassuring that you are teaching a new generation that women, in fact, do not pee from their butts. Good to know.

  13. You are awesome. I was cracking up throughout this whole post. Finn is going to be the best boyfriend and husband ever. My favorite was “I would think you’d want to get her something very expensive,” Finn is my hero!

  14. One thing that might be good to tell him is not that the egg need to be fertilized but that the egg must be kept from being fertilized AT ALL COSTS.

    He’ll be old enough to figure out the rest if this becomes untrue.


    At least that’s what I’m going to tell my son.

  15. Holy shit! That was fucking hysterical. I’m dreading this conversation. But since my daughter’s not even a year old, I’m hoping that it’s a long ways away. And I think I’ll leave it to the wife to have this talk with her.

  16. Oh. Good. Heavens. I am going to have to link to this story from my blog. I want everyone I know to read it. A+ for your deft handling of all the “willy” talk, and super BONUS points for using the phrase, “putting it down where the goats can get it.” You rock.

  17. I LOVE reading what you write, and could not agree with it ANY more!! Look foward to reading more!

  18. I’m still trying to catch my breath!!!!!!!!!
    Remind me to call you in a month or two when we have our little talk

  19. […] « It’s Natural, But It’s Rated “R” Still Haunted By Christmas » […]

  20. […] Drew came in behind me, carrying the cereal. “Mom, what does ‘crotchety‘ mean?” he asked. […]

  21. […] That man knows me, and the clues I leave behind. When we got in the bed, he asked, “Do you need a back rub?” […]

  22. […] We gave Finn “The Talk” last summer, and every once in a while I’ll go in his room and see evidence that he’s been studying the books we gave him: It’s So Amazing! and Who Am I? Where Did I Come From?. (The latter book is really geared for kids younger than he is, but I figured I better have it ready in case he had loose lips and started dropping hints about the process to the twins.) […]

  23. […] Bill looked at me strangely. “I’m not familiar with The Giving Tree,” he said. “But it seems to me like maybe you’re crotchety.  Do you need a back rub?” […]

  24. […] I was happy when the boys went to school this morning, or more specifically, that Finn and his attitude were leaving.  I’m not looking forward to seeing him any sooner than I have to, storms or no.  Why didn’t anyone warn me that the mood swings of an eleven year old boy can be just as deadly as those of a crotchety mom? […]

  25. […] It’s Natural But It’s Rated “R” – “crotchety” a link in subsequent pieces […]

  26. OK, I’ll admit it: you’re a goddess. We were caught off guard with both guys and they told us it was THE most disgusting thing they had ever heard and they never wanted it brought up ever, ever again.

    Now, Thing One falls in love only with girls at least two years older than he who won’t give him the time of day. Thing Two still thinks all girls, even if they are pretty, are total airheads and he would never sully his intellectual reputation by being seen with one.

    I’ll never have grandchildren.

  27. […] Later I heard Mom tell my brothers that she hoped they had a good time because all she did was hold them up so they could see the stage while she stared at their bottoms.  I think she was getting a little crotchety. […]

  28. […] I just told him “Happy Father’s Day’ and gave him a big smooch and then we made googly eyes at each other and then…. […]

  29. […] I chugged a celebratory gin and tonic when it was clear that all three of my boys were able to read by themselves.   No more fumbling for a reasonable explanation as to why “cough” doesn’t rhyme with “enough.”  On crotchety days I could screech, “Get out of here and go read a book!”  Best of all, I suddenly had more time to catch up on current events in my New Yorker and US Weekly. […]

  30. […] This post – wherein a mother tries to explain the facts of life to her son is also not meant to be read while drinking. And if explaining it to your kids made you […]

  31. […] presents It’s Natural, But It’s Rated “R” posted at Tales From My Tiny […]

  32. […] have to share yet another funny thing I read via the anchoress.     Parents explain the Birds and the Bees to their son.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a long long time. Posted by darcee Filed in […]

  33. […] man who dresses in fancy suits and plays drums in a jazz band.”  Drew and I hadn’t had the sex talk yet, and I saw no reason to enlighten him about the world of pimps and […]

  34. […] getting this woman to talk my girls And trust me, after reading it, you will, […]

  35. […] presents It’s Natural, But It’s Rated “R” posted at My Tiny Kingdom, saying, “Telling kids about the birds and the bees is always a […]

  36. It’s Natural, But It’s Rated “R”…

    You think babies are hard– all that diapering and baby food and equipment. But think back– do you remember when you learned how babies were made? Do you realize, that as a parent, you’re going to have to give “the talk” unless the stoner down th…

  37. […] whether he and Drew had been discussing matters of a reproductive nature.  I may have to dust off my Talk and prepare to give it again, solo this […]

  38. […] was time to give Drew the sex talk.  If you’ve been reading, you’ll remember that he’s been showing signs of […]

  39. […] helped make up my mind was reading this great “talking sex” post from My Tiny Kingdom. I realized a couple things. One: I am a big wheenie, because I hemmed and […]

  40. […] far I’ve recorded three podcasts: the well-loved sex talk, the guffaw-inducing Doorknob game, and the tragic war on […]

  41. […] the way, can you believe Blest With Sons would post a link like this on her website? Tsk, tsk. I would never post a link like that. Let me warn you before you look: […]

  42. […] assured him that it is, and that bras are another reason (in addition to making eggs) that women should be treated with care and […]

  43. […] his thigh in a way that clearly meant “Do not pursue this topic because I have not explained the facts of life to your brothers and I’m sure not going to get into it here at La Dama before our pizza […]

  44. My Tiny Kingdom » It’s Natural, But It’s Rated “R”…

    A frank and humorous recitation of the birds and the bees by a mom to her son, while her husband hides in the bathroom. Find the origin of the phrase “hard as a stick!”…

  45. […] I don’t know who to credit for this and would love to know. Perhaps I can incorporate it into the sex talk! […]

  46. […] like to take pictures that will remind me when I’m a grandmother (assuming the sex talk has been successful) that raising children was hard and messy. Here’s one of […]

Welcome to the Kingdom

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I'm Anne Glamore, wife, mother, lawyer and blogger. I have three boys, and I'm desperately trying to train them to become Southern gentlemen, but that may be an unrealistic goal. At this point I'd be ecstatic if they'd quit farting at the dinner table. If you're new here, check out the Readers' Favorite Posts below or browse through the Categories. I write about my attempts to teach the boys about peckers and sex (which we call "making googly eyes"), my struggles with hepatitis C and spine surgery, the boys' adventures with fire and pets, my mom's death from ovarian cancer, my love of cooking (with plenty of recipes) and anything else that crosses my mind. Join me on Twitter or StumbleUpon or Email me. I'm happy to speak to your group or club.

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