It all started with DNA (as most things do, I suppose). Sky wanted to know how he is related to various members of our family--not what the relationship is but how much DNA he theoretically shares with them. Though odd, this seemed like a safe enough conversation.
Soon we were talking about how a baby shares his mom and dad's DNA. And then Sky said,"But that's the part I don't get. How does that happen?"
(Mayday, mayday, help!) As improbable as it seems, I did NOT see that question and the ensuing conversation coming. But once Sky got on the topic, there was no way around it. So I responded vaguely, "Well, when a mommy and daddy love each other and get married, they can have a baby."**
"I don't get it."
(Of course you don't. I was being purposely vague. Crud.)
"Well you know how boys have boy parts and girls have girl parts? When two people get married, their parts fit together and sometimes they make a baby."
"What?" He asked, looking doubtful and slightly incredulous.
Look, I'm not going to give you a play-by-play because, frankly, I didn't do the greatest job explaining things to Sky. I was so desperate to avoid having the conversation, I made it more confusing than it needed to be.
The high/low point was when Sky asked, "Wait, so you mean they take their clothes off? WHY would anyone DO that?"
Other notable moments include when he said, "What if your penis ends up in the wrong place?" and "Can I accidentally make a baby?" Then there was the unfortunate parallel I drew between the truth about Santa and the truth about sex when I was trying to make the point that his classmates probably weren't ready for either truths.
Fortunately, we have a great book about the body. Also, lucky for me, Sky is exceedingly scientific. Once I gave up my resistance, the book made it easy. It showed everything from how an erection occurs to how sperm makes its journey. It also had an in-depth illustrated explanation of fertilization and all that follows.
In the end, I found myself very grateful for my scientific son. Forty harrowing minutes later, the conversation was over and Sky seemed completely satisfied with my explanations.
I, however, was a bit traumatized. So I went to talk to Ren about what had just happened.
"I just explained sex to Sky," I said.
"Why'd you do that?" he asked, without even taking his eyes off the newspaper he was reading. "You could have just told him they come from peaches.***"
It never, ever occurred to me to lie to Sky. But, maybe Ren had a point. Why'd I need to make things so complicated? Maybe Sky didn't really want to know the details. Maybe I'd just traumatized him for life and set him up for a future of delinquency.
Talking to Ren didn't relieve my anxieties at all. So, next I ran Ren's explanation past Sky hoping he'd make me feel better by rolling his eyes and telling me he didn't want to hear a silly old children's story.
Instead, he said, "They do?!?!!"
And that's when I decided I would let Ren handle these things from now on.
* I know I'm paying for my post tricking you all into thinking my talk with him about Santa was THE talk. I'm not sure I like how these things come back around to haunt me...
** Yes, I know there are many other ways that people get babies, but I wanted to start with something he could easily grasp.
*** Search Wikipedia for "Momotaro."