Sometimes I forget some details of a book I’ve read. As I mentioned previously, Wintersmith introduces some topics or romantic relationships and does mention sex. As preface I should mention that we’ve yet to have ‘the talk’ with our eldest (9 year old) daughter. She understands the reproductive process biologically, we’ve explained the whole ovulation, fertilisation and gestation process. She’s seen pictures of unborn children. She even knows that the male provides the sperm while the female has the eggs. What we haven’t explained (mostly because she just hasn’t asked yet) is the, ah, delivery mechanism (*ahem*).
So anyway, the previous reference to sex went by without comment, but it was a pretty quick reference and she may have just missed it. However as we went on the following night, I was reading along when I came up to this next bit, which I had completely forgotten about:
Things were a little better when Tiffany had warmed up. She wondered
how much brandy Nanny had added to the milk. Nanny had done one for
herself, with probably some milk added to the brandy.
“Isn’t this nice and cozy,” said Nanny after a while.
“Is this going to be the talk about sex?” said Tiffany.
“Did anyone say there was going to be one?” said Nanny innocently.
“I kind of got the feeling,” said Tiffany. “And I know where babies come
from, Mrs. Ogg.”
“I should hope so.”
“I know how they get there, too. I live on a farm and I’ve got a lot of older
“Ah, right,” said Nanny. “Well, I see you’re pretty well prepared for life,
then. Not much left for me to tell you, I expect. And I’ve never had a god pay
any attention to me, as far as I can recall. Flattered, are you?”
“No!” Tiffany looked into Nanny’s smile. “Well, a bit,” she admitted.
I got to the start of the third line and stopped. I felt really uncomfortable. My wife & I had an understanding that we were never going to lie to the kids about this, none of that “the stork brought you” nonsense. We had agreed that as soon as one of the kids asked the question we would answer honestly & completely.
However, I wasn’t quite sure that 8:30 at night when I’m trying to get her & her three year old sister to sleep was really the right time to start what would inevitably be a rather long conversation. So I told them I needed to talk to Mummy for a minute, went to the room across the hallway where my wife was busy reading The Hobbit to our 6 year old daughter and 8 year old son & asked if I could have a chat with Mummy for a second.
After handing her the book and saying “so should I read this next bit?”, a brief discussion (and Sarah laughing at me) occurred and we decided that I should just keep reading and take the conversation if it happened. So I did, we read on and, nothing. No questions, no “huh?”, nothing. I should mention at this point that Alanah does ask questions if she doesn’t understand something or gets confused.
It’s left me wondering whether she’s already figured it out, or whether it’s just not occurring to her to ask. I wonder whether we just should ask her, but as Sarah said, if she doesn’t know & hasn’t thought to ask, she’s probably not ready yet.
Oh well, we do read to the kids to broaden their minds, the conversation has to come up eventually.