Sex education, or the lack thereof, is very much a feature of the Boo household this week.
In the car yesterday, stuck in rush hour traffic:
Tallulah: Why do men grow beards?’
Me: ‘Because they want to look bushy?’
Tallulah: ‘No! Like why do they have hairy chins and ladies don’t?’
I explain the basic puberty stuff ending with: ‘You know this. You did this in school.’
Tallulah: ‘Oh yeah!’
Oscar: ‘I didn’t. This is great. Why do men get hairy bottoms, and adam’s apples, and what are scrotums?’
If I hadn’t been driving I would have put my head in my hands at this point.
I explain. When I get to the bit about scrotums, and the fact that they descend to become testicles, which are like balls, Oscar says:
‘That’s what it feels like when you squish your scrotum really hard against the side of your leg. Like there are little balls inside it.’
Me: ‘Don’t squish your scrotum very hard against the inside of your leg. I want grand children one day.’
Oscar: ‘Why do grand children come out of your balls?’
I now want to curl up and die.
Me:’Because that’s where sperm are made.’
Oscar: ‘Ok. That’s cool.’
There is silence. I feel blessed. Oscar starts to speak again. I cringe inside:
‘How do the sperm get out of the balls mama? Do they just jump out whenever they feel like it?’
(pretty much I think is the answer to this).
I am struggling for words here. Oscar continues:
‘What if the sperm just falls out the end of your willy and leaks out down into your shoe?’
I try to explain in very simple terms why sperm does not just fall out the end of your willy and leak out into your shoe.
Oscar’s eyes get rounder and larger and he looks more gleeful by the second.
I envisage him trying all these things out. I half shout:
‘But you can’t do any of those things until you are very old and under very strict conditions. Do you understand?’
Then I panic that I have repressed them completely and like Ruskin they won’t have sex until they are 110 and faint at the sight of pubic hair.
I think about revising my punitive statement. Then I think of the alternative and just decide to go with the no sex until you are an octaganerian rule and stick an extra tenner in the therapy pot.
It was an extraordinarily trying drive home.