Discussing “It” with a 10-Year-Old

I have just been going through drafts of blogs I have started and never finished. Sometimes I start a blog, title it and write a couple of words to remind myself of what I wanted to write and then I write about Lady Boners.

I found the notes on “sex talk with Annie” in my drafts folder yesterday. Since I wrote the Lady Boner blog yesterday; it follows that I should continue blogging on adult-related themes.

Because I am an adult. I discuss sex calmly and scientifically; using the proper terms such as Lady Boner, HooHaa, Thing and Place.

I remember it like it was four years ago, which it was. It was the spring of Annie’s 5th grade year. I didn’t have a job so I was home to greet my little dumplings everyday after school. On this particular day in the spring of 2007, I was weeding in the backyard when the kids came home. Typically the girls walked home from the bus stop, came in and we discussed their days or if it was a nice day, knowing I would be out in the yard, they would come out on the deck and let me know they were home.

Aside: One of my most treasured memories of the girls’ elementary school years was hearing their voices wafting down the street as they walked from the bus stop. I’m a big fan of open doors and windows so in the fall and spring, I could hear the girls before I could see them. I recall being out at the road getting the mail and hearing them and waiting till they crested the hill and waving and waiting for their little selves hauling those big back packs to reach me. Ack! I’m getting all teary!

Cute girls not talking about sex with me.

Back to spring 2007. That particular afternoon, Annie came out in the yard to tell me that her FLASH class, or STAR or whatever the acronym was for sex ed class, had happened that day.

My mother didn’t discuss sex with me. I came of age in the mid- to late 70s when liberation of everything was the rage. Still, there was NOT going to be any free love, open forum sex talk in the O’Connor household. You need to know about sex? Go read a Judy Blume book, especially page 83 of Forever. Keeping that in mind, I set out to be a much more available mother, a much more open mother. I would be the mom full of fun and information, knowledgeable and unflappable. Put that on my tombstone:

Here lies Margaret Mary O’Connor

Knowledgeable and Unflappable

I digress.

Annie came home from school, out to the garden and told me, “Mom we had FLASH today”. I play it cool, look up at her, “how did it go?” And go back to my weeding. “It was okay. The boys were laughing.” Me, nodding, “do you have any questions about anything that I can help you with?” (See how accessible I am?)

Why does this cute child want to talk about sex with me?

So here we go with the TALK.

“Mom, did you and Dad have to do that to get me and Brigid?”

Oh man, she really just jumps right in doesn’t she? Be cool. Be knowledgeable and unflappable.  I look up at Annie and nod my head, “Yes, we did.”

“Do you have to do it for a long time?”

Oh gawd, I…. I really don’t want to talk about this with my daughter, my 10-year-old daughter. My first instinct was to say, “if you’re lucky.” BUT I didn’t!

“It can.”

Back to my weeding. Weeding weeding weeding… very detailed weeding going on.

“Could you do it for like a minute?”

“Yep.” That absolutely could happen.

“If you did it for a really short time, you’d probably have a really small baby, right?”


More weeding, looking at the dirt, maybe if I keep looking down, she’ll go away. Which she did.

So I think I handled that really well. Happily, she went and told her younger sister everything she had learned so I didn’t have to have the Talk with Brigid two years later.

Of course, it was only a couple of years later at the beach when Annie asked her Aunt Molly “what is an orgasm?” (Thank you Sleepless in Seattle). Molly told Annie that she should ask me and then came screaming, laughing to tell me. Our family has got this sex stuff down. Knowledgeable and unflappable.

37 thoughts on “Discussing “It” with a 10-Year-Old

  1. We didn’t talk about those things in my family, either. So I was the bearer of those tidings for my younger sister…by the time my daughter came along they had an animated movie in the “public service” (or some such thing) section at Blockbuster, and that seemed to do the job on the details…Over the years, my daughter has learned that I will talk about ANYTHING, so she makes sure she wants to hear it before she asks (while rolling her eyes)!

  2. Ha! My mom gave me a little booklet about becoming a woman and I asked embarrassing questions, but I learned alot about IT from my older sister. I think you handled that quite adeptly and beautifully. :).

  3. Addie

    The worst part of my life is when I realized my children were doing ‘it’. It was bad enough when I discovered my parents were participating in that strange act, but, when I had to face my offsping were using their bits to go into other people’s bits, I cringed for days.

    ::shuddering still::

  4. clownonfire

    I should send my son to you. He asked me, not too long ago: Clown Dad, why do you wear make-up when you’re on top of The Ringmistress? I didn’t know what to tell him, so I grounded him. You might have a better chance.
    Le Clown

      1. clownonfire

        You are good. Le Clown requests you move to Montreal. Please pack your stuff and join the circus.
        Le Clown

  5. Jane T

    This was a classic! Being knowledgeable and unflappable myself I love the way you handled it! Maddie broke her hand on the morning of the video so I get to handle this myself over the summer. I had forgotten about page 83…..an eye opener for me as a child.

  6. I really don’t think it’s fair to say I ran “laughing and screaming” to tell you about the orgasm inquiry. It was more like “smug and mocking.” So, you know…be honest with your readers, ok??


  7. -cringes and laughs- My daughter and nephew, both 8, came out into the garden to ask me about sex as well. I gave them lots of facts about reproduction until they went away to play a video game. Too much information is such a good tactic!

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