Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Talk

I've been emailing recently with a young friend of mine in England, a bright and charming and tiny eleven year old who tells the greatest stories. Most recently she's shared the news that her form in school is now going through sex ed and she's absolutely embarrassed to pieces over it (as any self-respecting young girl would be). Right away I was transported to the time my mother had The Talk with my sister and me. I was in third grade and my sister was in fourth, and our mother--deciding it was better to warn us of our bodies' changes before they actually occurred and we lost our minds--checked out a picture book from the library. We sat down on the living room floor, leaning against the sofa, our young skinny legs sprawled everywhere while my mother's were tucked under her. And as she went gently through the pages, she'd explain what the diagrams meant, and ask us if we had any questions. I quietly absorbed the information until we got to the back of the book, where it transitioned into How Animals Made Babies. Dogs, cats, roosters, sheep, your typical barnyard reproductive fare. And this is where I got confused.

'But if it takes a boy and a girl to make babies, how do dogs make babies?'
'What do you mean?'
'Well, dogs are boys.'
'There are girl dogs, too.'
'But...what about cats?'
'Well...there are boy cats.'

I don't think there are words to describe the way my world exploded in that moment. Menstruation? Fallopian tubes? Penises? Pah. BUT GIRL DOGS AND BOY CATS?! SHUT. UP.  I couldn't stop talking about it for days. GIRL DOGS! BOY CATS! DO YOU PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS?!

I'm still recovering from the shock. And when my period started five years later, I barely noticed. My mother's job was done.


  1. hahahahahaha. wait. there are girl dogs and boy cats? get the heck outta here!

  2. OMG I did not remember that! I love the way you tell stories. I was like what happened next? lol I think I have early onset Alzheimer's or something! Love ya, sissy!

  3. Makes me remember asking my dad what a period was. "ask your mom" haha

  4. ROFL!!!!! Thankfully some things are erased from our minds as we grow older, giving "The Talk" is one of them!

  5. Sunny, I KNOW!

    Alissa and Mom, I have memory troubles, too! I've got a pretty good storage system up until about fourteen years old and then pffffffffffft. BLANK, from there on out. I can't even tell you what I had for dinner last night.

    Mon amie, that is HILARIOUS. Your poor dad! And with four daughters, too!