Content warning: this post contains no further mention of birds and bees, it’s all penises and vaginas.
It was a calm, sunny night and we were enjoying a standard-issue, family dinner: BB spitting unwanted food out on the floor, RB dabbing a minuscule bit of peanut butter off her upper lip, everyone more or less trying to fill their stomachs.
“How does the sperm get to the egg?”
BB has known for many years that you need a sperm and an egg to make a baby. She has know for at least two years that the sperm comes from a man and the egg from a woman. She knows that two women or two men can have babies, they just need to outsource parts of the equation.
She has known for a year that sperm comes from the testicles and the egg comes from the ovaries into the uterus.
Six months ago she asked,
“What do sperm look like?”
“They’re microscopic but they look like tadpoles.”
“Dad’s body is full of tadpoles swimming around?!”
“They’re just in his testicles.”
Every year questions have been asked and answers given. So here we are: the sperm’s journey to the egg. I take a bite of tortellini and tell BB,
“The penis goes in the vagina. The sperm comes out of the penis and finds the egg in the uterus.”
“The penis goes in the vagina?!?” BB’s jaw is on the table.
“Yes. This is something for grownups only. Both grownups need to agree to it.”
BB looks at Captain. She looks at me. She asks,
“Dad put his penis in your vagina?!”
Captain pipes up,
“All mammals do this to make babies.”
THANK YOU. I jump on this train,
“It’s called sex or reproduction. If we lived on a farm, this would be old news.”
BB still appears to be in a state of disbelief. She shakes her head,
“I thought babies were made at a doctor’s office.”
“That’s one way, but that’s not how Dad and I did it.”
Family dinner returns to its previously scheduled conversation about everyone’s day. BB interrupts the mundanity to ask,
“Where did you do it? In the bathroom?”
Oh good lord.
“Really anywhere there’s privacy.”
BB studies RB. She seems to have remembered about her for the first time since we went down this rabbit hole. BB points and asks,
“So Dad put his penis in your vagina a second time to make HER?”
“Yes.” I will refrain from reminding her about the third time for the baby between the two of them.
Captain is almost 50-years-old and refuses to accept anything other than his parents having sex twice to make him and his brother. Proof that BB can live the rest of her life with this story intact.
And that was that. Until toothbrushing that night. BB garbles,
“I’m still thinking about that penis in the vagina thing.”
She shakes her head. I feel it’s a necessity to add,
“It can also be two men or two women.”
BB’s eyes go wide. She exclaims,
“A vagina can go inside a vagina?!”
“No. There are other ways grownups have sex.”
And that’s where things stand. For now.
BB scorched away any sensitivity I may have had about these conversations, when in a busy public restroom, for the millionth time, she screamed,
“WHY DO YOU HAVE A HAIRY VAGINA?!”
I hope my millionth, public, puberty discussion did the trick. Either that or my newfangled, laser, hair remover will. Just in case Captain and I want to have sex a fourth time.