7 Feb 2011

Hestia and.....Sex Education

When Tertarus was home over Christmas, Sonshine approached him for a bit of a heart to heart over the LEGO whilst I was away...trying to record the carol concert for m'blog.

Apparently, our 10-year old son was asking Tertarus how to get and keep a girlfriend.  Tertarus wisely omitted to fill me in on what his sage answer was, but I confess to being slightly miffed at being left out of the conversation.

Cut to a couple of weeks later.  It's January and they're now back at school.  I stagger in from doing The Accounts late one afternoon to find Sonshine building an engine (not a real one) and, as I marvel at his dexterity I muse aloud: 'I can't believe you've not got girls chasing you at school, honey.'  He is my son and I believe he is gorgeous and I'm VERY partial to Men That Fix Things.

Sonshine sighed and concentrated deeply on a tiny piston.  'It's like this mum, I've just decided to wait until they get through puberty.'

I dissolved into my usual coughing fit to disguise my laughter, and failed spectacularly.  'Oh sweetie! That would be your FIRST big mistake!' I snorted. 'Anyway, how do you know what puberty is?'

He fixed me with that god-youre-so-stupid-mum expression and retorted: 'We're getting sex education now at school.  We got our first film today.'

Film?  When we got sex education, I think I was sitting my O-grades and the well-thumbed biology books handed out to us would all flop open at Unit 6:  Human Reproduction. 

We learned about sex education soooo late, I thought I was a fruit fly.

I decided not to push my luck by asking about the sex education film in case he totally clammed up, but later, over dinner, I casually brought it up again:

Me: 'So, the Sex Education film - was it interesting then?'

Sonshine: 'It was ok.  I learned quite a lot of stuff though.'

Me: 'Such as?'

Sonshine (warming to his theme) 'Well, there was a drawing of a naked boy and a close up of his bits.  His GENITALS.  And that's called a penis.  Which I knew already (airy tone).  It can get stiff and it feels nice.'

Me (darkly): 'Yes, this much you know already.' <- we're always telling him off for having his hands down his pjs, but we're not really THAT bothered.  As long as he understands that it's not something that You Do In Front Of Other People, that's all that matters.  I don't want any adult shame pinned to his innocent little forays beneath the knicker elastic.  By the same token, I don't want to see him doing it, yanno?

Sonshine: 'Then there was a drawing of a girl and her genitals.  They're called a FACHINA. (Tertarus inhales a pea the wrong way and coughs uncontrollably).

Me:  'VAGINA.  Yes, this is correct.'

Sonshine: 'And they've also got a little bit that goes stiff and feels nice....'

I shot Tertarus a look and, just as he was about to launch into a What Bloody Nonsense They're Teaching Them Up At That School tirade, I cut across his bow and said: 'Yes, that is correct.'

Stopped in mid flow, Tertarus gaped like a fish and then decided to continue eating his dinner.

Me: 'What else did you learn about it?'

Sonshine (chasing peas around his plate with his fork - ie bored): 'That's it.'

I recalled that his regular teacher was off unwell and that a supply teacher was currently in place (this is a retired woman that called them 'ignorant children' according to Sonshine.  Whose recollections of the truth can be a little hazy it has to be said).  I could imagine that there wouldn't be much chit chat about fachinas and penises with her leading the class.

We changed the subject.

Later that night in bed as we were reading, Eric and Ernie style, I tossed aside my magazine and challenged Tertarus: 'You didn't know anything about girls having a wee bit that goes hard, did you?'

He continued to read his Evo.

'To be honest, I didn't know we had one either until I was about 30.  Do you think they're maybe giving them too much information too young?'

Tertarus turned the page of his magazine, tuning me out beneath a chorus of engines, F1 and expensive watch adverts.

'Sonshine now knows that girls have a vagina and a little bit that goes stiff and that it feels nice.  But he still sleeps with a big toy bunny and believes in Santa.'

Tertarus sighed: ' I wonder what the Ducati colours will be when Valentino Rossi joins them for the 2011 MotoGP season.'

Maybe *some* people could have done with a bit of sex education a bit earlier than 46.


  1. Oh I think that is a lovely post.. Boys hey.. and their willys ..at 18 months mine made a playdooh dummy "Fagina" he wrapped it around his little self and lay back on a bean bag ..standing out very proud and pleased with himself :) xx

  2. Hi my dear-yes, they do learn so young now, my youngest had his videos and sex education quite a little while back and its great how unfazed they are about it really-I think its us parents who are left more dumb struck sometimes, lol!!

  3. I think this is a great post and could be very educational for some people. I just had a discussion with my youngest child recently and I think it helps in their development.

  4. Dear Ali, very funny post. We had films at eight which we sniggered all the way through then later we had cucumbers that we had to put condoms on. I think you should change the magazines that Tertarus reads for something a little bit more interesting ; ) Hope all's good with you, love C xx

  5. PS. Loved the Orville comment. The Actor said the same thing. I hated Orville! It is exactly the same colour as him xx

  6. now this is the kind of "what my child said" post that i can totally get behind!

    i am so glad, though, that they are teaching them about our stiff and nice-feeling bits. perhaps it'll mean scores of women down the road without the sexual frustration that characterizes generations past and present... (minus the victorians with their masturbation machines, natch).

  7. I was Sonshin'es age when I recieved my first bit of sex education. One of the "Bigger" bous demonstarted what "Fucking" was up against a tree, and after he had exhausted himself, he proudly exclaimed that "that is where babies come from". Always a bit slow on the uptake, I can remember thinking that we didn't have any trees in our yard, so this was just a load of rubbish. A bit later, with the help of some not so carefully drawn diagrams in the bouy's toilet at school, it became a bit more clear, but not by much. I was appalled that my parents would do anything like that. If it wasn't for a very helpful senior pupil at the girl's school, I might still think that a girl got pregnant by a boy sticking his finger in her ear.

  8. Excellent post. Informative and humerous. I sent a link to one of my colleagues with a 14 year old boy. I hope she's not teaching when she reads it. Could be a slight problem with a hysterical teacher in front of a class.

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  10. Ooh, that last comment really struck home! I'm really glad to hear that sex education is improving. I'm another of the "film at 12 that everyone just snickers about" brigade, but fortunately had a very enlightened mother ;-) I guess it's easier to talk to the same sex parent... but if they don't know much... oh well.
    Lovely post, Ali.

  11. Sonshine knows his stuff. I think you have dealt with the situation very well so far!

    Maybe by Tertarus FHM. I think that's how most boys learn now. ;)

  12. Those conversations are a big responsibility, especially when you think everyone can remember the first time they discussed sex with their parents - it sounds like you coped well. I was always worried they might get the wrong idea and then repeat something dreadful to their school mates so I made it clear that our conversations were confidential - I'm sure they did take it all to the playground though. I love Ruby's boy's playdough anecdote!! x

  13. Brilliant post Ali, so well told. Boy 1 has just turned 10 and now I am dying to find out what they are teaching him at school on this subject ..but I do notice he and Boy 2 only take on board as much as they can deal with, so "grils" and sex stuff are seen as not interesting and not important, thank goodness. Mr B takes the same approach,unless he has had a particularly good day drafting. i think Mr B and Tertarus have a lot in common - Mr B chunters on to me about Rossi and motor racing and whatnot - is this a male thing? I never go on to him about stuff I am interested in like clothes or nail polish or shoes or Hugh Grant or the sort of kitchen I would like etc as I know he does not care....


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