You know your daughter is growing up when you walk into your kids’ bedroom and instead of finding the usual charming collection of cute soft toys on her pillow, you stumble upon Ken getting all cosy with his Monster High harem. I mean, just what the heck, Ken?
I don’t know about you but personally, when I see something like this on a young child’s bed – no scrap that – when I actually saw this on MY child’s bed, I thought:
1) Oh no, she isn’t a baby anymore
2) Crappity crap, we’re out of vodka
3) That’s it. I have zero coping mechanism right now.
This was followed by a churning in my stomach and a dry feeling in my mouth (presumably because of the lack of frickin’ vodka). You know why? Yep…cos I knew even worse was yet to come. I knew the time was approaching when I’d need to have the talk. Yep THE talk. Yes, yes! THAT one! Explaining sex to kids. Groan.
Oh for goodness sake, would someone purleeese go find me that vodka?
Now, here’s the thing:
Coming from an Indian background, I was never given THE talk when I was growing up. Asians just don’t do the sex talk. It’s so completely taboo. In fact, when I was growing up, I kind of wondered if Asians even had sex because nobody acknowledged its existence. Showing any form of physical affection towards a spouse or member of the opposite sex was frowned upon. Actually, my parents were an anomaly because occasionally they would – HOLD THE FRONT PAGE – hold hands! I know right? Shock horror, and so on. And the western concept of romance? (Yep, it’s seen as a Western concept) was a total no no. Seriously, if there was even a tiny possibility that a couple were about to kiss on screen, a certain family member would swoop in with the remote control and change channels. I cannot count the number of times Alexis Carrington was about to get down and dirty with Dex Dexter (that name!) or some other random guy on Dynasty, when all of a sudden, the news or weather would miraculously appear on the screen.
If you’re of Indian, or in fact any form of Eastern origin, then that probably sounds slightly familiar… I’m so sorry. Let’s all hold hands.
I guess, in the general scheme of things, it’s no big deal and we grow up unscathed and manage to figure out how it all works. Put it this way, evidently this lack of knowledge-sharing by our parents/elders does not affect Asians too much because there are just a few of us on the planet which means a lot of us figured it out…
I am convinced, however, that this general view of sex by Eastern cultures as shameful and not for discussion most definitely has its consequences. However, that takes us into all sorts of serious territory and a) serious is currently on holiday b) you could literally write an entire book on that and c) actually, I don’t think it’s just an Asian thing. A Maltese friend pointed out that the same is true of Catholic cultures and to be honest, I doubt my ‘white Western’ friends got sat down when they were x years-old and given a Power point presentation by their parents on fornication (mainly because Power Point didn’t exist back then).
Anyway, back to Ken and his harem. Fast forward several decades (eek) and here I am, a mother myself, having a mild panic attack (suffering from cold palms, waking up with night sweats and feeling a general sick sense of dread…so nothing major) at the mere thought of having to do THE talk. Ah….there they are….those consequences I mentioned… See? I don’t have the faintest idea how to go about it.
So I’m wondering if I can just make light of the whole thing (well I did say serious is currently away folks) and use one of the following 10 ways to explain things to Musical M and – when the time comes to it (like when they’re 30) – her siblings:
1. Go with “First there was Adam. Then there was Eve…and there was no TV…blimey were they bored! Oh and here’s a diagram I drew earlier. I’m not very good at drawing. If you want to know anything else, Google it”.
2. Give her a dot to dot book with ‘relevant’ pictures and wish her luck.
3. Put all three of them in front of a DVD. Yes, THAT kind of DVD. And then get M to explain it to the other two.
4. Say “There was a stork. I have NO idea what happened next but I’m sure you can figure the rest out, you’re an intelligent kid.”
5. Buy her a load of Rihanna/Nicki Minaj/Robin Thicke. Surely it’s enough?
6. Say “This is a picture of the male body. This is a picture of the female body. This – ooh, who wants to play on the Wii?”
7. Walk past her room, lob an ‘informative’ book (see below) at the bed while she’s got her headphones on and run away.
8. Tell her “You start with a kiss. Ok, that’s it for lesson one. Shall we go to McDonalds?” I would rather run down the street naked with nothing but a Man U scarf around my neck than take my kids to McDonalds but I reckon feeding them junk food would be less painful than doing THE talk.
9. Just let her loose on YouTube. Sooner or later, she’s bound to come across something useful. You can learn a lot from YouTube.
10. Just ask her dad to do it when they’re both sat at breakfast.
And then run away.
Come on…one of those has to work right?!
And if none of them do, you might want to try one of these: