Almost entitled this one "learning adventures in the Kama Sutra," but decided the better of it.
Earlier this week, while at ~L~s house, her 3yo found the highly-buried-in-an-off-limits-location Kama Sutra book, and proceeded to giggle his little self silly and show it to the other kids. He didn't know what on earth he was seeing, really, but the bigger ones had a much better clue. Girliness quickly absconded the book into the smaller bedroom, which was further out of view of the clueless parents. She legitimately wasn't trying to hide anything and TOLD us she was reading a book when we asked what she was doing; we'd also seen the initial book transfer without knowing WHICH book it was. She and the other three older children were discovered on a routine child check about 3 minutes later, huddled around this strange new book. Of course I removed the offending object, but the damage had been done. "Did you SEE that?" complete with anatomically appropriate descriptions. Oh, holy hell. Fuck, fuck, fuck (no pun intended).
I really don't know exactly what ~L~ told her children. But my Girliness, at eight years old and approaching the very beginnings of puberty, was going to require a more comprehensive sex talk soon anyway, and Boyness (I figured) had seen the same things and was using the same descriptors, so he listened in too. The kids have known for a long time about how babies are made, but they were missing a crucial piece of the puzzle - HOW it was that sperm and egg came to meet, together, in a woman's uterus (necessary oversimplification in my opinion).
Girliness had questions. She had many, many questions. Everything from "why would people need a book?" to "what do people do to not get pregnant when they don't want a baby?" to "if the penis needs to be hard, and the vagina needs to be ready, how do the penis and the vagina know to get ready to have sex?"
Don't worry folks, I injected a hearty helping of "but you're not ready for that yet," in pretty much as many ways as I could think of to say it; from the very sensible "your vagina is not a grown woman's vagina, and can't do that yet" to the much less concrete "with the right person" stuff. And I think that because her puberty hormones haven't kicked in yet, it was a great academic discussion that she'll have in her background knowledge, rather than something I am foisting on her in the wash of new hormones and curiosities (the more I think about it, the stupider that timing - during puberty - seems).
Boyness had no questions, but he listened to the whole exchange attentively.
I've identified myself, and myself alone, as their go-to person for sex questions, a move that I hope will prevent them from going off and sharing their newfound knowledge and million questions with everyone else on the planet. I can just imagine my mother-in-law's mortification at having any one of Girliness' questions directed at her (although "why can't I ask Nana? She must have sex too and she would know" did come up). Oh, that lovely homeschooler curiousity. It is part of the homeschooler mentality that you find someone that would know about what you're interested in, corner that person (nicely) and ask away. Want to know how to grow flowers in our living room, well, that is why Molbaks has a wandering help staff. Want to know about sex? Well wow, look at all these people we know that have done that and would know about it! And they probably all have different things to tell us, too!
I think the identifying myself as the go-to person seems to be working so far. And since the kids are NOT awash in pubescent hormones yet, they aren't obsessed or anything (although Girliness did have some follow-up questions after our initial talk, which I am very happy she brought to ME).
I was not intially happy about the finding of the Kama Sutra. In fact, I was initially quite upset. But the more I think about it the better I think this is going to wind up being. Disaster averted, for now.