One of Mr. Wizard’s Christmas presents this year was a book called “8000 Things You Should Know”. It is a reference book of many different topics (well, 8000 of them, to be exact) and is meant to be used to look up items of interest. This is right up his alley as he is the king of random facts and trivia. Mr. Wizard apparently read the title and took it to heart. There were 8000 things he should know. So what did he do? He read it cover to cover. The entire book. And he complained about how boring it was. But continued to read it anyway. Because there were 8000 things he should know.
I didn’t think much about it until a few days later when Mr. Wizard and I were driving together in the car and he said “Mom, I know how the reproductive system works”.
I started choking on my hard boiled egg. Yes, I was eating a hard boiled egg in the car. Long story, I’ll explain later.
“Um. You do?” I tried to sound nonchalant. I’m pretty sure I sounded like Elmo.
“Yes. Did you know that men have sperm in their penis? And did you know that sperm fertilizes eggs? Which are inside a woman?”
“Weeeeellllll” For some reason I had suddenly started talking in slow motion. Attempting to stall, I suppose. “Yes I diiiiiiiiiid know that……….. Where did you hear that?”
“From my “8000 Things You Should Know” book”.
Oh Lord Almighty! There aren’t 8000 other, more appropriate for 9 year old, facts that could have been chosen? I definitely should have previewed that damn book, but who wants to read a book called “8000 Things You Should Know”?!?!?!
It didn’t stop there.
“Mom? How does the sperm get to the eggs?”
“Weeeeeeellllllll……” again with the slow motion talking.
“I mean, how do men get it out of their penises? Do they pee it out? And how does the pee get to the egg? Does the man cut a hole in the woman?”
“Weeeeellllll, noooooo…… it doesn’t come out in peeeeee………”
I took a deep breath.
“So, you know how women have a hole that is called a vagina?”
I’m pretty sure that my face was bright red. I was not at all prepared for this conversation.
“Well, the man puts his penis in the woman’s vagina and the sperm comes out and fertilizes the egg.”
“That’s gross. But how does the…”
“IT JUST COMES OUT! HEY! Look at that airplane over there!!”
There was blessed silence for about 4.6 seconds.
Then, “Mom? So, like, when does all that happen? Like, does a man just walk up to a woman and then his penis goes in her vagina?”
Oh for the love of all that is holy, I cannot even handle any more of this conversation.
“No, usually a man and a woman fall in love and then get married and decide to have a baby and then it happens”.
“So, as soon as you get married you have to do that?”
“Did dad do that to you??”
“Well, that’s how you make a baby….. HEY I KNOW!!!! WANNA GET SOME FRO YO?????”
And then, Mr. Wizard whipped his head around and stared at me in abject horror.
“Wait. So you and dad did that three times?!?!?! NO! Four times because you had that baby who died!! Did you and dad do that four times?”
My face was by now probably almost purple. “Um, well, I had four babies in my tummy. OH LOOK, WE’RE HERE!!!”
I had never before been so happy to pull into a Wal-Mart parking lot and I never will be again.
Thankfully, the subject was dropped as we maneuvered ourselves around a lot of spandex and visible butt cracks.
He has not asked about it since, thank goodness. Probably because I ended the conversation with “Buddy, I like that you ask questions and I am happy to answer them. If you have any more questions about this sort of topic I want you to feel free to ask them. To your dad.”