Even the most enlightened, modern parents sometimes find themselves unprepared to teach their children about sex. Especially when that conversation ends up happening at your local Thai restaurant.
Here’s an excerpt:
But how does the sperm get in to fertilise the eggs?” she asked.
I said, “Oh, yes. That. Well, the sperm comes out of the man’s penis and it goes into the woman’s vagina. This happens when the two do what’s called, ‘have sex’. And that’s where the egg – there’s usually only one in the woman’s pond at a time – gets fertilised.” Only after the fact did I realise that I had said the words penis and vagina and sex in a strained, sotto voce tone. This was also something my own mother would have done. Self-hate swelled in my breast.
Mulan had put down her fork. Her face was twisted in disgust. “That’s where humans make a baby, where you go to the bathroom? Mum!!” Her voice was rising.
“Yes,” I said, looking around conspiratorially. “I know,” I sighed. “It is weird. That part can take some getting used to.”
“Gross.” Mulan mumbled.
“Yeah, I know. As they say, it’s like having a waste treatment plant right next to an amusement park. Terrible town planning.”