How To Not Have a “Birds and Bees” Talk with 3-Year-Olds

I thought that avoiding explaining sex to my children would be something I wouldn’t have to worry about until many years from now. But spring is in the air, and everywhere you look there are disturbing signs of sex happening, or having happened, as the case may be.

Take my sister-in-law, for instance. She had the gall to get knocked up while my twin girls–not quite 3 years old–are at such a tender, impressionable age, knowing full well that they would see her gigantic belly and have all kinds of questions. We told our girls there’s a baby in their auntie’s tummy, and they seem to be mostly cool with that, although Twin A is concerned that her fetal cousin doesn’t have enough room to move around. They’ve asked what the baby is doing in there, and when he’s coming out, but thank God they haven’t asked how he’s coming out or, even worse, how he got in. I don’t even want to think about that shit myself.

And then there’s the Animal Kingdom.

We took the kids to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park last weekend, where it seemed like half the animals were either pregnant or working on getting that way. Or, in the case of the fruit bat, just into getting his freak on in public.

The bat house was creepy enough without any public indecency: a muggy little hut with a bunch of seagull-sized bats hanging upside down on branches, occasionally stretching translucent black wings to their full two-foot span.

The bat at center-stage languidly extended his rubbery wings, seemed to yawn, and then flipped over and nonchalantly emptied his bowels onto the guano-caked floor. He followed this up with a high-pressure piss that spattered off the chicken wire separating us humans from the winged demons.

The hilarity of bat poop was not lost on our children. Somehow–fortunately–they didn’t seem to notice the horrifying sight of the surprisingly well-endowed bat returning to his inverted position for a little auto-fellatio (maybe he was just cleaning up, but in my book, if you lick more than twice it’s a blowie) before wrapping himself back up in his wings and drifting off to sleep.

They did, however, see the lions humping as the tram came to a stop at the end of our “African safari.”

“What are they doing?” the girls demanded in unison.

This one was easier to explain than the bat would have been, thanks to my familiarity with tasteless jokes and cheap movie sight-gags.  They’re wrestling,” I said.

And no, they didn’t say, “Like Mommy and Daddy wrestle?”

But it’s probably good that I’ve had practice fielding this question. Spring is in the air, after all.


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About BetaDad

BetaDad is a fortysomething stay-at-home dad who is sometimes allowed out to build stuff out of wood or teach college students how to write. Most of the time he just chases his toddler twin girls around though. He Dad can also be found at his personal blog as well as Daddy Dialectic, Dad Centric, Insert Eyeroll, and Man Of The House


  1. Tongue out? That’s totally my move!

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  2. Robin says:

    Anything to avoid the dreaded birds and bee conversation. And yes, it’s always wrestling and never sex!

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  3. Ha! I had the luck of taking my first grade class on a field trip to the zoo one spring. Just as we entered the monkey house, two of them started making babies. The room–filled with teachers and young students–cleared out so fast I couldn’t believe it!

  4. Ugh…this is the age mine asked how babies got out. That was easy. It’s three years later and I’m still crossing my fingers that he never asks how they get in.
    Except that I hope he asks before he…oh dear gawd I need a drink.

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  5. Meredith says:

    Darn their auntie and those uninhibited animals at the San Diego Zoo? Seriously, can the world not conspire with us to keep sex a secret until the kids are like, 35 or something…

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