Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sorry for the above X-rated photo and dialog. This is a photo that Nico asked my husband to take while the family was out walking recently.
This is one of the more amusing side-effects of Science education: sometimes Sex Ed comes along for the ride. Way back in the birds and the bees and the whales, I was fretting about what I should tell my kids about sex and when. Since then I've learned. Just stand back and let science take its course.
The down side is that while Nico now knows quite a bit about about the mechanics of human reproduction (extrapolating from the other species in his nature documentaries), he's a little hazy on a lot of the social trappings that are supposed to be the easy part. So one night a few weeks ago he asked me a few follow-up questions:
Nico: How did you meet Daddy?
me: We were in school together.
Nico: When mating, could you feel Daddy's sperm?
me: [hedging, not sure how to answer that one]
Nico: Does it hurt?
me: No, no, it's very sweet.
Nico: What about rival males?
me: You won't have to worry about rival males.
Nico: But in every species there are rival males...
me: Once your sweetie loves you, there won't be any rival males around.
I almost hesitate to write the above dialog since I'm sure at least some people reading this will be going "Wow, that's weird -- a six-year-old kid asking such questions!" But I figure that I might as well answer his questions as clearly and accurately as I can since he probably wouldn't have come up with these questions if he weren't ready to have answers.
It was questions like the above, though, that made my husband once muse that maybe these nature videos he's contantly watching aren't really appropriate for kids (as I mentioned here), what with all the sex and violence. Nico might talk about how "the male injects his sperm into the female and the eggs are fertilized" (in his BBC / David Attenborough voice) and people could get the wrong idea and think he's some sort of pervert...
Of course his passion for Biology isn't all about the mating. For fun, I'll throw in a few more of his recent drawings:
"les animaus de la bisse" -- one of his amusing phonetic spellings in French. It should be "les animaux de l'abysse" or "the animals of the abyss"
"The deep sea" -- as soon Nico saw this picture on the computer, he got all excited and told me the names of all the species he's drawn here. :D