Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Birds and The Bees

I sent the girls off to get ready for bed and settled down at the PC to update the blog in peace and quiet, as I do most evenings. Best laid plans and all that.....

Five minutes later they were back and settling down into chairs next to me to tell us all about Nic's day which she had forgotten to tell Richard and me earlier. It seems today was the day that her class CM2 got THE TALK. You know - birds and the bees, etc.

With their teacher (the Headmaster) and an expert brought in for the occasion, they watched a series of DVDs and participated in question and answer sessions in between as well as discussions on associated issues like sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

Well, if I was following it correctly, the film that made the most impression on Nic was the one about the green hairy aliens that looked like bears with antennae. They were teenagers (one boy and one girl) who arrived on Earth in a blue spaceship and got all lovey-dovey. Having got an erection, the boy-alien said to the girl-alien "Wait a minute" and went off to find a condom machine down the street. He thumped the machine hard, took out a packet of condoms and returned to the huffily waiting girl-alien who proceeded to put it on him. They were then seen entering the spaceship to 'go to bed'. A little while later, the now very happy boy-alien came back outside, went down the street, wrenched the condom machine off the wall, carried it back to the spaceship and took off for home.

Whatever you might think about this particular example of sex education here in France, after an hour and a half of chatting and discussing everything she learnt about today with Nic, I have to admit she was totally knowledgeable not only about sex, the various associated health and social issues but also about puberty in both boys and girls. There was no embarrassment (nor indeed for any of her classmates) in discussing these issues openly.

Now Richard and I have always brought the girls up with the understanding that whatever questions they ask will be answered truthfully (albeit with detail appropriate for their age at the time). They talk with us about everything and anything, and are allowed to read whatever they want in the house, with the agreement that they will come to us to discuss anything that they do not understand.

We well remember a young LeeLee who had been fascinated by the 'little bit of the daddy' (the sperm) that joins up with the 'little bit of mummy' (the egg) to produce a fertilised egg, which splits repeatedly until a foetus is formed which then grows into a baby. As you might have realised by know, she soaked up technical knowledge like a sponge. However the day finally dawned when she asked Richard and I how and where the two 'bits' got together - something that had never interested her before. When this was explained, her 'Urrr! Yuk! Gross!' exclamation went down into family history, regularly thrown back at her even now.

Overall, a successfully day, me thinks - even if it meant that once again they have kept Richard and me up until the early hours with their chatting!

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