The next evolution in SPP

Previous readings: SPP and SPP Revisited.

Witchlette has been functioning with biological terms for body parts for both males and females. She has been working with the metaphor for human reproduction that a dad has a seed that he gives to a mom, which she puts into her egg.

We have talked about how some families that have two dads use an egg from someone else and one of their own seeds. Likewise, families with two moms use a seed from someone else and one of their own eggs. Sometimes a mom doesn’t have eggs of her own and uses another woman’s egg. Same goes with a dad and his seed.

“But how does it work?”

It’s not a sunflower seed and a chicken egg. Those are two terms used to describe microscopic cells that come together to make new life. They get put together and the two microscopic cells divide into two cells. Those each divide into four. Each of those divides and now there’s 8. And so on. They divide, and grow, and specialize to make all of our body parts and body systems.

“How do they get together? How does it work?”

I put it off as long as I could. I gave you biology, but I’m not ready for mechanics. I don’t know if you’re actually ready for mechanics yet.

The next day, from seemingly out of no where, “I’m so glad I’m your daughter. I love you so much Mommy…Can you please teach me how the egg and seed work?”

I found a 3d animation, that seems like something out of my own high school health class.

“Fertilization is human reproduction through sexual intercourse”.

No questions about what is sexual intercourse. Ok.

Sperm swim across the screen.

So, those are the seeds. The biological word for them is sperm. The metaphor is seed.

“The sperm swim through the cervix…”

“So, they go in the belly button?”

That’s not the belly button.

“Oh. Ok.”

“Here a large number of the sperm die.”

“Why do they die?”

Because only one will get to the egg, and that one seed, I mean sperm, and one egg make one baby.

That’s the egg

“That’s not an egg…”

Most people, even scientists call it an egg. Biology books will also call it an ovum. Ovum is the true scientific name.

“The tightly wrapped genetic material from the sperm unravels and prepares to pair up with the genetic material from the egg”

“Wow! That’s DNA?! So that’s how it works!”

Biology for the win.

I’ve still got at least two years before we have the discussion of mechanics.

Playing what they know

Part of Sex Positive Parenting is to have kids know about sex at age appropriate intervals. Having them be comfortable with their bodies and all of their normal biological functions which leads to no surprises once puberty hits.

I have already established myself as a sex positive parent. To review: when I was pregnant with Witchling, Witchlette asked where babies come from. When I told her mommys’ bellies, she pushed further: before that. Well, they are spirits in the ether before getting into mommys’ bellies. Ok, she pushed again, how do they get there.

Mind you, she was two at this time.

I kept things biological. Mommies have an egg and daddies have a seed. The daddy puts the seed into the mommy’s egg which then grows in her belly into a baby.

No mechanics, all biological, all accurate.

Fast forward to today.

Witchlette has my Care Bears from when I was young. Two of them are Hugs and Tugs, complete with sewn on diapers solidifying their eternal baby status.

Witchlette proudly shared one of her games with me: she found Easter eggs from her school hunt and some dice. She put a die into a pink egg and a die into a blue egg. They grew and grew and then Hugs and Tugs were born. Because the dice were the seeds from the daddy.

Children play what they are taught, direct or incidentally. If they hear hatred, they play hateful games. If they hear love, they play loving games.

If they’re taught basic biology, they play basic biology.

Revisiting SPP

SPP: Sex Positive Parenting

It’s why my children know all of their body parts by their proper medical names. Granted, they both call their toes “piggies” and Witchling misunderstood “piggies” so he has “pickles”…but they know their genitalia by medical names that would be found in a biology text book. 

While I was pregnant with Witchling, Witchlette, then 2, asked where babies come from. 

The Eather. Spirits are in the Eather before someone is born and aftersomeone has died. 

No Mama, after that. 

They grow in mommies’ bellies. 

No mama, before that. How do they get into the mommies’ bellies?

Ok…this was my put your money where your mouth is moment. 

Daddies have seeds and mommies have eggs. Daddies give a seed to the mommies. The mommies put the seed into the egg and the egg goes into her belly where the baby grows. 

Fast forward two years. She explained to her friend over lunch (with both me and friend’s mom present) where babies come from. 

Fast forward to last night. 

Rather than an Asgard story, Witchlette asked for science. We talked about DNA. And how DNA starts in the seed and egg. 

How does the seed and egg get into the belly?

Ok… mechanical question? Nope. I’m not ready for that. 

So, I put my theological beliefs into it: Magick. 

Magick to me is science and metascience. Flowers blooming is Magick. Sun rising is Magick. Conception is Magick. 

Is that really true?

Yes, sweety, it is. And maybe in a few years Mama will be ready for the mechanics of how the seed gets to the egg and how the egg gets to the belly. 

SPP

I don’t remember of I was still pregnant with Witchlette or if she was already here, but the first time a read about this approach- the approach I knew I wanted to take but now had some jargon and a name- I knew I was in the right. 

The post was a catch-all list of things parents never thought they’d say to their children. One of the top entries was “Please don’t put matchbox cars in your labia.”

Well, that is one of the labels you’ll see in an anatomy text book…and it is the part where a matchbox car would go. 

So, we are a sex positive household. 

No, I am not explaining to my three year old the intricacies of human sex. But I am giving her the correct terms and age-appropriate information. 

She knows she has labia and her brother has a penis. She learned very quickly that inside his diaper looked different. She asked where his labia was. I said he’s a boy, so he has a penis. A few weeks later, she asked where her penis was. Again, she is a girl so she has labia. She then connected her first dot- Mommy is a lady, so she also has labia. Today, she connected her second dot while taking a bath with her brother. She and Mama both have labia, but Witchling is a boy so he has a penis. And…Daddy is a man, so he also has a penis. 

That was all. Nothing earth shattering. Just the facts. Then she moved on to squirting turtles.  

She knows babies grow inside mama bellies. And she knows that when ladies have blood, they are not growing a baby. 

Today, she asked where babies come from. I said they grow in mama bellies. She then asked how they get there. Before I could answer, Witchling started fussing. 

I had my answer ready in the moment, but I wanted to run it by Hubby first, since he’d have to roll with it as well. So, sorta saved by the baby. 

He agreed with my take, and we’re ready for the next time she asks. All living things, plants, animals, and people, start with seeds. Daddies have the seeds and they give them to the mommies. Mommies have eggs inside them by their tummy and the seeds go into the eggs to grow the baby. 

Sure, seeds is a poetic euphemism but not a fallacy: no storks, no stories. No “talks” in the teenage years. We will add details and terms as she gets older. But this is a statement that answers her curiosity without overwhelming her little self. 

Another aspect of sex positive parenting is allowing children to explore their bodies without causing them to feel shameful. There’s nothing shameful in nerve endings. And children at this age aren’t sexual, no matter what their parents may believe. Your darling baby touching his/her “bathing suit area” (bleh! I hate that term!) is not him/her being sexual. S/he’s exploring her body. 

Just as abstinence only won’t stop teenagers from having sex, telling kids to never touch themselves won’t stop them from doing so. Don’t say no, say when. 

In our house, you can explore your body either in your room or in the tub alone. There are some activities that only happen in specific rooms. We shower and potty in the bathroom. We cook in the kitchen. We explore in the bedroom. And just like we eat in the dining room and the loving room, we can also explore in the tub. Alone. Because exploring is private. 

One of the best parts of this is the armory of privacy we have given her in defense of sexual predators. Bodies are private. Parents and grandparents can see it in the tub and while helping on the potty. Teachers can also see while helping on the potty. Doctors to check that our bodies are healthy. That’s. It. 

Until the kids are older, buy we’ll cross that bridge when we get there with the foundation we’ve laid down now.