i’m sure she’ll opt to stay home next time

I screwed up royally and failed to sign the kids up for one last week of camp for August. We’re on a waiting list, but I’m not hopeful. Our summer has been so damn busy that I feel like I’ve hardly spent any time with them, so this is good! It means that I’m spending the majority of my days juggling work and outings and work and assuaging their never ending hunger and work and slip n’ slide! and work and probably way too much Netflix.

It also means that since the one thing I refuse to do is take all three kids grocery shopping, I have to hit up my favorite foodstuff carriers in the evenings. Who doesn’t love that? I mean, with the shocking news of Jen and Ben and now Gavin and Gwen, if there’s anything we can truly count on in this world, it’s that a mom of multiple children cannot wait until after dinner so she can spend her precious evening hours at Costco.

Rachel came with me this time. She’s my self proclaimed shopping buddy, and she’s usually pretty cheerful about it. We spent over an hour in the store picking out our necessities, including 12 pairs of leggings. Say what you will about buying clothes at Costco, but those damn Kirkland leggings are sturdy as hell, and at $9.99 for a 2-pack, I may try to squeeze into a pair myself, even though it won’t even be cool enough here for real pants until about October.

Anyway, $225 later, my debit card was declined because it was expired. BUT! In a stroke of good luck (because it sure as hell wasn’t organization), I actually had the new one with me! Only I hadn’t activated it yet.

Now back in the day when I worked at my credit union, any PIN-based transaction would activate a card. Apparently that is not the case anymore, so we left, no groceries, no leggings. No wine.

I’m kidding; I still had wine at home. I would never let that happen.

Tensions in the car ran high. I was irritated at the whole thing. Rachel didn’t understand why we couldn’t buy her fruit snacks. I snapped at her a few times, which wasn’t the best idea. My girl takes it hard when we’re not getting along.

At a stoplight, Rachel mumbled that when she had a baby, she wanted a boy. Maybe it’s because she is a true tomboy; maybe it’s because she was feeling insecure about the irritation in my voice, assuming that boys always get along with their moms. She asked how parents decided if the baby would be a boy or a girl. I was grateful for the break in tension, explaining that moms and dads don’t exactly get to pick – it’s just luck of the draw.

“When the daddy plants the seed, it starts to grow and develops into either a girl or a boy.”

Conversation, meet nosedive.

“But how does the seed get in the mommy’s tummy?”

“Well – uh – see, the daddy gives the mommy the seed, and it grows.”

“But how does he give her the seed? Does she swallow it?”


“But HOW?”

“Well…..when a mommy and a daddy love each other, the daddy gives the mommy a seed, and they make a baby…” I was repeating myself. I knew I was giving her the toddler version of the story, and it just ain’t right. Plus, I couldn’t stop giggling.

“It’s not funny!”

“Well, yeah, it kinda is….”

I could feel my defenses crumbling. I had no way out of this. A million thoughts flew through my mind at once. What exactly was I afraid of? She’ll talk about it at school. Talk about what? The truth? God forbid she come to the table armed with the facts instead of a stork.

“Okay. You really wanna know?”

“Yessss,” she grumbled, her way of saying Look, lady. I know you’re holding out on me. 

“Okay. When a mommy and a daddy love each other, the daddy’s penis goes into the mommy’s vagina, and that’s how he gives her the seed.”

Good grief, what have I done?



“That sounds…..gross.”

“Yeah……it is pretty gross sometimes.”

It was a pretty quiet car ride home, until she saw a Krispy Kreme and felt the need to point that out. I so rarely get the opportunity to spend one on one time with these girls. Each time feels like a special event, even if it does only consist of a failed grocery run and an awkward sex conversation.

“Rachel, I’m glad you came to the store with me tonight. Even if we didn’t get the stuff we needed.”

“Me too, Mommy. Maybe you should fix your card before you go back though.”

“Yeah. You’re probably right.”

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  1. Oh, man. We are probably like one more baby cousin away from this level of conversation. I will take a page from your book, I like your approach.

  2. Oh boy, these conversations are so uncomfortable! and funny! lol Actually this whole post is funny and so are you.
    You did a good job talking to Rachel. I try to avoid it all costs and not correct my kids when they say something incorrect. Lucy called her vagina her “china” for years.

  3. I’ve resolved myself to explaining “the birds and the bees” just as you did . . . when the time comes. For now, well, my kids remain wholly ignorant of sex.

    Except for the time, on vacation, where CJ snuck into the room and asked “can I bounce on mommy?” But he doesn’t remember it. Or he’s repressed the memory so well that it’s moot. Either way, a worry for another day.

    And I keep an “emergency” box of wine at home, at all times . . . just in case. I’m pretty good about ensuring that I have at least a few half-decent bottles around . . . but, yeah, the thought of a house without wine makes me panic a whole lot more than having to explain sex to my kids.

  4. Ahhhh. That is a great story. Yes, kid, it is both gross and funny sometimes. And really, doesn’t it sound like the most bizarre concept ever? When you first hear about how this all works it seems absurd.

    Now, as for getting a cartfull at Costco, and not being able to buy it… That is more horrifying than talking about s-e-x with the kids. I have to psych myself up for the Costco trip! Well, sometimes I have to psych myself up for the other thing, too.

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