Seven years old
On many accounts, seven is a magical age
You start going to school
You get pocket money to buy food in school.
You start to have real friends, not just playmates
You get to get a cell phone to call mum, just in case
You may even get one of those early generation iPhone thingies
And you don’t have to ask mummy again for permission
to get angry with pigs and start hurling birds at them
But seven can also be a confusing age
as it coincides with awakening sexuality
where you are banned from public toilets of the opposite sex
So how should we teach them the birds and the bees?
Obviously, a demonstration is out of the question
So what about books?
Are there books that explain all these things?
And save us parents from the embarrassment and awkwardness?
Or should we just bite the bullet and do it ourselves?
With a face straighter than straight
and tell the facts as simply as they are
Where penises are penises
and vaginas are vaginas
and breasts are breasts
And all these body parts are dual use
and serve the critical functions of procreation
and the continuation of the human race
and civilization as we know it today
Yet, who should talk to the kids?
Should it be mum? Or should it be dad?
Does it matter if the kid is a boy or a girl?
How do we break the ice on this kind of topic?
Should we pull Malcolm aside on a weekday?
Or on a weekend evening?
Will he even be interested?
What do we want to tell him?
What values are we trying to impart?
Should we tell him about safe sex and condoms?
Sex before marriage is ok?
Having girlfriends in school is ok?
Will he become even more curious and start experimenting?
Should we even start discussing all these with him now?
Or should we wait till later when he is older?
So you see, it is not just about the birds and the bees.
It is about the apple tree as well, and the thousands of apples the tree will bear over its lifetime
Complicated and heady?
Sure it is, and we got no idea where to start