Tag Archives: Parenting

How To Talk To Your Grocer About Sex

February 4, 2015


A few weeks ago my three-year-old son asked how babies get inside your belly.

This is not an unusual question for a three-year-old, but I still paused to consider its milestone. Before I was a parent, I had pictured this conversation very tenderly, with plenty of self-righteous joy. I imagined us sitting together, hands clasped, talking openly about our bodies. No honey, penis is not a dirty word!  Look at what a wonderful mother I am.

Of course in reality, the conversation looked a lot more like a three-year-old bouncing up and down on the couch and misunderstanding everything I was saying.

“But YOU don’t have a spray, Mommy. Only Evie and I have sprays.”

“Not sprays, sperm,” I explain for the 30th time. “A sperm from the daddy and an egg from the mommy make a baby. Eva doesn’t have any.”

“But Daddy’s spray is in his belly and mine is in my belly and yours is lost, right?” His face is sincere but he is still bouncing.

Eventually I give up.


Sex is not embarrassing to me. I don’t want it to be embarrassing to my kids either. Which is why a few days later when we are in the grocery check-out line and Waylon asks if Grandpa “has any spray,” I try to be nonchalant. “I’m not sure,” I say, trying and failing to remember when you run out of sperm. “Maybe.”

Waylon pauses to consider this while I unload our groceries onto the conveyer belt. “When I have a baby in my belly, I’m going to be as big as you!” he concludes proudly.

“Actually honey,” I say quietly, “Only girls grow babies in their belly.”

He looks disappointed so I offer him a conciliatory gatorade. “What about him? Does he have spray?” Waylon points to our 17-year-old cashier.

“What spray are you looking for?” our cashier boy answers without looking up. He appears bored.

“He’s just confused,” I say quickly, throwing a jar of tomato sauce onto the bread bag.

“Do you have spray in your belly? Because only boys have it. Not girls,” Waylon continues, presenting the information at hand.

“I’m so sorry,” I apologize.

“It’s cool,” answers cashier boy, clearly not understanding that this three-year-old wants to discuss his sperm. “Does he want a sticker?”

“Oops, I forgot!” Waylon says, smacking himself on the forehead like a cartoon version of himself. “It’s not SPRAY, Mommy said. It’s called SPERM!”

“Did he say sperm?” Cashier boy looks alarmed. Ah, this is how you get a 17-year-old’s attention.

“Sperms are in your belly to make babies if you want to,” Waylon offers politely.

I try not to notice the redness creeping up cashier boy’s neck and swipe my credit card. “Um, yeah. I don’t know. He’s three so…”

The machine does nothing. I swipe my card again.

Waylon: God made sperms at school with Miss Danielle.

Cashier Boy: I think you’re holding it backwards.

Me: I don’t–

Waylon: But when we get bigger we don’t have sperms, ONLY babies. Buzz Lightyear does not have sperms.

It’s always good to leave the check-out line on a good note.

Moral of the story: Always be open and honest with your kids about sex.

Secondary moral: Self check-out. Every time.


Dear Friend (Letter To Moms Of Toddlers)

January 29, 2015


Hello Mamas. I come in peace.

No judgements. No agenda. No advice on potty training or vaccinating or how to get your toddler to stop peeing in the house plants.

I know just as little as you do, which has actually ended up being quite revealing. You can read all about it in my new book, “Honestly, You Just Wait It Out.”

Because that’s what you do. You wait and wait and wait, and then one day they stop throwing peanut butter sandwiches on the kitchen floor and your google searches on child personality disorders seem a bit dramatic.

It is so startling when your precious, newborn baby suddenly becomes a toddler. It sneaks up on you at first; a small tantrum in the Target parking lot, minor hysteria over the inconsistency of socks. Then all of a sudden they are pointing their finger, stomping their feet, and throwing all their raisins into the toilet. Sometimes I feel like, who invited this guy to the party? I am not cleaning up after this guy.

I know there is a lot of great stuff out there about how you’re supposed to carpe diem or not carpe diem or how we’re supposed to stop yelling or cut ourselves a break.

Here is what I want to say to you today:

1) It gets better. Those nuggets eventually do grow up enough to communicate that they do or do not want the red crayon. One day you will wake up and realize you can have a whole conversation and maybe even clean the kitchen without someone standing in the dishwasher. And restaurants? Let me tell you about restaurants. Suddenly going out to eat becomes less like crying in the parking lot and more like eating your chicken sandwich with two hands. I cannot overemphasize this small and important joy.

2) It gets worse. Oh, did you think parenting was going to get easier? Wishing away the toddler years is easy when you’re getting kicked in the mouth during diaper changes. The thing is, every stage of parenthood has its pros and cons. I have learned the hard way that you will never enjoy parenting if you are always wishing they were older. Kids will forever and always be annoying. It just appears in different forms. If you’re feeling despondent, remember the restaurant thing.

3) Friends help. Are you so tired of hearing how it takes a village? I remember thinking, “A village sounds great, but I’m too tired to make small talk about The Bachelor.” Honey these are the golden years, but you will drown without help. Single moms, married moms, working moms, stay at home moms–everyone needs a buddy who says, “This is normal” or “Yes, me too” or “You get the wine, I’ll bring the pizza.” Suffer through the small talk to find your mom soul mate. She is out there. Just a girl, standing in front of another girl, asking for a babysitting swap.

And finally, if you are wondering if your two-year-old will ever stop pooping in his underwear, the answer is yes. Definitely yes.

Honestly. You just wait it out.

Keep on keeping on.