In my family, all the best discussions happen in the car. My son asked recently, as my husband and I were discussing the purchase of our house: “Why do you always talk about important stuff while we are driving to Grandma’s?” We laughed. It seems that the car is the only place where we can actually finish a sentence. Maybe even two. In a row.
Today I was driving the six kids and my oldest daughter was reading a parenting magazine article discussing pregnancy after 40. She asked me: “Mom, would you have a baby at 40?” “Not on purpose,” I answered. A snicker came from the back seat where my smart-alec of a son was sitting. “You mean you can have a baby by accident?” he asked cynically. That guy knows about the birds and the bees, you see. Without thinking I said “Yes, of course.” “How can you have a baby by accident?” He’s laughing even harder at this point. Obviously, our promiscuous sex-without-consequence worldview hasn’t got a hold of him yet: the guy knows where babies come from. I specify: “What I mean is that you can have sexual intercourse thinking you won’t get pregnant but you get pregnant anyway.”
So we drive a few blocks in thoughtful silence before he says: “So it means that every sexual relation doesn’t end up in pregnancy.” At this point, I am getting increasingly concerned about my oldest daughter’s eyes, who are about to roll all the way back into her shoulder blades. Nevertheless, she feels up to giving her brother a little bit about the birds and the bees. With a “duh” in her voice she says: “A woman can only get pregnant for three to five days every month.” My son got very quiet for a moment and asked: “So you can have intercourse knowing you won’t get pregnant?”
“Did it ever happen to you?”
At this point, I was fervently hoping for a large pothole to swallow the truck, or maybe a bus to hit us. That’s when I reconsidered my pledge to never fib to my children about the facts of life. Relief came from my daughter — who had resumed breathing after turning purple — and hissed: “Dude, NEVER ask a lady that!”
His wife will thank her someday.