Let's talk about pumpkin sex

My stepson has been curious about how babies are made for a while now.

He knows that I know that he knows. For a while there he wanted everyone to know he knew. He would make comments about sex at random times, to try and get a reaction from us grown ups. We would whistle the comments away.

I mentioned it to his mom and she said she knew that he knew that I know. He also knows what gays are because he watches Modern Family (and aren't we a modern family?)

So what's the fuss about sex talk with a child that already knows and wants you to know that he knows, anyway? If we know that he knows (and we have no idea how he knows; there is usually an older cousin or neighbor that will spill the beans, right?), why not be open about it?

We were walking by my little orchard, which I realized, surprised, that taking care of my plants became a favorite past time of his too, when we noticed that the baby pumpkins are coming out (a little late in the season, but I started late).

(It's funny, by the way, how gardening has brought together the most unlikely of people: my father, my stepson and I. My father grows vegetables (and pumpkins) all the way in his country house in Brazil and we exchange gardening tips and pictures. Now I have finally something to talk on the phone with my dad besides, "Hi dad, is mom there?" and we both think mom doesn't understand the concept of placing eggshells around plants to keep bugs away; a concept my stepson understood right away. "The bugs are afraid of chickens!" he said. I never imagined I would bond with these people over flowers.)

Stepson noticed the little pumpkins and asked how those babies came about.

I told him how flowers date and get married too (at his age people don't have sex outside marriage yet), and that most plants have a boy and a girl flower.

The girls become pumpkins, I told him, once boys give them their seeds.

I showed him the girl. She is usually wider and the parts that make her female are a little fat. They also have a belly on their stem, because nature wants to make sure that all women are self-conscious.

The males are everywhere, I further explained. They show up sooner when you fertilize the land; eager to mate, and they are skinnier.

Then I explained that because they couldn't date physically, insects did it for them by bringing the pollen (I rubbed my fingers here on the yellow powder to show him what it was) from boy to girl. After a few days, I said, the flowers die and a baby pumpkin starts to grow.

Proud of myself for managing to be tactful without being graphic, I waited as stepson stared at the flower, pensive, reflective. I imagined that perhaps this was one of the coolest conversations he ever had with an adult and that he would never forget this moment.

He finally turned to me and said,

"When are we going to Legoland?"


  1. That post made me laugh and smile all at the same time. You are a terrific step mom!


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