I honestly have NO idea why this topic is called "The Birds and The Bees"... as neither of those species have anything even remotely in common with the reproductive system of mammals unless you count that they procreate at all. They should call it "The Dogs and The Bears" or something a little closer to how it truly works.
I've known the sex talk was coming for some time now - I discussed puberty with DD1 before she started 4th grade, and it's been an onslaught ever since. Wanting to know WHEN things would start happening. Let me tell you something: my daughter is little. I think she weighs somewhere in the ballpark of 60 pounds, and (at age 11) is still in a girls size 8. (Sometimes 10S, but only if she needs the length.) She isn't anywhere near the 100lb tipping point for that pituitary gland to kick things off, with no "upper" development to help in that department either. She is going to be a later bloomer than many of her friends. BUT, the puberty talk is different from the sex talk. The puberty talk contains information like it's time to use deodorant, wash your face more often, up the time you spend in the shower on a weekly basis. Because when your daughter is really probably a couple of years away from "the big stuff" of puberty, this is all pretty easy to deal with. She knows about feminine hygiene and why her body is going to change, but that knowledge has yet to be put in to practice.
Cue yesterday on the way to the dance studio from school: "We learned about the human reproductive system today. Boy, the women have a lot more work to do that the men do!" OK, like I said... I knew it was coming. My good friend, N.M., and I even discussed last year that I needed to open the topic up before the embarrassment window had closed and she wouldn't talk about it with me. Clearly I dodged a bullet in this department - she wants to talk. Plus? I signed the form that came home from school that said it was OK for her to learn about it. She's ready to learn. I, on the other hand, am not quite ready to discuss. But, just like the "Santa talk", moms don't really get to decide when this is going to happen. She made her announcement in the car, and I said, "Well, I'll bet you have some questions about all of that, right?" She said she did, but since her little sister was in the car (and hates all of these topics) I said, "How about when I tuck you in tonight we talk?"
(Keep in mind, I already know that little sister isn't going to come to me for information - she's going to go to DD1. I want to make sure all the facts are there, so I'm feeling a little pressure to lay a good foundation.)
So, after an evening of barely being able to contain herself on the topic (much to Husband's horror), it was finally time to tuck her in and chat. She did in fact have some very specific questions. Basic, but specific. Mostly along the lines of "how". They had discussed fertilization and what happens after that, but the logistics leading up to "how" things get to where they need to be was on her mind. I used simple language, very basic information, and then started breathing again when she said, "But why would someone ever want to do that?" Yes, I agreed, right now it seems to her a little bit like sticking your finger in someone else's nose... but when she got older and past puberty, and fell in love... then it would make more sense to her. I also made her laugh a little bit, which I think helped both of our comfort levels a lot.
So, we're talking. And I am reminding myself that this is a good thing. She is willing to talk to her mother about sex - we may end up having a fairly open relationship about this, and that is a good thing too. (Or we may not, it's too soon to tell.)
But... I'm not actually ready for her to figure out that this stuff is actually going on between her dad and myself. Which will occur to her within days of our conversation, trust me. She's going to figure out that sometimes when mom and dad have their door locked it isn't because we are having a private, adult conversation. And just like that, I'm back to being horrified again.