12 May
Sex, Lies and Santa Claus

The Mouthy Housewives have turned two! If they are anything like my firstborn child, prepare yourself for three years of not being able to take them anywhere in public. They’ll wreck havoc in Whole Foods, throw fits in the restaurant when their sippy cup wine glass is empty, and possibly have incontinence issues.

Thank god they’re so cute, right?!  As a former Mouthy Housewife, it appears I’ve been “grandfathered” in and get a turn to ask you lovely readers for advice, which is great, because, oh boy, do I need some advice.

Dear Mouthy Housewife Readers,

I have a soon to be fifth-grade son who still doesn’t know about S-E-X. Gasp!, right?

Like, what the hell is my homeschoolin’ self doing if not teaching my own kid sex education? You would think I live in the backwards South where we love ignorance and biblical quotes! Oh, wait.

My mom had “The Talk” with me in fourth grade. Surely my son should have had “The Talk” too. Here’s the thing, though: He still believes in Santa Claus. And the Easter Bunny!

How do you tell a kid who still believes in Santa about S-E-X? That seems like blasphemy, or at least an abominable attempt to ruin childhood innocence. Some of you may say, “Oh, Heather, he probably knows already, he’s just keeping you in the dark!” Um, no. He knows it takes a man and a woman to make a baby, but he doesn’t know the details.

And can we talk about his social immaturity? With the lack of a social filter on his mouth, I don’t trust him not to tell every little kid there is no Santa Claus much less keep the birds and the bees to himself.

I know there’s a round-about age when parents talk to their kids about sex, but doesn’t maturity level come into play too? Should I keep lying about both Santa and sex?

Heather, Former MH

P. S. I have boys. I really don’t understand why this is my problem and not my husband’s. This should totally be my husband’s problem, right?

P. P. S. He’s beginning to get pimples on his nose. Ack! Time is running out.

21 Responses to “Sex, Lies and Santa Claus”


Comment by wen711.

Get him an age appropriate book about what is changing in his body first. Sex Ed. in our school starts in 5th grade. The school asked the parents to explain sex to our children before they returned from Spring Break. I was telling my husband that I had to find a good time to have “the talk” with our son and apparently a ride home from a baseball game was good enough..my husband did it for me. From what I gathered it was all very technical and our 11 yr. old didn’t have many questions…some times less is enough.


Comment by From Belgium.

Gettin him a book is a good idea, perhaps there is one that features Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?


Comment by By Word of Mouth.

A book where Santa should tell the story …. like how he and women wanting to have lots of sex for the rest of their lives are both just feel good stories!


Comment by Minka.

Santa is self-explanatory. Everyone’s version is pretty much the same. But sex is filled with misinformation and it’s too possible for him to learn the wrong stuff. I say if you don’t wanna crush his illusions about Santa yet, then don’t. Besides, it can’t really get him into much trouble. But sex…? Need I say more?
They start with puberty and sex ed in 4th grade in our district. But most of the 4th graders have already started hearing rumors and jokes they don’t understand coming down from 5th graders and the older siblings of their friends.

I first gave a basic explanation (also during a car ride! It’s one of the only times I’m alone with my older kid) but also bought a book and gave that to her.

I remember my mom giving me an article to read in a magazine, but without actually talking to me about it. That pissed me off. Like she was taking the easy way out. Sure it would’ve been uncomfortable, but like — tough shit. Life is uncomfortable. And it set the tone for a future in which I never felt I could talk to my parents at all about sex. I learned everything I know pretty much from secretly purchased copies of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

You don’t want your son to learn the wrong things from the wrong places. And even if he’s home-schooled, no doubt he’ll encounter other kids and he’ll start hearing stuff. Don’t wait.

And at some point, the Santa thing’ll work itself out.

Mom Again Reply:

My mom was much the same. A book (library book) appeared in my stack of library books, and then I was told I had to keep it/read it in her room because my little brothers were too little to know yet.

This was the week after I started my period, which I dealt with by getting some of her sanitary pads. No, I didn’t tell her but I knew that detail from an older cousin.

About this same time, it was decided this older cousin was an inappropriate friend. (and, she was. she and her friend would invite me along to make things look innocent, then stash me in a nerdier kids car for the evening.) So I didn’t learn much more of use from her. Or, looking at it from a mom’s point of view, from anyone she left me with.)

But still, my mom copped out.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Not sure I understand the connection between Santa and sex. Santa is a fantasy, and sex is reality… wait, okay forget I said this. Now is the perfect time to introduce him to the fantasy, when he can still believe that all women fantasize about mind blowing sex.


Comment by justMom42.

I had the sex talk with both of my children at 6 months old.
Now I’m off the hook, right?

Karin Reply:

man… that’s the way to go!


Comment by N and Em's mom.

Take him to the zoo. I swear every time that I took my kids, there would be some animal that they really wanted to see getting it on. The horrified parents shooing their kids past the bears was hysterical. Seriously though, he doesn’t have to hear all the nitty gritty details in one sitting. If you have a health unit every year, you will be able to teach him age-appropriate material in a classroom setting without it being a big deal. He will only blab to every person he sees if you make it a big deal. Santa on the other hand, that’s a big deal. At my house, if you don’t believe, then you don’t receive. My 18 year old will look you in the eye and tell you there’s a Santa Claus because she wants her stocking to be full on Christmas morning.


Comment by Zephyr.

When my oldest son was in 4th grade, we were at the mall. He wandered off. After a panicky while, I found him and sternly told him, “You have to stay WITH me. If I lose you, your father will want me to have more kids to replace you, and I am NOT having more babies.”

His oh-so-location-appropriate reply was, “How do you keep from having babies?” I told him we’d have to wait until we got back to the van to answer that, because it wasn’t really a mall topic. And on the way home, I gave him an overview and answered any specific questions he had.

So I’d say… make a stupid comment, and wait to see what questions he asks, then answer what he asks. You’re at the perfect age now… in a few years he’ll be too self-conscious to ASK the questions, especially with you, and you’ll have lost your opportunity.

And be sure to tell him that he’s welcome to ask you OR his father any questions he has, and both of you will be glad to answer anything. This helps put the task onto his father. Just don’t overwhelm him with information beyond what he’s ready for… I think it’s best to answer just a bit more than he asks and then wait for more questions later. And hopefully he asks his father some of them.


Comment by Karin.

personally, I’ve been chatting up little bits of sex ed from the time they were tiny. As someone who’s had to teach sexual reproduction – the science part, never mind the morality – to a group of catholic school kids, I appreciated the parents who had discussed it at least in general terms. Tree reproduction (especially this time of year) make a good starting point.


Comment by Lesley.

My husband could come talk to him for you. He did a great job in Feb telling our 5th grade daughter (while I laughed hysterically in the corner). He thought that since we have all girls this would fall on me but he was oh so wrong! I guess since I change the majority of the diapers he can talk about sex baby!


Comment by Mom on the Verge.

This is SO your husband’s problem. That, and teaching him how to use a urinal. (I’ve told my husband repeatedly that I WILL NOT be teaching my boy that, and he’d better get on it SOON. That, and he throws like a girl. And not in a good way.)

But more to the point, I assume your son is literate, so I recommend “That’s So Amazing” by Robie H. Harris. It’s just enough sperm-and-egg, boy-parts’ and girl-parts to get them up to date. It discusses S-E-X, but not in any icky terms. Believe me, he’ll have questions for you. Stay calm and just answer them. 🙂


Comment by Sue.

Turn on MTV….problem solved.

Ellie Reply:

Cracked up at this. Well said.


Comment by Lisa.

Why, yes, this is your husband’s problem, of course it is.

Though, I do think sooner is better than later. You’re mortified now, think about how bad it will be if you wait until he’s actually in puberty????

To further scar you, check this out.



Karin Reply:

absolutely hilarious!


Comment by GrandeMocha.

My 6 yr old & I read Dr. Ruth’s “Where You Came From”. It answered the question, “How does the baby get in the mommy’s tummy?” My husband was horrified with the details in the book. Too bad, it had to be done.

We have the rule, “You have to believe to recieve” about Santa, The Elf on the Shelf, the Toothe Fairy.


Comment by Mom Again.

He’s a sciency kid. sciency is so a word. stupid spell check. Anyway, he likes science. Start with non humans. But get to mammals pretty quick or he could get odd ideas.


Comment by MiniPeds.

I learned this week, to my horror, (while discussing when is the “right age” for “the talk”) that my husband had sex before his parents ever got around to giving him “the talk!” So really…sooner is better as long as you think he can handle it. And don’t use an educational video from the 70’s like my school did… they didn’t shave ANYTHING back then.


Comment by Ace.

I was home-schooled until 7th grade, never believed in Santa (JESUS blesses good kids with presents, but we didn’t celebrate it, so we were bad kids, Jesus hadn’t blessed us enough to not be living in poverty, and it was our Dad’s birthday, so… happy childhood). I had my first ORGASM before I knew what sex was. I was terrified! Thought Jesus was killing me right there on the dryer because I was sinning! …looking at the “erotic” ads in the back of one of my sister’s fashion magazines.

Um, so aside from all of that nonsensical garbage, I would encourage this talk sooner than later. What did girls in my school do if adults didn’t talk to them about sex? They went to the biggest slut they had ever heard of and asked her questions. My sisters eventually came to me.

Although my mom was really shocked by it, our conversations about sex started with me just asking a lot of brazen questions. The first one I remember? “Mom, what is 69? The kids at school write it all over their folders but I don’t know what it means.” I was 12. She answered as awkwardly as humanly possible, and I learned the rest by borrowing books from the library which were meant for unhappy heterosexual couples into their 15th year of marriage, trying to figure out new ways to spice it up in the sack. And yes, I became a giant whore. Don’t let your kids become whores. Explain it to them in scientific terms, and for added fear-mongering points, let them know they bleed like crazy for a month afterward and everyone who looks them in the eye will know. That scared me away from intercourse for like, 5 years. And no, my mom didn’t feed me those lies. Some girl I knew heard it from her cousin and scared us ALL from having sex. Until we were at least 13.

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