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Sex Talk

We modern parents are so enlightened. Unlike our Dark Age ancestors, who whacked through the child-rearing jungles with dull old saws like “curiosity killed the cat” and “children should be seen and not heard,” we encourage kids’ inquisitiveness.

We quench their thirst for knowledge by reading them books about disgusting insects and having long talks about thunder: “I have no idea where it comes from. Good question, sweetie! Let’s look it up!” My son’s favorite PBS cartoon always seems to be explaining why mold grows on sandwiches.

Because our generation applauds children’s curiosity. We reward it. We even brag about it. Until the day it turns toward our underpants, and then we freak the flip out about it.

That happened to a friend of mine last week. Another parent in her son’s preschool brought a newborn baby into the classroom, and the tots began asking her questions. One piped up with the inevitable, “How did the baby get in you?”

While curiosity may not kill a cat, it can do serious damage to a postpartum female. Caught off guard and loathe to decide for other families when — and, dear god, how — this delicate topic should be broached, the new mom explained that she and her husband had engaged in strategic “hugging.”

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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