The first tough question that threw me off balance from my children is when a four- year- old wanted to know what a condom is.
To make matters worse he asked the tricky question in front of unsuspecting adults who burst out laughing in embarassment as I struggled to keep a straight face to avoid fuelling his curiosity.I think I ended up explaining a condom, in kids appropriate language of course as some plastic item that some men wear on their manhood to protect themselves from diseases.
And boy was I glad that I offered that explanation instead of whipping up a total lie because unfortunately it turned out an older boy from the neighbourhood had already told him that condoms were worn by men on their private parts. Fortunately the older boy hadn’t had yet heard of female condoms.
Anyway since then I have fielded numerous tough questions from my two boys ranging from who cut you on the stomach? (stretch marks) to was granny once new and if she was what made her old?
In the process I have come to appreciate that if you answer the question as truthful and frank as you can while keeping it age appropriate, things normally go well because all the child would be doing is a genuine search for answers in the process of growing up.
The latest shocker which was dropped by my four- year -old this week while pointing to a scantily dressed woman on TV was: Is that girl going to town to do sex? “Why do you ask that I asked my son, curious as to what prompted his question.
I heard it on TV, he replied to which I said oh ok, but I doubt if you heard the TV right because they wouldn’t say such a thing and thanked God we left it at that. Still don’t know what I would have said if he had followed up on his question to ask what sex is, so anybody with suggestions out there should send them in @ email@example.com
Meanwhile at the suggestion of my colleague we asked a few parents to share some of the awkward questions they have been asked and publish some of their responses below
1. Where do babies come from?
2. Who made your willy big?
3. Why do boys have [this] and girls have [that]?
4.Am I going to die someday?
5. Who made him white and me black
Tuduetso Muzila (23)
Hairdresser from Mmadinare: The worst mistake is to allow a child to be in the same room with you while bathing. My six year old niece once asked me what I was doing while putting on sanitary pads. I asked her what was wrong with it and she said that her mother does the same thing. I beat and chased her away.
Gorata Seile (21)
Cashier at Sean Foods from Molepolole: My four- year- old son usually wakes up when I am bathing in the morning and he normally asks me questions pointing at my private parts.
He will ask what’s that referring to my breasts and pubic hair but I tell him it is a monster. (gogo)
Goemeone Gousu (30)
Bar-lady from Kanye: My four- year old boy once asked me where a baby comes from and I said from the clinic. When he was two he told me that he was developing pubic hair just like me and I was shocked. During my pregnancy my nephew used to ask me what I had eaten that made me to be full at all times. I said it was pap but he wasn’t convinced and kept asking.