Ambushed by a Christmas carol

As mentioned in previous threads, I’m the father of 3 preteen daughters, and as such, am uncomfortable with any questions from them relating to sex, where babies come from, etc. Partly from a strict and uptight Catholic upbringing (since lapsed), and partly from the fact that they’re girls. Boys, I could handle. So when such questions arise, my general strategy is to hem and haw for a second, see if my wife is around so I can pass the question off, and finally, if pressed, answer it to the best of my ability.

Last night, I was bringing all 3 girls home from school, and we were listening to Christmas music on the radio. Whenever one of them complains that they don’t like a song, I generally start singing along, because that’s what dads do. So there I am, singing along to “Silent Night”, not even thinking about the lyrics, when my oldest (9), loudly asks “Dad, what’s a virgin?” Bushwhacked! Now, if I had been thinking straight, I would have just answered “A person who has never had sex with another person.” But instead, I panicked, and told her about some people believing that Jesus was the son of God, and Christmas celebrates his birth, and that’s what the song is about. She listened to my explanation carefully, then said, “OK, but what’s a virgin?” I then realized I had sabotaged myself - if after explaining that Mary was Jesus’s mother, I then told her a virgin has never had sex, I’d be totally confusing her - she knows that you have to have sex to have a baby. So I told her I’d explain it to her later. To which she replied “Why - you don’t want the other two to know what it is?” Her sisters (7 & 5) had been ignoring us to this point, but their ears are keenly attuned to anything indicating they’re being left out of something, so they both started clamoring “We want to know too! Tell us! Tell us! What’s a virgin!” Now I was really stuck - the youngest hasn’t gotten any sex ed beyond “you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby” yet, and yelling the explanation to the back seat of the minivan while driving at night didn’t seem the best way to have that talk. But luckily, the radio came to my rescue at just that moment - “Feliz Navidad”, our favorite Christmas singalong song started up. So I was able to make it home safely, at which point I could distract them with homework and getting ready for gymnastics, and finally, pass the question on to my wife to answer (none of this bothers her) like the coward I am.

You should really post this to José Feliciano’s fan site, so he knows he’s saved a life.

9, 7, & 5 is going to be 17, 15, & 13 in a mighty short time. May I suggest you start by discussing sex with your wife for practice?

I kinda think those two are well beyond that stage, Grandma. :smiley:

Tell them it’s a word for a young woman.

At least they’re hearing it right and not as “round john virgin” which was how I always heard it and think of it, even to this day.

You reminded me of a Christmas special we just watched - Olive the Other Reindeer. There is a character in it named Round John Virgin, and another named Richard Stands (points for guessing where his name comes from)

He’s the president of Toothy Republic.

Well, if it was good enough for Isaiah, it’s good enough for your kids.

…And possibly thank him for wanting “to wish you a Me-eeerry Christmas…!” :smiley:

I can always see better by the light of the Dawnser Lee.

I thought this thread was going to be about a driveby caroling of some kind. Hemming and hawing about the sex talk is a surefire way to make them REALLY interested in it. If you’d gone with “Someone who’s never had sex” or “your uncle Ron” like you’d answered the question a million times it wouldn’t come up again.

I don’t know, discussing sex with your wife, even if it’s just “for practice” would pretty much lead to a new baby in nine months, and detract things further from the “this is what a virgin is” talk.

I see better by the donzerly light. :smiley:

This was in some book I read as a kid and I can’t remember which one. A character thought “donzer” was another word for “lamp.”

“I turned on the donzer.”
“You turned on the WHAT?!”
“The donzer. You know, it gives lee light.”

That was in one of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.

I’ve always thought there should be a point of land called Donzerly Point. It would have a lighthouse, which would be the Donzerly Light.

Seriously, you’ve got to be able to talk with them about this. They need the input of a male they can trust. Remember, what they can’t learn by talking, they’ll learn by doing.

this might help:

Well, yes. Three kids in six years is pretty good. But being able to talk calmly about sex is a very different skill from making whoopie.

For a dad who got rattled over the word “virgin”, I suspect words like “intercourse” and “contraception” are going to take some practice. Time is now, muldoonthief.

They’ll learn virginity by doing it?

Yeah… I guess that makes sense…

I do talk about it with them when necessary. Just because I’m embarrassed and uncomfortable doesn’t mean I won’t do it. It was the whole Christmas carol leading to questions that had me in a tizzy. Of course, I’m still dreading the moment during a football game when I’m asked “Daddy, what’s an erection, and have you ever had one lasting more than 4 hours?”

You have indeed figured out how to get the attention of kids. Just let them know that their ears are too young and tender for what you want to talk about. They will hang onto every word.

Well, have you? :smiley:

My daughter does not even want to THINK about the fact that she is the result of a sexual act that her daddy and I shared. She would vastly prefer to know absolutely nothing about our sex lives, whether it’s with each other or other parties.

I first read about intercourse in one of those “health sciences” books in school. Once my brain got done spinning when I visualized what was being described, my next thought was “but that means…I mean…my parents…EWWWWWWWW!”