Thursday, October 05, 2006

Questions I will need to answer more fully

My son is a nature lover like me. Considering that he grew up with daily walks in wetlands, seeing such things as a snake devouring a frog, it makes sense. Nature camps are his favorite each summer.

We've discovered and devoured our own new favorite: The Blue Planet narrated by David Attenborough. What a series. We've just finished the last one - four DVDs having eight episodes of the show.

It is a no holds barred representation of the Earth's oceans. Some things are tragic and we found ourselves rooting for the underdogs who too often did not make it. We also often questioned, literally, how on Earth they got the footage.

This evening, we watched our last one: Tidal Waters. Now we've been listening to words like spawning, eggs, sperm, fertilization etc for a few weeks, but real friskiness wasn't explicitly shown much beyond some lumbering sea turtle mounting in the water. One episode when they showed a mile long, wet, ocean, skid mark of semen you could see both from the water and the air, he asked what sperm was and I told him that it was the male equivalent of eggs. He was satisfied with that explanation.

Tonight, as they showed the flat creatures wafting frillily in the gentle current, J turned to me and asked, "Mom, how do sting rays mate?"

My first inclination was to say, "Very carefully."

Or, sorry, but, "Let's ask Steve."

Instead, in shock, I was honest and said, "I don't know."

Jeez, my son used the word, mating, in such a cavalier fashion, as if he fully understood what it meant.

I must ask, however, how can a boy who believes in Santa Claus know anything at all about mating?


Kellie said...

It's amazing how much they pick up. We LOVED to watch National Geographic shows when the kids were young. I was amazed at how much they understood and picked up.

You'll probably be surprised when you go to have the "birds and the bees" talk with him - he'll probably be able to tell you a think or two. I think my daughter was in kindergarden when she matter of factly regailed at the dinner table what a wonderful thing it would be when she got her period because that meant she could start having babies.

Orange said...

Ben recently asked me how the man gets the eggs inside the woman. I explained that the woman already has the eggs, while the man has sperm, which comes out through the same place his pee comes out. "So the sperm comes out in the pee?" No, it comes out at a different time, I clarified.

I was relieved that this was the end of the discussion! Let him ask how the sperm and egg hook up another year...