Keeping Mum

Dita De Boni looks at the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Dita De Boni: Sex and the suburbs

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Thoughts of anatomy are heightened at this stage, what with a new baby on the way. Photo / Thinkstock
Thoughts of anatomy are heightened at this stage, what with a new baby on the way. Photo / Thinkstock

It's been a time of pondering sex in the Ikram household of late, and Lord knows it's not because much of the actual thing is going on up in this joint.

The usual slew of powerful alpha-males and their secret saucy shenanigans in the news are nothing that astounding but I must admit to being agog over the American Democratic senator, the unfortunately named Anthony Weiner, sexting pictures of his (underpanted) weenie to women across the United States.

I found myself wondering how it is a man in his position - powerful, credible, married to a beautiful woman and seemingly with the world at his feet - would do something so entirely indiscreet and randomly stupid.

And then I further wondered why a man would think a woman might find all that a turn-on. It's simply not the same thing as sexting parts of a female anatomy to a man - the pastime of many a college student, if constant shrill media reports are anything to go by.

No, a woman's most enthusiastic response to such a missive, if the women I know are anything to go by, would probably be "meh".

Followed by "why would he do that?"

And then: "Now, what is it I'm supposed to be doing at 3pm again?"

But in fact it's not hard to see where the basis of penis adoration begins - and by penis adoration, I mean the adoration of a penis by his owner.

It starts in young boys, who, if they have sisters, have their first ever captive audience hearing about the superiority of it.

There's nothing sexual in it at that stage, of course - just a statement of fact: "My penis is better than your vagina", "I can wash my penis, you can't wash yours!" etc.

It's not without accompanying anxiety, of course: "Can I put mine back on with Sellotape if it falls off?"; "Can someone pull it off if I'm naughty?" etc. are fairly standard questions.

And from my daughter, the same thing in reverse: "When I get older can I / will I get a penis?"

Thoughts of anatomy are heightened at this stage, what with a new baby on the way, and plenty of questions about how it got there - and how it's getting out - are being fired at Ali and myself on a constant basis.

At the moment the consensus seems to be that I will vomit the baby up, wash it off, and then it will immediately proceed to annoy the heck out of both kids and steal their toys.

Oh, and according to the three- and five-year-old wordsmiths, the baby's name is most likely to be a new and favoured concoction of the household - "Moonsh*t".

But of course there was no escaping the central question - how the baby got in there - for too long, and so it proved the other day when the question was raised by the five-year-old.

I don't personally see the need to bring the whole vagina/penis aspect into the equation. Suffice it to say, when the question is put to me alone, I always say that daddy planted a seed in mummy's tummy and from there, a baby grows. A suitably Presbyterian answer that befits my prudish heritage entirely well.

But Ali always feels that answer is too botanical, and when the question was put to both of us, he jumped ahead of me.

"The man puts a clear jelly on mummy's tummy ..." he began, causing my eyebrows to shoot through the roof and frantic attempts to dissuade my husband from his train of thought (which, for the record, is usually either entirely misinterpreted or ignored).

"Then he gets out something that is very long and ..."

Argghhhh I said in a strangled voice, then let forth a stream of invective aimed at quashing this overly detailed recounting of long-forgotten events.

"What?" said Ali.

"He asked me how we could see the baby, didn't he?"

Um, no ... but I think between us we've managed to mangle the answer to that vital question so successfully that the kids should be bamboozled and therefore unlikely to ask again for a while longer.

Perhaps that will give us to time to get our stories straight - heck, perhaps even reacquaint ourselves with the actual event so the retelling isn't quite littered with historical inaccuracies!

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