“Don’t touch her butt!” Jeremiah rebuked Milo. Milo and Naomi were romping in the living room in that silly hour that happens when bedtime has been delayed, and there were some shenanigans going on.
“Why not?” he asked, challenging as always.
“You shouldn’t touch anyone else’s butt,” Jeremiah insisted, vehemently but vaguely.
“But Daddy touches your butt,” Milo argued to me, demonstrating the sensual caresses remarkably accurately on his own body.
“Yes, but Daddy’s my husband,” I said, “and the way he touches my butt has a sexual connotation, so you shouldn’t do it to Naomi, because you’re not supposed to have sex with your sister.”
Milo was grinning in delight now. He’d gotten mommy at a matter-of-fact moment and was getting some juicy morsels of gossip on a rarely-mentioned topic. “Why can’t I have sex with Naomi?” He cocked his head and the buck-tooth grin challenged me to drop some more pearls of wisdom. The year 4 students started sex ed last year and he has an anatomical idea of what sex is (“You had to do that TWICE to get me and Naomi, didn’t you?” he has asked me recently. “Yes, Milo, twice…..”).
“If you have sex with your sister it’s called incest, and it’s considered taboo by society, and your children could have weird genetic problems.”
“What’s Taboo?” he asked, dancing around like a joker, considering, I’m sure, how scintillating a conversation topic this would make with his next door buddy. Naomi was also listening in delight, rubbing her bum and waving it around.
“It means you’d be an outcast of society and no one would talk to you or play with you! Now, GO TO BED!” I insisted, pointing to the bedroom.
They retreated, and I moved back into the kitchen where Jeremiah was making pasta salad. “I just explained incest to our kids, did you hear?” I said, fishing for a congratulations on doing some hard-yards parenting.
“Yeah, thanks, good job,” he grinned. Milo turns 10 next week. Explaining Incest is easy compared to the years we surely have ahead.