the 3-letter word

April 20, 2017

“Maksu, I know…” announces my 10-year old nephew today at dinner.

“You know what?” I ask.

“I knooooo-oooowwww…” Nephew repeats himself.

“You knoooo-ooowww what?” I ask again.

“I know what sex is.”


I did not just hear that.

That did not just happen.


I’m sorry, what just happened. Didn’t my sister give birth to you like 10 minutes ago?? Flashbacks of him as a baby came to my mind and I shake my head in disbelief of what I just heard. I definitely was not prepared for this. Suddenly my milo ais on the table didn’t taste so good anymore. I had knots in my stomach and I wasn’t sure if that was because of the nasi biryani or because my nephew now knows a stork didn’t deliver him.

I keep silent for a while, praying that I will find a Make Self Invisible button on my body. There was none. HA-HA, God, thanks for putting me in this situation.

“Umm oh really?” I try to sound as calm as I could, even tried to add a cheery tone to my question. Remember, Vivy, the key is to not freak out and speak to him like an adult. Don’t make sex a big deal, just be cool about it like you’re talking about lego or something…

“Yeah, at first I didn’t understand why all the kids at school like to do this – “ and he demonstrates a crude hand gesture – makes an O shape with his thumb and index finger, and puts his other index finger through the O. “But now I know what it means. It’s quite funny, actually.”

Oh dear God.

Note to self – never send Daniel and Mariam to school, ever.

“I see… Haha so funny. Hmmm but maybe you shouldn’t do that sign. I find it rude and unnecessary. Let those people do what they want, but you shouldn’t do hand gestures like that ok?”

“Why not, Maksu?”

I swear I thought about this before years ago, and I had the perfect speech in mind. I would have a mature talk about sex with my nephew and niece if they ever asked me, and that I would tell them it’s only when they’re ready to have babies one day when they’re married. I would have all the right answers and we would all leave that conversation mature adults.

But I panicked, guys.

I froze and forgot everything I practised.

Nothing can prepare you for this! Especially when all you wanted to do was drink your milo ais in peace.

I then pictured Daniel and Mariam one day asking me about this. Or worse, learning about this from their friends at school (but that’s not going to happen because I’m not sending them to school ever anymore). It’s just a funny life cycle isn’t it? One day, you are learning about it and giggling with your friends in school, and your parents probably freaked out and had red cheeks for a week. And now, it’s your turn.

I just don’t want to make any mistakes here. Kids nowadays are just so advanced. I learned about the reproductive system in school in Form 3, and that was the one chapter that everyone had perfect attendance in biology class and we’d come out giggling. Now, kids are learning about it as early as primary school!

Any advice on how to tackle this, guys? I mean, this is serious stuff! You’re shaping the mind of a human being here. They’re like little sponges that absorb everything you say, you really can’t say the wrong thing here! And what if they’re curious to try stuff!

Is there a right way to teach them about s-e-x?

Or should I just keep praying for the Make Self Invisible button?