Last night M (age 9) was having trouble going to sleep. She asked that I sit with her, so I sat there in the dark listening to music with her (Christmas music for pete’s sake) playing on her CD-player.
Just when I thought she was down for the night, she opens her eyes and asks, “How could a pregnancy be unintended?”.
“At the State Fair, in the bathroom, there was a sign that said, ‘One-Half of Preganancies are Unintended’. How can you not intend to get pregnant?”
I took a moment to compose myself – you can never really plan for these things – and started out:
“Well you know how babies are made – right?” [Mom had covered this, but I wanted to establish some basic facts – and stall for time.] “Well, sometimes people just ‘mess around’ and aren’t serious about what they are doing, and they get pregnant.”
Not waiting for her to say anything, I blundered on, “Couples should be older, in a committed relationship, you know – married, before they think about having kids. However, it’s possible for people – even young people – teenagers – to get involved and get pregnant without meaning to.”
She was pretty quiet after that, so I asked, “Does that make sense?”
“Yes,” she said.
[Awkward moment of silence.]
“Would you like to talk to Mom? I’ll get her to stop by and say ‘Goodnight’.”
I made a quick exit, and got the Mom.
A few minutes later, the Mom returned. “How did it go?” I asked. “Did she have any more questions.”
“She said you explained everything OK.”
Score one for Dad!