no. 620 – But When Do They Get Around To The Petri Dish?

We received in the mail recently a care-package from a relative. I won’t say which side of the family this relative sprouts from, but every day I thank my stars above that I somehow lucked out with the "normal" one….

In the care-package was a little book: Where Did I Come From by Peter Mayle

Oh, this is cute I thought as I flipped through the first couple of pages on the verge of flagging down XBoy to show him his new book. My brain came to screeching halt when I saw this:  Wdicfbath

What the hell do two old people taking a bath together and playing "tugboat" have to do with the point of this book??! And as an aside, anyone else notice that we get the pleasure of the man’s butt-shot in the wall mirror? Yep. That was necessary.

Then they get Grandma and Grandpa out of the tub and start describing the differences between them including the "two round bumps on her chest".  Grandma’s got quite a nice rack, wouldn’t you agree? "Some people call them the bosom….Other people call them titties, or boobs." I covered these names here in a much earlier and unrelated post.

By the way, for you parents who struggled with whether or not to use nicknames for your children’s body parts, I highly recommend you start off with the correct terminology because it’ll all go downhill once they hit Kindergarten. XBoy has known the word "penis" since the day he found it in the tub with him and just starting to talk (not the penis, but the toddler). Well just a couple days ago he mentioned something about his "wiener". So let me just take a moment to thank the parents and older siblings of the classmates in XBoy’s class for introducing that lovely word into his vocabulary. The point is teach them the technical terms early because they’ll slip into those delightful colloquialisms soon enough.

Wdicfwork Don’t think that the woman gets all the attention in the book. There’s this delightful mention of the penis: (I’m providing it as a picture since I’m sure I’ll get enough weird search hits from this post as it is…)

Then we get down to business. The sex, or as the book has it labeled, "Making Love". Did you know that "making love is like skipping. You can’t do it all day long." no matter how enjoyable the "tickling" is.  Wdicfskip

You know, there’s just no way I can do this book justice, positively or negatively. It’s garnered rave reviews for its frank humor while at the same time, it’s considered offensive to others. I must be a bit of a prude as I found it inappropriate only because too much time was put into describing sex itself.

Wdicfhug Does a 5 year old need to know it feels good? That the man "likes to be insider her" or that the woman "likes him to be insider her" or that the "big shiver" at the end is a bit like sneezing? It kind of squicked me out, to be honest.

Worse yet, the imagery in the book will somehow become part of my subconscious at the worst possible times. "Oooh, I’m going to sneeze…I’m going to sneeze!…yes, YES, I’m sneezing!!"

Now if you happen to have this book and liked it, feel free to tell me why you did (or even if you didn’t).

29 thoughts on “no. 620 – But When Do They Get Around To The Petri Dish?”

  1. OMG!

    Is the fact that they are fat, bald and ugly supposed to make it all seem less … umm … less … umm … more wholesome somehow?


    I’d rather let my kid watch Jerry Sringer I think.

    At least I could turn THAT into a who not to marry lesson.

  2. Wow. I thought sex sounded scary when I was a kid, too. I remember asking my Mom when I was 10 if there was some other way to have kids, because no way was I ever going to let a boy do that thing to me.

    She said, “Artificial insemination.” I said, “Sign me up.”

    But I think this book would not have eased my fears about the pleasures of sex. That old coot’s dangling member would have just haunted my nightmares. It might still.

  3. I guess many people find it difficult to talk about s.e.x etc with their children. But that book is creepy,


  4. While I am definitely not a prude… I’m not sure that a 5 year old needs to know that sex feels good… not that they need to know it feels bad either, but I’m a just the facts Mable kind of girl… I did send this on to my husband to see what D has to say… Considering my husband did not grow up in a household where sex was openly talked about this should be interesting.

  5. *snort* I think we have that somewhere…When I read it to L when he was younger, I glossed over a bunch (and didn’t let him read it on his own, he was an early reader and no way I was gonna explain how I knew) and it was a bit weird!

    Now that he’s almost 10, we just provide matter of fact answers and he’s satisfied with them. So far… for my teenage sons, it embarrasses them to death for me to be frank. Maybe I should let THEM read this one. ;o)

  6. I’m still stuck on the tugboat picture. Is that supposed to be foreplay? Are they saying foreplay is like playing in the bath with toys?

    Seems to me that even though this book tries to explain some of the “mysteries” of sex, it’s analogies are a little off.

    I’m all for being open with kids about their body parts and about sex, but this book feels creepy to me.

  7. I have to ask you to refrain from posting things like this for me to read at work, because the other people in my cube farm (including another anatomy instructor) want to know what’s making me laugh hysterically.

    Theren’s nothing more that I can say about it except ICK about the idea of a child of XBoy’s age knowing about sex in that kind of detail. For now, P knows that half of him came from Daddy and half of him came from me, and that’s been enough to satisfy his curiosity. When he asks how those two parts got together, we’ll go into more detail–but I can’t imagine that the “it feels good” part of the discussion will come anytime in the next few years.

  8. Note: I don’t have kids.

    BUT, as a kid, the concept of sex absolutely terrified me. It sounded horribly uncomfortable, invasive, and painful…I knew the mechanics of it, but I had NO idea why anyone would willfully participate in the act unless they were absolutely dying for a kid.

    Dunno. I think knowing that it felt good might have saved me a few years of trauma. 🙂

  9. I’m giggling, too, but I’m also saying DUDE.

    I got It’s Not the Stork by Robie Harris for my daughter. It discusses the mechanics of sex without actually talking about how it feels, etc. I think it handles the whole thing very well.

  10. Ok, that is weird. I thought I was a “progressive” parent, but there’s no way I’d give that to a 5 year old. It seems… I don’t know… cheesy???
    Please tell me your relative didn’t preview this book and just looked at the cover…. I could forgive that oversight. lol.

  11. I have to admit, I’m giggling at your post. But I agree that the book seems quite inappropriate for a 5-year-old. I seem to remember seeing one recently, I’m wracking my brain to think of where, that a friend was going to use for a ?Sunday school class? that actually seemed really good. I’ll see if I can figure out what it was and pass on the info.

  12. Oh wow…that is the same book that I brought to school, c. 1975-ish?! I got is SO much trouble! Thanks for the flashback. I thought it was weird enough to bring to school, and now I think its even weirder, knowing what it “really” describes. Didn’t realize Peter Mayle wrote it, though. That’s probably what paid for his house in Provence…LOVE those books.

  13. honestly, i’m rendered speechless. i don’t know if it’s good or bad, but i know it made me give an involuntary ‘oy vey’ rather like a sneeze…

  14. That book is a hoot, but maybe more appropriate for later, when he learns the info from you, compares his knowledge with his friends, and then can “find” this laying around for reference.

  15. Honestly I found this disturbing on more than one level. Ew. I think it is way TMI and not even described well. Yet on the other hand I wish I had a copy to share with my teenagers, I can hear the uproarious laughter now!

    My kids didn’t know any swear words till they started school. Gotta love the parents that taught their 7 year old “fuck you asshole” that repeated it to my 7 year old on the bus. Yeah, that was an interesting talk when he asked me what that meant.

  16. I grew up with this book and don’t remember all the stuff about how it felt good, I guess I wasn’t really interested in that at the time.

    There’s another book that a friend’s children had, which has cartoon pics including a sequence of the sperm rushing towards the egg. Can’t remember what it was called but the kids concerned LOVED it (aged 6 and at the time, and they are in the US).

  17. I’ve had these talks with my kids as you know, but to be honest, I think I’d prefer a book with real pictures not cartoons, and yes, using correct terminology.

    But to be a little contrarian, I would definitely say have a book around. Sometimes kids forget things and want to ask but don’t know how, the book if written well, can help. Just not sure if it should be THIS book?

  18. Oh yeah, we had the book in our house growing up too!! I do remember being able to read the words, so I was old enough to read… That is too funny!!

  19. Uh….not even sure what to say.

    I guess I’m in the prude boat too.

    You know, I considered myself a pretty progressive parent because I’ve had fairly frank discussions with my daughter about “parts” and “where babies come from” ever since she was 4 or 5 – but that just seems like WAY too much information for that age of child.


    And…the drawings. Eeks.

  20. This is a joke right? A book you give parents to jokingly teach their kids with? Because I think I need a little therapy now and I know where babies come from.

    Ick, ick, ick!

  21. Holy crap, you are going to laugh when you hear this. We had this book in my house growing up. My sister and I would look at it and laugh because it showed “a penis”. Please tell me you got the companion book “What’s Happening to Me?”.

    I haven’t thought about these books in YEARS!! I was having lunch with Serenity a couple weeks ago and she said that her MIL gave them to her and J as a gift. I nearly fell off my chair laughing. She said her and J picked apart the book and how babies are made. But what killed me, is that J’s sister? Upset that Serenity and J got the book! They wanted it!

    It is just to much that 2 people I know have had these books thrust upon them. It’s a total blast to my pre-pubescent past. :0

    Hopefully XBoy won’t come home with to many offensive terms. Who am I kidding, of course he will.

  22. WHAT THE….

    Totally unacceptable! Is it even for his age group because if it is, the author’s a fickin nut job.

    I hope you put it on the very top of your bookshelves for “another time”!

    Oh deary, deary me!

    Personally, I don’t think kids need a book to teach them sex, a good parent can do that job better.

  23. I’m just psyched that the “where do babies come from” question in our household will be answered by a truthful “from the embryology lab dear.” Let her figure out where OTHER people’s babies come from after she makes friends with the street smart potty mouth in second grade.

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