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Sex talk that turned me into a prude

“What’s sex?” asked my 8-year-old son a few weeks ago. I was boiling pasta for dinner, trying to shove sweet potato into my baby’s mouth and mopping up the milk my 6-year-old had just knocked onto her favorite dress.

“What?” I replied. 

Make your face look normal, is what I was thinking to myself, MASK THE PANIC

“What’s sex?” he repeated, a little more tentative this time.

I knew just how to respond.

“Sex, did you say? Huh. Never heard of it. Do you mean Chex? That’s a cereal. We can buy some. Right now, in fact. Why don’t we go to the supermarket and buy ourselves a whole mess of Chex and Cheerios and Corn Flakes and try to forget that this little mix-up ever happened?”

I didn’t go with that response. Instead, I said: “That’s a good question. Let’s talk about it later, OK, because I’m a little busy right now.”

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