Where Did I Come From?

by: Melissa

Once upon a long, long time ago there was this time period called the 70’s. It was just past the hippie movement and full force into the disco era.

I was around 8.

My mother, into enlightening her children in the ways of humankind and crap like that, presented my sister and me with a book called “Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle.

How many of you had this book?

I loved it. I adored the fat, naked couple that represented all the parents of the world. The picture of the sperm on top of the heart would have made a perfect Valentine card to give out to the 3rd grade class except, I’m thinking my parents probably wouldn’t have allowed that.

I’m pretty sure I knew how babies were made even before my mom presented us with this treasure of a book. I don’t know how I would have known though, I mean, we didn’t have the Internet back then.

That book along with “What’s Happening To Me” were my absolute faves. The explanations of the whys and hows of life were perfectly non-intimidating and completely understandable to my young and inquisitive level.

So, by the time I was in middle school and we were learning Sex Ed., I knew more than the teachers were allowed to explain.

My parents should have been so proud. Or maybe, perhaps the authors of all those books my parents loaded into our home library with should be posturing like a peacock in the wake of educating my entire generation and bringing us “in the know” about everything to do with sex, human development and warm fuzzies.

Oh, not to mention the tickling the man feels in his penis which explains part of how the sperm gets to the egg.

Yes, I knew it all.

Then, I had kids.

And realized that yes, I do know everything. But no, I wasn’t prepared to discuss it. Nor did I know how much to let on at an age appropriate rate.

My son is 7.

He needed to know how babies got into tummies.

I couldn’t answer him.

So, I did what any good mother would do and ordered that book my darling Mummy bought me.

It arrived REALLY quickly. Thanks, Amazon.

I decided to have a looksee before I handed it over to my young, impressionable son.

I opened the cover and skimmed through the pages, stopping and smiling at the familiar chunky and hairy husband and wife. The couple that copulates, gets tickles and makes a baby.

Oh, what darlingness in the form of sex-ed.

The illustrations. Oh, how amusing they were, still.

There was the picture of the girl jumping rope while her dog stood by panting lecherously.

The caption read, “Making love is like skipping. You can’t do it all day long.” OK, well. Hmm.

Or, my favorite, the sperm, in a tie and top hat, holding a flower, resting on a heart shaped egg, “How could an egg resist a sperm like this?”

And it’s in this book where I first learned to compare sperm to tadpoles. Or that ejaculation is very much like having a tickle in your nose for a long time and then finally sneezing. Yes, indeedy, I did.

But, the wording of the book, it killed me.

The man and woman have been wriggling so hard you think they were both going to pop, and they nearly do just that.


It compared sex to scratching an itch. Only, much nicer. The itching each others privates starts out slowly and gets quicker and quicker until, Achoo!

Yeah. No.

I don’t know how I wasn’t traumatized. Technically, after reading this book, I should have become celibate or a nun. Well, that’s sort of the same. Sometimes.

I’m thinking when I was given this book, I didn’t know how to read. And I just liked looking at cartoon drawings of fat naked people.

But, according to the the date on the book, I was 8 when it was published, so I knew how to read. Really well.

Looking at it now, as an adult,  I find it to be disturbing on too many unexplainable levels.

One of which is that the fat, naked Mommy who is adored by the fat, naked Daddy has way perkier boobs than me.

And I quickly realized there was no way I was going to let a hippie explain sex to my child.

So I hid the book.

My son forgot to remind me to explain how babies got into the Mommy’s tummy.

And we all live blissfully ignorant ever after. For now.

The End.

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'Where Did I Come From?' have 5 comments

  1. January 13, 2011 @ 5:24 am Becky

    Your lucky my daughter started asking when she was 4 almost 5 , when I was then pregnant with her brother. I managed to put her off by telling her we would talk about it later with daddy. That bought me some time, I was able to hold her off till she was 6 almost 7 with the explanation that it takes a mommy and a daddy and lots of love. Then one day she cornered me and wasn’t taking no for an answer so I stumbled through with the lamest explanation I could mommy is a garden and daddy is the hose that waters the garden and makes it grow. I still can’t believe I used those words. She unfortunately understood right away she was like daddy puts his thing in your thing and what like pees. Oh that’s gross and ran off. Yep another happy day in mommy land. (hangs head and mutters)

  2. January 13, 2011 @ 11:54 am Ariana

    For a moment there I thought you turned into your mother. I am not as lucky as you are, i did not have such a wonderful book back when I was 7-8 years old. Everything I needed to know I learn on the streets. I was so happy for Alex and Max when I find out that they get their knowledge from school unlike me, poor child of Russia.
    Another wonderful fact, when Max asked me where he came from,I sent him to his daddy and as smart as Max is he understood that he will never get an answer from his dad, so to my relief he stopped asking about it.

  3. January 13, 2011 @ 1:23 pm Triplezmom

    I had that book! And I’ve been saving it for when we have to have the talk. But I haven’t actually looked at it since I was 8 or so. Now I’m a little worried.

  4. June 7, 2012 @ 3:42 pm Liz

    Now I must go find the copy I have hidden somewhere in my house. Hidden, because I didn’t want my slightly-obsessive youngest child to read it and ask a million questions about that sneeze thingy, since every time any individual sneezed from then until the end of the Universe, he’d probably bring it up.

  5. June 8, 2012 @ 1:32 pm Brenda

    I didn’t get a book like that either. I learned my sex ed from my dad’s “hidden” Xavier Hollander’s Happy Hooker books and Penthouse letters. My mom wouldn’t discuss it with me at all. I didn’t have a book for my kids. I decided I’d be the opposite of my mother and explain it all without embarassment. I’m so open that sometimes it embarasses my kids. That’s just an added plus, I think. LOL

    Making love is like skipping, huh? I’ll have to use that line on my hubby next time he’s in the mood and I’m not. bahahah

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