Ok so the time has come. My eldest daughter is officially old enough for school to teach her about puberty and sex.
I was pleasantly surprised when the school offered to show the DVD to parents before showing the children and I nearly didn’t bother going to watch, being pretty confident that she knows and understands most of what will be discussed. But boy am I glad I did.
The first DVD was entitled “Girl Talk”. It covered all the usual things: hormones, periods and a mention of snogging. I hadn’t, however, expected to see the mighty band Cleopatra (“Comin’ Atcha”) presented as teenage peers for the children to relate to. Not least because I saw one of them on The Voice quite recently and I’m pretty sure she is now 34. Just to cement how cool and up to date it was the teenage girl who was casually talking about puberty exited her bedroom at one point revealing a poster of a member of the boy band Five. Someone who is now approximately 36.
Now I know that a lot of things don’t change. Girls still hit puberty. Periods happen. Spots appear. At least they didn’t mention sanitary products that come with loops and a suspender belt. But I’m pretty sure something filmed after 2010 would be a bit more engaging for a group of children who weren’t even actually alive when Cleopatra and Five were in the charts.
I missed the Boy Talk DVD. I can only imagine it included members of Westlife talking about wet dreams and posters of Natalie Imbruglia.
Then came the biggy – the sex DVD. It began and I was unsurprised to find that the cast were dressed in large knitted jumpers and oversized specs.
So how would you begin a DVD about how babies are made? Perhaps you would set the tale at a housewarming party where two children play pranks on their family members like putting plastic flies into people’s drinks. No? The story unfolding before our eyes was so bizarre the teacher actually took the DVD out to check it was the right one.
Apparently it was. My attention wandered and I clearly missed a crucial bit because the action segued into the two friends interviewing all the couples at the party to ask why they love each other. In one case they asked the pregnant family member why they had decided to have a baby and we saw them stroking each other’s shoulders and snogging. It was like a fairly dull 1998 episode of Eastenders but without the acting.
So the gist, of course, is that when you find someone to love you will want to have sex with them. Clearly demonstrating this was a challenge so it cut to a line cartoon of a naked couple next to a bed. They looked like they loved each other, had a bit of a cuddle and then…the man chased the woman with a peacock feather.
Hold on. A peacock feather?! Yep a peacock feather.
I rather like the idea that at least two generations of children have been educated that a peacock feather is a vitally important part of a loving couple’s sex life.
The video ended back at the party. We learnt that the pregnant lady was pregnant because she had had sex with her loving partner. We learnt that grandparents and parents are couples too and love each other very much, but I think the children will be pleased that the line of questioning stopped there. In the end everyone had a glass of pomagne and they cut a cake that looked like a house.
So my eldest has watched Girl Talk. She came home with questions about the menopause which I reassured her shouldn’t be a worry any time soon. Tomorrow they get to watch the How Babies Are Made DVD – I’m bracing myself for questions relating to 1990s fashion, housewarming parties and feathers.