We have 4 kids (ages 4 to 11), so my husband and I don't have a lot of free time to "visit" with each other. We have to be creative about when our "visitation" occurs. Lately, we have tried to wait until we are sure everyone is asleep. It worked well for a while, but recently, when we were smack dab in the middle of a particularly enjoyable visit, we heard a tiny voice say, "Is Mommy ok? Why is she breathing like that?" Talk about a mood killer. My quick thinking husband, replied, "Oh it's just mommy's asthma." (I do have asthma, so it wasn't a completely out of the blue response.) My younger kids accepted this, but my oldest (and savviest) daughter, knew what was happening. She and I had the "talk" 2 years ago. I have always been very frank with her. and she knows she can ask me anything. As a result, when I actually had the talk that got specific about sex, it went smoothly and wasn't at all awkward.
After that first interruption, my husband and I were having another late night visit. My oldest was not asleep like she was supposed to be, and this time instead of a small voice, we hear a clear voice say, "Um, can you and mommy get a handle on her asthma and maybe keep it down a little?" She totally busted us, and was using our own words back at us. Fortunately, since we have already covered these topics, she wasn't traumatized, even though she knew perfectly well what her parents were doing. My awesome and clever husband, quickly responded with, "That'll teach you not to go to bed when you're supposed to." She laughed, and we laughed. She went back to bed.
My parents were NEVER able to talk to me about serious issues -- not about sex, not about anything. My husband and I agreed we would always talk to our kids about the important things. Because we have followed through with that philosophy, what could have been a ridiculously awkward situation, turned into a funny anecdote. Instead of scarring my daughter, she knows her parents have a close relationship. I'm so thankful that I have such a good relationship with my kids. I'm even more thankful that I have a husband who is clever and really good at "visitation"!
Thanks for all you do, Dr Laura! This stay-home mom appreciates you!!