Letter: Mummy's talk on the facts of life

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Sir: I was interested and amused by Margaret Maxwell's article 'Dodging the facts of life' (26 October), having experienced a similar situation.

Our six-year-old was intrigued by how babies happen - 'I know a seed grows in your tummy,' he said once, 'but how does it get there? Do you take it in water?' His curiosity increased, so I decided to tell him the facts of life.

'Come on Dick,' he shouted to his brother, running down the garden. 'Mummy's going to tell us how babies are born.' I was soon confronted by various neighbours' children, avid for information.

I drew pictures of male and female bodies, explaining as best I could the functions of various organs. In fact, they were more interested in the alimentary canal than reproduction, which helped to get things into perspective.

At any rate, there will be no risk of embarrassment, such as a friend experienced at a church wedding when, as the couple came down the aisle, her small daughter said in a loud voice, 'Is he going to put his pollen on her now?'

Yours etc,


Teddington, Middlesex

27 October