"Dossy, sit down."
"What did I do?"
"Sit down right here on the bed."
I was five years old and my mother, a nurse by training, had ushered me into my parents' bedroom for "the talk."
Around me the air was still.
My mother stood and faced me while I sat there. She had a somber look on her face.
One hand was planted on each hip. Just like my grandmother (a"h) used to stand. Just like I stand. Like a duck. We have pictures of us standing like this. Hand, hand, hip. Repeat.
"I'm going to tell you now about the birds and the bees."
Don't ask me why, at five years old, I had to have this conversation.
The birds and the bees.
I repeated the words mentally, rolling them around. That was confusing.
"The sperm goes into the uterus."
"Look, Dossy," my mother said.
"What?" I didn't get it.
She looked at me intently.
"First you get your period, and the blood comes all running out."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Yes. Dossy, listen to me. Stop talking."
"I'm not talking," I must have said.
Seriously, I was trying to follow the flow. (So to speak.)
"Yes. You get your period, and that means bleeding."
I had no idea what a period was.
"Then the man puts his ___ in the woman's ___." (She used the actual words.)
Oh ewww! To this day I remember my reaction.
"And then the sperm goes into the uterus."
A leads to B which leads to C.
It was a very clinical tone she took. A very factual conversation.
Maybe she was trying to get it out of the way?
On Friday she told me how to make chicken.
"What did you put on it?"
"You can't make a chicken like that. Put some dressing on it."
"First you get your spices," she said. "Do you have garlic powder?"
"First comes the garlic powder. Then you sprinkle it on the chicken."
"Then you make a paste."
She told me what the ingredients were but I'm getting old and have since forgotten.
"First comes the powder and then the paste goes on the chicken."
Photo by Steve Baker via Flickr (Creative Commons). All opinions my own.