As I took the twins to school today, we had a most interesting discussion.

Martins: ‘Dad, do dogs marry?’

Me: ‘No, they do not marry but they mate’

Martins: ‘what do you mean by mate’

Me: ‘A male dog does not settle down with another female dog like husband and wife. Instead, when a female dog is ready to have children, she is brought to the male dog for mating. After that, the female dog goes away, gets pregnant and gives birth to puppies. However, they do not continue as parents like your mum and I ‘

Martins: When I grow up, I can marry my sister but Kola does not have a sister, who will she marry?

Me: No you cannot marry your sister. People are not expected to marry their sisters, brothers or cousins. It is contrary to our tradition and culture. It is an abomination.

Martins: when I grow up and I do not find anyone to love, I will not marry.

Me: When you grow up, you will find a lady you love and you will get married. But you must make many friends and learn to love people first before you decide about marriage

Just then, Matilda who had been quiet spoke up: “Dad, when I am thirty and I do not find anyone to love, I will not marry?

At that point a lot of things were going through my mind like “where is this conversation heading?”, “These children are barely six years old and are already thinking about this!” I was yet to get the greatest shock of my life so far.

Me: ” Little girl, you will get a man who loves you by the time you are twenty and will be married by twenty-four. You would not need to wait till thirty.

Martins: ‘Dad, is it good to have girlfriends’

In my mind: “Girlfriend!! For a child in grade 1!!!” I almost fainted.

Me (out loud): Listen to me children, you must make many friends both boys and girls. The boys are boyfriends and the girls are girlfriends but there is no need to call them names. Friends are friends!

I though it would end there but it didn’t. By this time, I was already at the junction to their school and if it does not end now, We may need to pause. My fears were justified.

Martins: Fidelis’ girlfriend is Angelina. Fidelis likes girls a lot

MatiIda: “Fikemi’s boyfriend is Gboyega..”.

At this point I had to cut in as I said, “Listen to this, friends are friends. You do not need any special friend now. Trying to call them ‘boyfriend’or ‘girlfriend’ leads to bad things. Don’t do it!

At this time, we were at the school gate but the conversation had not ended as Martins still had something to say. I had to open the door and marched them off to school promising that the conversation will continue in night .

What a morning! I kept wondering as I drove to work.

What is happening in this world to our children!! PARENTS, WAKE UP!!!

*[all the names above are fictitious names not actual names to protect identities]