Actual Conversations at Our House

April 9th, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

Boy is doing his English (ELA) project at the last minute:
Boy: Can you look at my ELA project?
Me: Adam, you do it. He doesn’t like what I have to say.
Adam: Looks super.
Boy: Thanks.
Adam: Why can’t your mom look at this?
Boy: Because she told me it looks half-assed.
Me: Well someone has to tell you the truth.
Boy: I have such a loving, caring, supportive mom, who will always say nice things to me.
Me: As if.

We put girl to bed. Recently the girl expressed surprise that women get their periods once a month.
Me: We need to read It’s Perfectly Normal. I think there are some concepts you’re unclear on.
Girl: No! I don’t want to read it before bed!
Me: Okay, we can do it after school tomorrow.
Girl: Nooooooo! It’s sooooo boring!
Me: But you need to learn about puberty.
Girl: I know about it!
Me: I think you’re rusty.
Girl: No, I’m not.
Me: What does the body do when a girl gets her period?
Girl: I don’t want to talk about it! I don’t want to know about puberty! Why do I need to know?
Me: Because it’s going to happen to you.
Girl: It’s so boring!
Me: When you get your period, your uterus sheds its lining and—
Girl: STOP! You’re making my butt hurt.
Me: Fine. We can talk about it another day. Go to sleep so Daddy and I can watch House of Cards.
Girl: Why do you ALWAYS have to watch House of Cards! This is the fifth night in a row!
Me: We like it.
Girl: But it’s the FIFTH night! Why? Why can’t you not watch it?
Me: Why is this upsetting you so much?
Girl (becoming very anxious): BECAUSE IT’S THE FIFTH NIGHT!
Boy: Look, would you rather have parents who watch House of Cards or parents who smoke meth?

Status of things in the house? Boy’s project is half-assed. Girl knows nothing about puberty. Adam and I are going to watch House of Cards.

Let’s Talk About S*ex, Baby

January 30th, 2012 § 3 comments § permalink

This weekend, I unfurled a c*ondom for my son. He was fascinated, checking out the texture, noting that it was a little slimy. Turned it around a few times. Tried rolling it up. Handed it back when he was done.

Cue the Afterschool Special music. It’s that time. The boy and I, we’re talking puberty!

In truth, I think the boy is a little young for “the talk.” First off, I am lucky enough to have friends who have been through this whole boy thing, and from what I see, it’s somewhere around 4th or 5th grade that boys stop talking to their moms, at least about anything of substance. In 5th grade they cover these topics in school, which is great, but I’d prefer that’s not the first place he gets that information. Secondly, he’s been asking tough questions for a while. A few months ago, he realized someone had a very young mother. He quickly did the math in his head and declared, “That can’t be right. Don’t you legally need to be eighteen years old to have a baby?” And, finally, I’ve seen some of those 4th grade girls. They aren’t getting the talk; they’re living the talk.

Of course, once he gets older and is too embarrassed to talk to his mom, he can always ask Adam his questions.

Wait, hold on a minute.

Okay, I’m done laughing. Just thinking about Adam trying to talk to the boy about s*ex or his body sends me into the giggles. The boy was looking over Adam’s shoulder a week ago and read about something being “o*rgasmic.” Apparently, the boy logically asked, “What’s ‘o*rgasmic’?”

Adam: Aren’t you reading that book with your mom?
The boy: Yeah.
Adam: Have you covered o*rgasms yet?
The boy: No.
Adam: Well… you will.

So the boy and I are reading It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health.

Can I just say… wow? Puberty wasn’t so scary when I was growing up. It’s a fine line, trying to give the boy facts and not scaring the living hell out of him. The scariest thing when I was a kid was gonorrhea and pregnancy and being “cheap” (seriously, the gym teacher who taught our s*ex ed class used to talk about Susie S*lut). Now the books talk about IVF, the different forms families can take, used needles, AIDS, how HIV is and is not spread. Not a one of those things existed when I was learning this stuff.

The book tries to lighten the topics with cute cartoons, and they work to a certain extent, but it’s still slightly terrifying. I stop reading now and then and give him quizzes. “What’s the only sure way to not get pregnant?” (“Abstinence.”) “What is the only way a c*ondom is going to help protect you?” (“Using a new one every single time.”) He’s getting it down pat. I even told him his first dirty joke. (“What’s long and hard and full of seamen?”) He liked that. And I can rest assured that when the kids start joking around at school, he may not always get the joke, but he’ll at least know what they’re talking about.

We’re almost done with the book. We’re both surviving. And it’s good practice. Because in two more years, I’ve got to do this all over again. Unfurl the c*ondoms!

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    I read, I write, I occasionally look to make sure my kids aren't playing with matches.

    My novel, MODERN GIRLS will be coming out from NAL in the spring of 2016.

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