Shopping with children has long been a unique form of torture. “I want that, I’m tired, I have to pee, why can’t we go home…” and the list goes on and on. As if that weren’t bad enough, once children learn how to read, you really have to pick your aisles carefully. Danger lurks everywhere: feminine hygiene, hemorrhoid creams, lubricants, and let us not forget, the ever present condom- so many fun family topics!
Oh, my friends, beware the condom aisle. My advice? If you suddenly find yourself there, run and run fast! If you cannot run fast enough, think even faster. Take a recent experience I had with my own spawn. (Note: the name of the guilty condom has been changed in order to avoid a lawsuit, but the experience is depicted accurately.)
We were in a particular pharmacy for the first time and I did not know the lay of the land. All I wanted was to purchase sunscreen when we mistakenly walked by a section of condoms. I ushered my children through as quickly as possible but one of the boxes caught my son’s eye and he started repeatedly asking “what’s that? what’s that?” as I dragged him down the aisle.
“Nothing, dear, nothing at all!” I sang as we made it out of the danger zone.
“But it said ‘surprise’ on it. I want to be surprised….” Damned advanced kindergarten class! And no, son, no you don’t want to be ‘Sir-prized!’ Trust mommy.
I clearly had no choice but to face his repeated questions head-on. “Well, you know how we always have piñatas at your birthday parties, full of goodies?”
“Yippee, I love my Spongebob piñata! But we had to tape him back together because cousin Iain beat him really hard. Almost killed poor Spongey!”
“Yes, I remember, dear. OK, sometimes adults have a party that requires a kind of piñata. So, that ‘Sir-prize!’ is for adults when they beat their-um- ‘piñata.’”
“Oh- so that’s an adult goodie that goes inside your piñata?”
“Don’t go messing with metaphors, kid. Let’s just focus on the fact that it’s not for you to worry about; it’s for adults- adults!”
“Cool! But do you ever have a piñata party?”
“No, mommy normally has a headache.”
“Yep, poor, poor mommy!” See how easy that was? It’s very important to create an understanding in your kids’ minds that there is an adult world that they have no business in, and that we as parents are protecting them from this world. Once they can wrap their pretty little heads around that fact, you can easily push them away from an unpleasant topic. Remember, items such as condoms are gateway drugs to all sorts of peril.
And by the by, the only thing that should be ribbed is your sweater.