When the Student Becomes the Master

Yep.  The day finally has come.  The one that tests your resolve and questions your life’s work as a parent.  Will you pass or fail?  Will you be fired?  If only!  Parenting is forever, people.  No Trump here to relieve you of your duties- although he may often make you relieve yourself….

No- I’m talking about middle school sex ed.  That course that “introduces” concepts that your sweet child should be spared until absolutely necessary.  Perhaps the wedding aisle, as I have suggested in a previous post?  Oh, back off, haters!

So, in a show of supreme courage and aplomb- which took me a few weeks to drum up- I approached my daughter about what she had learned.  It went something like this….

“So, ah, sex ed, huh?”

“As if you could handle it, Mom!”

“Easy there.  Give me some credit.  After all, I am willing to talk about it.”

“It was forever ago- and why do you look like you’re about to cry?  I don’t see what you are so upset about.  You got to get in vitro and never had to do It.”

“Hmm.  Too true, too true.  Well, I’m not actually interested in details.  I’m just curious how everyone handled it.  That poor nurse who had to teach it to you girls!  Egads!”

“Forget the nurse!  She’s fine but the rest of us are scarred for life!  Oh, Mommy, there was so much screaming!  Everyone was freaking out!  But there was one really savage girl who was so braSex edve she only flinched repeatedly without ever uttering a sound.”

“Wow- sounds like she was seizing.  Are you aware of her medical history?”

“What?  No… yikes- maybe.  I’ll ask her.  Anyway, that s-e-x stuff is gross.  I mean, ain’t nobody got time for that!”

“Ya nailed it!  Can you say that a little louder, though, sweetie?  Please?? Daddy’s in the other room and you have to speak up!”

“Huh?”

“Don’t worry- I’ll figure something out.  So, you’re good?  Need any- uh- ‘holes’ filled in?  Sorry- not the best metaphor.”

“No, Mom!  Ew!  Now you are freaking me out.  I mean, do you want the nurse to call you or email you her PowerPoint slides?  I gotta get out of this conversation!”

“Aw, no thanks.  I’m good.  Glad we had The Talk.”

“Yeah.  It was awesome.  Let’s never do this again!”  And off she stomped.

As I wiped away a tear, I knew I had done good.  Granted, she is unpolished, but her desire to avoid the truth, her natural instinct to spare me the horrid news, and her refusal to fully engage me despite my entreaties, filled me with pride.  She will make a fine parent someday.  The best gift I could ever receive on Mother’s Day!

So, to all you mothahs out there- have a happy, happy Hallmark holiday!  And keep up the lying!

I Would First Like to Thank the Academy and Dr. Edelstein….

Truly, too much has been made of talking to your children about s-e-x.  As you well know, I consider this a daunting task that should be avoided at all costs until you can no longer do so- say perhaps a quick warning in her ear as she heads up the altar.  It shows you care without having to go into too much detail.

But what happens when you are sabotaged by well-meaning parents who mistakenly tell their children “the truth” about, you know, “stuff?”  Well, my friends, I was recently in a ghastly situation that necessitated quick deflection and a dressing up of “facts” that would have landed my big fat lies on the red carpet.  Allow me to elucidate.

Several weeks ago my children were badly informed of the basic mechanics of The Act straight from a little friend they have known and loved since kindergarten.  Oh, the treachery!  After this playdate- during which my children’s interrogation skills successfully fulfilled several police academy requirements- my sweet, innocent spawn presented me with the extent of the aforementioned betrayal.  For a moment, I was frozen with fear.  I deftly cupped my chin, adopting an air of knowledge and self-control.

“Interesting, children.  Well, I have to say I am disappointed with this turn of events.  However, your information is full of mad inaccuracies that you are too young for me to clear up.  What do you think of the matter?”birdsandbees

My daughter piped up first.  “I wish I had never heard any of this.  I really thought I wanted to know but I was wrong.  No more information is just fine, Mommy.”

“Good thinking, hold on to that childhood a bit longer, dear.  Son?  What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I’m just disappointed in you because you went and did that.  Gross!”   The little wretch!

“How dare you, son?  Why would you ever say that to your poor mother?”

“Because she said that is how babies are born.”

“Oh, silly boy!  You two are in vitro babies!  Mommy and Daddy never had to do anything like That Thing to have you.  No, no, no!  You two rest assured that there was none of that in this house to have you!”  I cannot describe the look of relief on their little faces, the hugging, the kissing, the general merriment, the ice cream treats and the vodka shot I snuck while I pretended to hit the head!

While we were all happily holding hands, they ate their yummy ice cream and my daughter announced proudly, “all my kids are going to be in vitro, too.  No weird stuff for me!”

In total solidarity my son piped up that he would also go the in vitro route with his future wife.  “I mean, I would never marry a girl who does that!”

“No, of course not, dear.  Now enjoy your ice cream.”

And all was well with the world.

I Think, Therefore I Am- No Batteries or Sex Required

The great thinker, Rene Descartes himself, gave us the foundation upon which to deny s-e-x: thought alone- no base act- produces existence!  Granted, it takes some convincing for kids to accept this, but you have to stick to your guns.  Throughout my years as an educator and a parent, I have imagined people asking me “How should children learn about sex?”  My response never varies.  “Please, let them learn about sex the way the rest of us did- from our friends.”   If I had learned about sex from my parents, I might have never had sex or even gotten married… either time!  Sorting out the inaccuracies she hears about sex on the playground will help my daughter distinguish bad from good information later on- like when she is writing an English paper at the eleventh hour and is having to sift through and judge which internet sources are reliable.  Is sex really the way Lucy described it or was cooty-laden Ralph more accurate?  Lucy is a friend but has been known to buy that nonsense about garden gnomes coming to life after dark.  Ralph on the other hand, although unappealing, did explain with great accuracy how to burp the alphabet- a real guy-in-the-know, if you will.  Which source is trustworthy and which one is not?  Aha!  That is where the real analysis takes place.  Now she will be prepared for the future!  She will already have had the benefit of confronting a tough dilemma and seeing if her educated guess turned out to be right or not.  Think of it like this: just as Latin class helps with the SAT vocabulary section, sifting through erroneous information develops critical thinking skills.   So, don’t feel bad about this particular set of lies.  You’re actually helping your kid!  It’s called problem solving and resourcefulness.  It’s all the rage.  Really.  Look it up!

So, continue to deny any knowledge of sex.  For us visual learners, here is a handy-dandy flow chart to tackle the potential, pesky ramifications for children ranging from “easy to please” to the tenacious.   The chart shows how a child can escalate the situation by rejecting a perfectly good deflection.  Remember: you have to stay ahead of them and be able to predict their next move.  Let us not forget that children are like terriers; they are cunning and do not use their intelligence for good.  They want their curious minds satisfied but they are not prepared for the awful truth.  These series of parental responses are very helpful.  You can fill in the blank for the child’s question- it can come in many forms.  That is not important- just focus on the parent’s ability to squeeze through some pretty narrow spaces!
Chart