Monday, February 07, 2011

Talking Sex with the Kids

I need a court reporter to live with me. I would share the mountains of money we could make in movie rights, tv spinoffs, and offering case studies for psychology textbooks. The court reporter would have to do his/her own laundry.

My children are at the constantly quotable ages: 8 and 5. It is a good thing I have removed myself from the pulpit, because most of it is not repeatable. Except to you, of course. Let's pretend we don't know these children and let's just call them Sonny and Lori.

Lori is watching TV with me and Sonny in a hotel room. Husband man is reading the paper in the living area of the suite. The preview for "No Strings Attached" comes on with lots of shots of the actor Ashton Kutcher looking sweet, buff and cuddly while he jumps Natalie Portman.

As the next commercial begins Lori sighs and with the most innocent 5 year old liliting song of a voice says, "I can't wait to have sex."

No one says a word. The newspaper lowers slowly. A fierce glare becomes visible and it is pointed in my direction. Moi?

I return the glare with a "What did I do?" double eyebrow lift.

He responds with a single eyebrow lift that says, "You are the one who calls herself giving the kids the big sex talk during a commercial break in 'Big Bang Theory'. As if that was going to fly smoothly!"

Ok. Yes. I told the children about sex during a commercial break. Like all parents I want to save my children from the childhood trauma I experienced. I was a child in the 70's and my parents gave me the most awful sex talk in history. It was rich with biological terms inappropriately paired with talk about love and kissing.

The way I remember it, the talk lasted for days and was so disgusting that I vowed then and there to "never do that PV stuff." (Penis, vagina.) As far as I can tell I have kept that vow. I have done something and had two children out of it but my recollections are pleasant so it is NOT the same thing.

Here's how my sex talk went.

Me: Hey, kids. I forgot to tell you something. You know how babies grow in a mama's belly from a seed and an egg? Well, the way the seed gets to the egg is what sex is.

Lori: Where does the seed come from?

Me: The daddy's willie. (Sonny flinches and moves to protect his groin region.)

Lori: How does it get to the egg?

Me: Through the mama's girlie.

The children know the words penis and vagina because I taught them at the pediatrician's quickly after reading that at 4 Lori should know them already. I started with, "Hey, kids. I forgot to tell you something..."

When my husband walked in the door that evening from a long day at work I announced, "I taught the kids the correct anatomical terms for their genitalia today! Watch this. Kids what's the name for a willie?"

Sonny: Wait. I know this one. Ummm. Penis!

Lori: (jumping on the bed) Penis! Penis! Penis!

Me: Yay! What's the word for a girlie?

Sonny: Vonnegut! No, that's not right. Veshugah!

So, as you can see, I have an unblemished track record with speed teaching sexuality. Back to the Big Banging Talk...

Lori: So when people love each other they can have sex.

Me: Yep.

Lori: And that's how I can have a baby!

Me: Yep.

Sonny: So that means. (A dawning look of horror washes across his face...) You.... (gasp) and... (gulp) Dada?

Me: Yep. At least three times.

Lori: Three?

Me: Baby Fontaine. (The pregnancy we lost.)

Sonny: Oh no! Ehhhghhkhttttgggrrrr... (I'm not sure how to spell that gurgling, wretching, crying sound. But right then "Big Bang Theory" came back on and we all went back into our sit-com trance.)

When Husband walked in after a long night of meetings I announced, "I taught the kids what sex is!"

Lori smiled. Sonny put his head in his hands and groaned. My beloved spouse with whom I am not ashamed to put on public record I have had sex at least three times lost most of the color in his face.

Husband: Can I put my briefcase down please?

And so I think this is what he was trying to tell me when he glared at me over the newspaper in the hotel room.

Sonny, meanwhile, was in the bed next to me trembling and gripping his pillow as if at any moment he would have to shred it in two and fill his ears with the spilled stuffing. Poor little buddy. In spite of my best efforts, I traumatized him anyway.

We went to the Virginia Museum last week and he yelped every time we turned a corner and saw yet another naked statue or painting. He prefers the early adolescent Harry Potter movies. He hollers every time there is kissing on Star Trek. I agree with him there. He and I have a bumper sticker worthy mantra "No kissing in science fiction!"

If I scarred Sonny with my age appropriate behavior he got me back good (as they like to say on the playground.) He went to a sleepover this weekend. He came back home sleep deprived and wearing a sports jersey. All as expected for an 8 year old sleepover.

The friend's father said, "We let them make Super Bowl jerseys. I'm not sure what the name on the back means, but it is what he wanted."

I looked at the back and it said, "SHAWN!" We don't even know any Shawns. Evidently, Sonny sees his own football personality not as a real player or himself but as a greater than all of you one namer like Prince.

Me, laughing: I like the exclamation point.

Sonny: Thanks. Mom, I ate a worm today.

Me: (still laughing) What kind of worm?

Sonny: The crawling in the dirt kind.

Me: What?!?

Sonny: We watched this show called 'Man vs. Wild' and he has to eat whatever he can find.

Me: So... you...

Sonny: We went outside and turned over some rocks. We found three worms and rinsed them off. Then we chopped them up and ate them but Sam didn't because his dad wouldn't let him.

When my husband returned from work I gave him the fierce glare, the uplifted eyebrow, and I did NOT allow him to put his briefcase down. As soon as I figure out how this is his fault, he is in for it.

Lori: Mama! These jeans make my bagina hurt! Can you make a babushka for me?

My son eats worms but won't kiss a girl because she has a veshugah. My daughter thinks a babushka will ease baginal pain. And I'm now calling a girlie a bagina. That's it. No more Ashton Kutcher. No more 'Big Bang Theory'. That should be easy enough.