Talk 001 Talk 002  

It has been about a week since they separated the fifth grade boys from the girls and told each group about half of everything they need to know about how their bodies are going to change in the next few years.  And since then Noah has never smelled better.  I have to hand it to Old Spice for its brilliant product promotion strategy.  Every fifth grade boy got his own “Red Zone” deodorant with clear directions to wear it every day.  And he has embraced this hygienic habit like none other.   Not that Noah smelled bad before – he didn’t.  But I am told by my husband (who teaches at the school) that come Spring, the entire fifth grade starts to stink.  So for this, I am grateful.

I am also grateful for the puberty introduction because Dave and I have not been terribly proactive in this area of parenting.  It was only last summer walking home from Rita’s Water Ice that I explained to the boys how babies are made.  Dave was conveniently somewhere else when I got the question.  I answered as best as I could while holding a Mango gelati in one hand and walking the dog with the other.  But even then, I didn’t get into a tremendous amount of detail.  It didn’t seem like the opportune time.  And a better time has not presented itself since then.  (I think we can all agree that there are few moments in life that qualify as “ideal” for a mother to talk about erections with her sons.)

But since last week, I have been faced with a few of these instances.  The first took place that very afternoon after the school talk.  Noah came into my office, plopped down in the chair across from my desk, and gave me the highlights: 

“So Mom, they actually said the word ‘penis’!”

“Did you laugh?” I tried to look nonchalant.

“The first time, yeah.  Everyone laughed.  But after that it wasn’t that funny anymore.”

Impressive, I thought and then shared:

“You know I still laugh when I say the word “penis.”

“You do?” 

“Yeah, I think it is the funniest name ever.” 

He smiled at me and we sat for a moment as one of those cool invisible bonds formed between me and my kid. 

I realize that I may have missed a teaching moment there to offer up a few alternative names to the p-word, because we all know that men never use the word “penis” when referring to their anatomy, unless they are speaking to a doctor.  But I left that future bonding opportunity to Noah’s friends… or to Dave.

A few days later in the back of the mini van, Noah was sharing some of his new found wisdom with Chase:

“Chase! Did you know that your penis is VERY sensitive to temperature?”

His brother responded, much faster than usual.  “What do you mean?”

“Well, when it’s hot out, it hangs down and away from you.  And when it’s cold, it shrinks,” said Noah, the professor.

“Like a turtle!” I chimed in from the front seat.

“MOM!!!” I got in unison from the back and promptly shut up.  Then Chase cut right to the .. uh, chase:

“But what about when it sticks straight up?”

Noah paused and answered, “So THAT happens, ya know, when you’re having fun on the playground, running and jumping around… you know when you’re EXCITED.”

“Ohhhh,” said Chase, somewhat enlightened but I could hear the wheels spinning as this explanation obviously did not jive with experience.

 Clearly a missing link.  And one that I did not repair.  I was just happy that I didn’t drive off the road.

 I really thought I would be better at this.  I am not a prude, but I can’t seem to find my words.  Maybe I’d do better if I owned the same the equipment.  Or perhaps I’m unsure as to how much to share because you know one question leads to another.  But I think it’s more fundamental than that.  The fact remains that my guys are still little boys and the thought of them getting excited about girls rather than video games feels really perverse to me.  I know that conversation is coming in the not so distant future.  But until it does, I choose not to be an accomplice in its acceleration.  They are on a need-to-know basis and some things they just don’t need to know.  Yet.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter