Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ask and tell

Sophie attends a small K–8 school, where the children have a lot of interaction across grades. There are lots of ups to this: It's more like a family, the big kids look out for the little ones and are socialized to set an example, the little kids look up to the big ones and enjoy seeing what's in store for them as they move toward bigness.

But, on the other hand, there's influence you would rather be delayed just a bit.

Sophie leaned over at dinner last night and asked if I would stay with her a little later that night when I tucked her in. There was something that happened at school that she wanted to talk to me about in private. Fine, I said, thinking this would be something about what girl said what to whom, who has a crush on whom but realizing this sounded a bit more serious.

Which is was.

"Mama, when he was doing his school job picking up trash [Sophie thankfully works in the kitchen] one of the middle school boys found a little square foil wrapper, and the older kids were making the biggest deal about it. They wouldn't tell us what it was, but they said we would find out later in sex ed."

Little. Square. Foil. Wrapper.

Right. So with flashbacks of a middle school teacher putting a condom on a cucumber while we blushed, cracked up, and tried to divert attention from such an embarrassing spectacle by lobbing spit wads across the room, I stumbled on to the most sanitized explanation I could muster.

The seed. The egg. Stopping the seed so there would be no baby. Why do the sex thing then? Well, um, because . . . it's fun. Usually. The recreational aspect had obviously never occurred to her.

Moving right along—next question! "I don't mind if you do not want to answer this, but after you and Daddy had me, did you ever, you know, have sex?" We did. "And you still . . . do?" We do [I could imagine Husband adding "Not nearly often enough!"]. "In your bed, right?" Yes, usually. [She had asked about location once as she was lying in bed beside me one morning, and the look of horror on her face was priceless.]

And finally, a few words from our sponsor: "This is not something you need to blab all over school because some other parents might have different ideas about when their kids should know what. And if I hear you have blabbed, I will never explain anything to you again. [Of course she doesn't believe that.] Besides, if parents think that you are the source of all this fascinating information, you will never be invited over for another play date again. Ever."

I mean, crap. What was I supposed to do?? "Haha. Good question, but I'm not going to tell you. Go pester those middle school kids some more and get them to tell you. You're too young to hear it from me!"

Do you think those middle school kids know about blow jobs? I'm just not ready for that.


Sabina said...

i know...i've been crafting a letter to the staff for the past week when sasha had similar inquiries...decorum shall we say perhaps got left behind in k-1-2

Kristin said...

You are an awesome mom. Had a similar conversation with my daughter when she was 6 & insisted that she needed to know right then how NOT to have children because it was messy & painful & she wasn't going there. Gave the same instructions re. telling peers. Forgot to tell her not to tell her 4 year old brother who promptly went to preschool, drew a picture of a sperm & an egg (obviously she used the book when she told him about it) & asked the teacher & the 14 high school co-teachers if they knew what the picture was. Preschool teacher (mother of 4 & longtime high school child dev. & preschool teacher) labeled the picture for him & they added a zygote. We laughed until we cried when I picked him up & had to make a copy of the picture because we both wanted it (I still have it). Sorry this is so long, but I couldn't help sharing.

Midge said...

I think you are raising a good egg. Good for you for being open and honest and not blowing things out of proportion. Her questions seem perfectly natural.

ANFQ said...

This parenting thing is not for the weak.

Anonymous said...

Wow - you handled that really well.

Not to scare you - but my first job was teaching eighth grade. Yes. They do know about blow jobs. Hopefully they won't share that particular piece of information with the younger kids.

gwendomama said...

I'd comment but I can't because I am laughing too hard and thinking about the book I have stashed...the one with the naked hippie parents in the bathtub and a toy boat (why the boat?)....see I told you I couldn't say anything. (snicker)

((OMG even worse? the word verification is 'harding' - save me))

adozeneggs said...

It sounds like you handled it perfectly.
And sadly, I think the middle school kids know about blow jobs.