When the kids were little, and I am talking about preschool age, I had these grandiose ideals that I would be the cool and hip parent. Ever so liberal with them and their questions be it sex, drugs, or rock 'n roll. While I can honestly say that I have never tried any type of drug, nor was I ever at a party that served alcohol and got trashed therefore having to sneak home, it's not as if I have had a squeaky-clean track record.
Let's remember that I got pregnant with my first child the summer before my Senior year of high school. I was 17. No one is going to call me to be the spokesperson for teen abstinence.
So, in my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be best to be open and honest with my kids about my past, sort of a what-not-to-do manual. If my husband and I were open about things they were curious* about, then perhaps that would keep them from sneaking off and doing who knows what.
While there were avenues my husband was comfortable with (sex) there were some he wasn't (drinking). One thing he hates from my childhood was that my brother and I were able to drink if we were at home. Not get trashed and party all weekend, but if we wanted a beer, we could have one. He thinks that allowing a teen to drink at home opens the gates to allowing them to drink at parties and whatnot. It's hard to say if my parents' philosophy worked--I am not much of a drinker (and never beer-ick) but my brother is. So to make a long story short, my brother became the partier, (sex, drinking, and drugs) and I just got knock-up. At least my brother didn't get anyone pregnant until he was in his mid-twenties.
Flash forward to the oldest heading towards puberty. Easy stuff with her. Cramps, moods, hair, periods--nothing extraordinary there. I was all about telling her what she needed to know or wanted to know.
She was about ten I think, and we were in Target with my mom. I am not sure what started it, but she and I started singing "Baby Got Back." We were coming up on the lyrics, "...when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get sprung..." and I tried to skim over it. Something in me sort of snapped to attention. As luck would have it, she turns to me and says, "Mommy, what does 'get sprung' mean?"
Um. Excited? Like a kangaroo?
Honestly, I don't remember what I said exactly, but later my mom said, "Why didn't you just tell her? She needs to know."
I knew then I was in trouble.
So, I put the whole I-am-the-coolest-parent-that-doesn't-want-you-to-have-sex-but-I-know-you-will-so-here-is-the-appropriate-precautions on hold.
Flash forward to present day. Jessica's junior prom was last weekend. I said, "Don't have sex." She said, "I'm not you."
Well, alrighty then. And let the record show, as I told her, that I was still virtuous at my junior prom.
Nicholas is eleven, and I had been putting off the talk but knew I'd need to do it before he goes to sixth grade. I had forgotten our school does a puberty class in fifth grade. The letter came out two weeks ago. I happened to be teaching fifth grade that day and handed out the letter/permission slips. After school, Nick comes to my room and says, "Um. What is puberty and why do you have to sign this?"
This afternoon, the boys will be shuffled into one room- the girls in another. Ever the Queen of Procrastination, I waited until yesterday to sit him down and talk to him. My plan at letting Big Daddy talk to him first had failed miserably. He doesn't even like talking about that kind of stuff with me.
So, trying to be that liberal mom I had hoped to be but failed with Jessica, I got a book from the library and took Nicholas in my room to talk to him.
I didn't have a clue on what to say, how much to divulge, or what is appropriate for a boy of his age to know.
Needless to say, I failed. Big time. If you heard a big boom around 5 pm Central time, it was me getting my 'F' stamped on my parental report card.
He is a smart boy, but yesterday I saw what they mean when they talk about boys being more immature than girls at this age. He "eeewwwed" the body hair (especially in the southern regions), "ewwed" the picture I showed him of how he would "change," and laughed like a school girl when I told him what his testicles were actually for. We never got past that.
He so wasn't ready for this talk. Neither was I.
Yes, dear Reader, I took the chicken way out. I finally just told him that the teacher giving the class would tell him all he needed to know, and when he got home today, we would privately talk about what he'd learned and either I or Daddy would answer any questions he had.
I might as well have thrown some pamphets on his bed and told him to talk to the school nurse or his buddies if he has a question.
Of course, now I'll probably have to pay for therapy because not only will he know his parents have had sex, but his mother even blogged about "The Talk."
He will write a book one day about his tragic childhood. Hopefully soon though; then he can give The Talk to Darrin next year....
*Curiosity in terms of legal things. There is a definite NO on illegal things like drugs. There will be no permission to try drugs. Probably not alcohol either....Big Daddy already said no.