Oh. Mah. Gawd. There have been more awkward conversations in this family in the last week than…ever. Ever.
On Wednesday, B got in the car and announced that they saw a photo of a mom nursing a baby WITH NO COVER ON in school that day. G’s eyeballs nearly popped out of his head. He was spluttering and stuttering and asking many, many oddly worded clarifying questions. He was motioning to where breasts would be on his body and gasping that they would have SEEN…YOU KNOW.
B confirmed his aghast suspicion. They saw boobs in school.
Wasn’t that inappropriate, he wanted to know.
I tried to explain that it’s part of nature. It’s not weird, it’s not gross, and everyone has to learn about it and understand it.
Then B said they had to learn about the male body and how it “stiffens”. None of the boys knew what that meant, but they wanted to. (What a gross word, by the way. It’s like “moist”. There’s no good reason to ever say it.)
I contemplated just driving my car off the road to distract them all. It seemed like a less painful solution than answering the ensuing questions and quieting the outbursts of disbelief. ( I did not fully explain that one. I basically left B hanging out to dry trying to answer those questions. Maybe that was mean, but she brought it up.)
When we got home, B and I had a chat about how they learn this stuff in 5th grade because before that, they are not mature enough to handle it. It was, I think, a tactful way for me to explain to her that if she talked about this stuff in front of her brothers again, I was going to kill her.
Every night at bedtime, all week long, she and I chatted about the discoveries they were making in class. God, 5th grade is awkward. So, so awkward.
She tried to explain to me that they learned about sex without actually saying the word sex. She called it “the process”. I feel like I should get an award for not laughing.
But the highlight of the week was Friday evening, when she told me that they were instructed that they had to practice abstinence so they wouldn’t get HIV/AIDS. That was bad enough (I think you may have misinterpreted that statement, B…you’re not wrong, but you’re not exactly RIGHT), but then she delivered this one:
B: But that is fine with me, because I am always practicing that.
Me: Um, what? What do you mean?
B: I am going to practice abstinence forever. I am NEVER doing that.
And here’s the problem: all my responses were inappropriate. Every last thing I wanted to say was not AT ALL okay to say to my ten year old daughter. Like, not okay at all. I had no good response.
First thought: “Well, unless you learn to talk to boys like normal human beings, I don’t think we have to worry about that.” (Discard. Obviously not helpful. And it will probably save me some heartache in her teenage years if she just never talks to boys.)
Second thought: “You’ll change your mind eventually.” (Discard–do not encourage 10-year old daughter to entertain thoughts of “the process”.)
Third thought: “But I want grandkids!” (Discard. I do want grandkids, but I do not want teen pregnancy, so let’s leave this for another 15 years down the road.)
Final thought: “Is it too early for a glass of wine?” (No. No, it is not.)
And so I said nothing. I just stared at my daughter who had just declared her lifelong celibacy. And she stared at me. It was awkward. And then:
B: Are you telling me I shouldn’t do that?
Me: (Finally, I think I know this one!) Nope. That’s a good plan. Stick with that.
And I poured myself a glass of wine.
Matt is totally in charge of having all these conversations with the boys. There is not enough wine in the world to get me through those.