Posted in Mama Adventures


     As I drove the back road to Curls and Red’s school, the inside of the car was quiet other than an alternative band singing their newest single. Red sat in the backseat directly behind me. After a few minutes of silence I asked him, “Everything okay, Buddy?” He said evenly, “Yep.” I stopped at the four way stop sign and asked him, “What are we not going to talk about at school today?” I could barely hear him answer, “Penis.” I spoke up and said, “Not just penis, Buddy. Anything Mom and Dad read to you from It’s Not the Stork. Okay?” A little louder this time he replied, “Yes.” To make sure he didn’t feel bad, I told him, “You’re not in trouble Baby. Your dad and I just don’t want you to get in trouble for trying to talk to your friends about it. They need to talk to their parents if they have the same questions you had.” I didn’t get any other response and didn’t want to make it a bigger deal than it was, so I dropped it. He seemed satisfied with that so I parked the car once we arrived at our destination. With a kiss and a hug I walked him up to the gate and hoped that Penisgate was still in the back of his head.

     About a month ago Red started asking questions about where babies come from. He knew that his sister and him were in my belly before they were born but that was the extent of it. When he started asking questions, I explained to him I wasn’t ready for that conversation. But when he became more persistent and Curls would lean in every time he asked, I knew I couldn’t avoid having a conversation with them. Just a few examples of his line of questioning:

  1. Cannibal: “Did you eat me to get me in your belly?”

  2. Crafty: “Did you use paint?”

  3. Dr. Frankenstein: “Did you go to the cemetery, dig up some bones, and put me together?”

     My husband mentioned that he had heard/read about a book called It’s Not the Stork and that I should look it up. I brought it up on Amazon, read some reviews, most notably this one. If it was good enough for an R.N., it was good enough for me. I requested it from the library and picked it up when it was ready.

     The book opens with a bird and a bee going to the zoo. A family of hippos prompt the bird to ask where babies come from. That leads the book to say that asking questions is a great way to start and then transitions into boys and girls can be alike in many ways. So far, so good. We then hit giggle territory when we started reading about boys and girls and their different body parts. I kept a straight face and forged ahead all the way to Chapter 11: The Big Swim. My husband was left to read that to the kids, bless his heart. This happened over a span of a few days. Curls didn’t have any questions and Red just walked around the house laughing and saying, “Penis. Vagina.” And my personal favorite: “The vagina of doooooom.” I knew this would happen as he is only five and it was even hard for me not to laugh (I call it the Beavis and Butthead effect). Curtis and I explained to both the kids that there was nothing wrong with the information that we were giving them and they were all the correct terms. But we told them that we didn’t want them discussing it at school. We wanted their friends to get that information from their parents and not them. I could feel this not registering with my son as I looked at the glazed face staring back at me. 

     Fast forward to Veterans Day. All the children on our street are playing, hooping and hollering. At one point in the afternoon Red ran past my husband, my girlfriend, and myself as we sat on the driveway, into the garage, and hid behind one of the cars. I asked him if he was okay and he didn’t answer. I went back to check and he was clearly upset. I bent down and asked him what was wrong. He looked up at me in tears and said, “****”s grandpa yelled at me to go home.” Mama Bear kicked in, I picked him up, and started marching up the street. My husband asked, “Where are you going?” I turned around without breaking stride and answered, “To have a discussion with ****’s grandpa.”

     As we headed toward the end of the street and Red was wrapped around me like a koala bear, the kids started running towards me, trying to let me know what had happened. My Red had run up to some of the kids and asked, “Hey guys, do you know what a penis is?!” I know my Red. He is mischievous and likes attention. I wasn’t thrilled that he had asked that but he is 5 and boys will be boys. He hadn’t said a bad word like dick or many others like it.

     When I came face to face with grandpa, it was clear that he was not interested in what I had to say. To start, he got in my face to the point where I had to ask him to back up. I then introduced myself and shook his hand. I asked him what the problem was. He informed me that he had told my son to go home because he was saying inappropriate things around his granddaughter. I told him that if he has a problem in the future with either of my children he is to come to me and not speak to them. He then decided to advise that he thinks Red’s parents need to tell him that he shouldn’t talk like that. It was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I snapped back that we had already told him that we didn’t want him educating his friends about body parts but that what he said was the correct term for it. And because I can’t let sleeping dogs lie, I told him that Red isn’t going to be shamed for saying penis. It is the correct biological term. At this point Grandpa’s wife decided to pipe in and tell me that she and Grandpa are both retired teachers and that Red would get written up at school if he said that. I directed my death stare at her and let her know that it isn’t 1953 and saying penis is not bad. She retorted, “Well, good luck to your kids in school.” I could feel the steam coming out of ears, my body shaking, and the tears threatening to take over my face.

     That is when my wonderful, awesome, and amazing husband came up the street. Grandpa decided he was going to give him his side of the story because clearly I am a crazed woman and won’t listen to reason. And my feminist (did I mention awesome?) of a husband put his hand up as Grandpa started to speak. “You don’t need to tell me anything. You have spoken to my wife and that is all I need to know.” I could feel my shoulders relax and used that as a cue to go. I can’t remember if anything else was said but I knew I had said my piece and even though I didn’t need rescuing, Curtis knew exactly what to do. 10 minutes later Grandpa and his wife drove down our street and I waved as they thankfully left.

     I understand that a lot of parents don’t want to talk to their kids about sex until they are a certain age. But I will be damned if somebody is going to shame my child when he says something as simple as penis. Red’s question didn’t come from a sexual place or any ill will. He wanted to laugh about his new found knowledge and maybe show off a little in the process. And hopefully Penisgate has shown him that there is a time and place for certain kinds of conversation. Either way, I will be right there, ready to defend him.

Posted in Good Things

Spread the Joy

As Thanksgiving will be here in a couple weeks, my kiddos are being taught by their teachers to be thankful. Red came home from school last Monday with a large blue construction paper feather and was told to come up with reasons what he is thankful for. I got out my handy dandy piece of paper and pen and sat down with him. I am happy to say that he didn’t even have to think about it. He started out shooting answers while I had to hurry and write them down. This is what my sweet boy came up with:

  1. His minion shirt that Grandma and Papa gave him (I can’t wash it fast enough so he can wear it again and again)

  2. His Legos (what boy his age isn’t thankful for them??)

  3. His friends

  4. Books (I stopped to clap like a circus seal when he said that)

  5. His family

So in the spirit of the holiday and for when I need a reminder, these are my reasons as to why I am thankful. I hope at least some of them will bring you joy. Have a wonderful week and be sure to thank a Veteran. I am thankful for my Dad and Father-in-Law, who fought for our country. Love you Dad and Chris!

  1. As a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan (which this reminded me of) and a sucker for a good holiday commercial, this one had me in tears. The cute and sweetness are on overload.

  2. On 11/6/14, the new Star Wars movie title was announced (Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens), the cast of the new Quentin Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight was revealed (Yes, I love Channing Tatum. But Demian Bichir is who I flipped over), and in 2017 a new Toy Story movie will be in theaters. As a movie nerd to the nth degree, Christmas had come early.

  3. The show Walking Dead: It took me until I binge watched the first two seasons did I finally see the light. There are so many reasons why this show is such a phenomenon. The great cast, the makeup (Greg Nicotero is the MAN), and the twists and turns that you should expect by now but will never be fully prepared for. But what I always say when I am trying to bring a non watcher to the dark side is that it is a fascinating study on human nature. The zombies are not what you should be afraid of. When society has broken down like it has in this world, the remainder of the population becomes primal and cruel in their quest for survival. Nobody is truly good and what is right or wrong is never clear. I am not a psychologist and never wanted to be. But I feel like I am a taking a course in mental health every Sunday night at 9 pm (This is one of the few shows that I cannot wait to watch it the next day. I love it that much and because *DUH* SPOILERS)

  4. Coconut Milk EOS lip balm: If there is a new EOS lip balm, it has taken up residence in the Wilson household. I am pretty sure we have one of each flavor but the Coconut Milk (which just arrived in our local Super Target) is especially delicious. It tastes like a Pina Colada minus the calories. And speaking of calories…..

  1. A sure sign that Christmas is coming: White fudge covered Oreos and Nutella hot chocolate. While doing my grocery shopping I found my beloved white fudge Oreos that only come around during the holidays. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Caramel Apple Oreos that were out last month and I was super bummed I didn’t get to try the Pumpkin Spice ones. But nothing beats that white chocolate-not-chocolate enveloping America’s classic cookie. And if I want to push all my chips in, I make some Nutella hot chocolate topped off with little marshmallows and whipped cream. Now if California would stop being such a little bitch and cool off, I could drink it without breaking a sweat. 90 degrees in November. I mean, COME ON.

I am sure I could come up with more reasons that I am thankful for but these five stand out right now. What are you thankful for?