The other night, as I was tucking my ten year old Helena into bed, she got all silly and flustered and then she took a deep breath and without warning, blurted out that shesortofkindofpossiblymaybehasacrushonaboywhohasniceeyes.
And then she stared at me, waiting for me to do something other than choke on my tongue and search in vain for my jaw which had fallen to the floor and rolled under her bed.
This was my baby who, up until that minute, thought boys were made up of equal parts of gross, ick and blech and put on this earth just to annoy her.
The one who, over the summer, yelled to the boy down the street who was simply standing in his own driveway, minding his own business, Owen! Stop being disgusting long enough to tell me who you have for a teacher next year!
The one who likes karate because, among other things, she gets to punch boys in the gut.
My baby has a crush.
I’m not quite sure what to do with this information.
I leave you with a post I wrote last year about the sex talk I had with Helena. Now I’m thinking of taking another stab at it and this time, I’ll be smart and simply tell her that BOYS STUNT YOUR GROWTH, CAUSE YOUR BOOBS TO GROW BACKWARDS AND MAKE YOU BREAK OUT IN ZITS IF YOU HAVE SEX WITH THEM BEFORE YOU’RE THIRTY.
My house is now a no-fly zone for the birds and bees, thank you very much
(originally posted on September 28, 2009)
It was the same old, same old at the Chamberlain household this weekend. Hauling laundry up and down the couch, losing grocery lists, searching for all three cordless phones, hiding from responsibility, avoiding housework and … let’s see … oh yes, the sex talk with my youngest.
Helena’s only nine so I delayed The Talk as long as possible but that’s hard to do when she’s got a fifteen year old sibling around who insists on being a teenager and having her teenager friends over and doing teenager-y things like watching PG-13 movies (HELENA, THAT IS INAPPROPRIATE, GO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO) and updating their Facebook status (HELENA, THAT IS INAPPROPRIATE, GO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO) and talking about hottie boys (HELENA, THAT IS INAPPROPRIATE, GO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO) and getting their periods (NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE ONE. GO FIND SOMETHING ELSE DO TO.)
Unfortunately, Helena ran out of things to do. Despite having a Wii and a closet full of games and craft supplies and a bedroom full of toys and a computer all to herself as well as 2,439 playdates.
So, sex talk it was. Seeing as how she just started using deodorant and just started wearing what passes as a bra but what is really the top half of a blinged out undershirt, I knew it was just a matter of time, so I was ready.
The Talk is a huge step, a milestone, a right of passage, if you will. There might be a lot of nervousness and anxiety and EWWWWS and YUCKS and shouts of disgust and maybe even some vomiting but as long as your kid doesn’t see it, you’ll be fine.
Having been through this twice now with my girls, I thought I’d share my tips to make it as smooth of a nervous breakdown as possible.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- $10,000 to bribe someone else into doing it for you. Lacking that, you’ll need (1) a will of iron; (2) a strong stomach; (3) an entire bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol; (4) a thesaurus; (5) a portable Jaws of Life with which to remove your foot from your mouth; (6) a Pinocchio antidote to return your nose back to normal, in the event your child asks “did you wait until you were married?” and (7) a suture kit to repair the slice of Swiss cheese formerly known as your tongue.
- A child who has expressed some interest in the subject by asking where babies come from or, as was the case with my child, by demanding I WOULD LIKE SOME DEODORANT. AND A BRA. AND WHAT’S WITH ALL THIS PENIS AND EGG STUFF? OH, AND SOME PIZZA FOR DINNER. OK?
- A quiet place, preferably someplace where your husband is not so as to lessen any chance of him barging into your conversation with HEY, WHERE DO WE KEEP THE TOILET PAPER and then wondering why his child is looking at his southern hemisphere in horror while shouting “You’re gross! I know what you did to Mommy!” to which he’ll automatically respond “She did it to me first!” before he looks at you and asks “What are we talking about?”
- Some paper and pens, if your kid is a visual learner and you are artistically inclined. Skip this entirely if you’re anything like me with no sense of perspective or scale because there’s no sense in traumatizing your child into thinking that a baby is made by a gigantic Greyhound bus crashing into her nether regions in search of a speck of dust which is hiding in some abstract anomaly that looks like a Texas longhorn steer off its meds.
- Two heaping scoops of Dutch Apple Pie ice cream to numb your brain in hopes that you won’t feel the excruciating weight of failure when your child yells WAIT, THAT’S IT? I WAITED THIS WHOLE TIME FOR THAT? THIS IS SUCH A RIP OFF.
And then, just make sure you cover the basics, including but certainly not limited to the following:
- What a period is, why a girl gets it and why the week preceding it is legal justification for involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide and, in some extreme cases such as your husband blinking too loud, first degree murder.
- How girls’ and boys’ bodies change during puberty and that for every inch they grow in any direction, they lose approximately three squillion brain cells and become unwitting victims of hijackings by terrorists known as Hormones and this is why your child cannot date until she is thirty-seven and fully trained in guerrilla warfare and can kill a man with her bare thumbs.
- The penis and the vagina and how the phrase “never the twain shall meet” comes into the play when and if the penis ever brings home a 50″ LCD HGTV despite the vagina’s emphatic objections.
- The daddy’s sperm and the mommy’s egg and how the daddy likes to think he’s all that and a bag of chips simply because his manly men swam upstream in an attempt to get busy with the mommy’s egg and how, after a nanosecond of WHOO HOO, they declared themselves plum tuckered out, leaving it to the mommy and her egg to do all the real work for nine long, bloated months, which period of time should not to be confused with actual labor which also lasts nine months, depending on whether someone hits mommy over the head with a baseball bat or gives her an epidural, whichever she asks for first.
- That sex is the most personal, special and intimate act of love between a man and a woman and should only be done between consenting adults or between one consenting adult and one adult who wants the living room painted before Christmas.
Helena took the entire conversation in stride, listening quietly, asking pertinent questions (I was an egg? I’m going to get hair where? Daddy did what? With his what? And you let him?) giggling and laughing and squealing and, when it was over, running downstairs to meet Zoe at the door with a gleeful shout of GUESS WHAT? I HAD THE SEX TALK! I’M JUST LIKE YOU! and then running over to her daddy with a plea of CAN I GET A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT NOW?
My baby is growing up. That brick I put on top of her head is failing miserably.