Bath Time is Body Part Discovery Time

Hard questions: answers
rush out, untamed, left alone…
oh, what have I done?
——————————————————-

It’s Tuesday, and with my beloved traveling, it was up to me to handle bath time. No biggie. The kids are getting to be relatively low maintenance in the bath, with only my 6-year-old son needing some help to get things clean after a good soak. Partway through he called me to come back into the bathroom.

What’s up?

“Mom? What are these called again? I can’t remember.”

I peered to see what he was talking about, only to find him holding his penis up and away at an angle that made me cringe, while also pulling on his testicles rather vigorously.

Those? Below your penis? Those are your testicles.

“And what do they do?”

Well, *cough cough* you know how mommies have eggs inside them to make babies? Well daddies have sperm inside them to make babies with the mommies. The sperm is in your testicles. 

“I don’t understand. How does that work?”

(Oh shit, I thought.) Well, the sperm and the eggs combine inside of mommy to make a baby. I knew fully well this was inadequate and other, even more dreaded questions, were heading my way.

“But how does the sperm get there?” There was a note of concern in his voice.

The daddy puts the sperm inside of mommy. We have a special hole in our girl parts.  (What in the hell have I gotten myself into? Stop talking.)

“How does the sperm get out of me? Does it hurt?”

No. It doesn’t.

“But how? Do they have to cut it out?”

No, no, no. It comes out of the same hole that you pee out of.

He quickly looked at his penis now, still unnaturally pulled to one side.  A questioning look crossed his sweet face.  “Do they have to go inside and scoop it out?”  He gestured like he was holding a spoon. I almost laughed out loud, this was such a genuinely confused little question.

No, sweetie. You can make it come out yourself. (Think before you answer, woman… dammit…)

“What? How?” Again, he peered down at his penis, as if it was something foreign and little scary now that he knew it had certain powers.

Well, trust me, you can just make it happen. But don’t worry, you won’t be able to do it for a long time. You won’t make sperm until it’s time to make babies. You’ll be much older. 

“Oh, like when I’m 16.”

No! Much older than that. You aren’t ready for babies at 16.

“Ohhh, maybe when I’m 30.”

Yes, that’s more like it. When you are 30. 

And with that, he was done. Penis released, testicles relaxed, he returned to his pleasant bath time. I am left fearful, however, as to how this conversation will get translated to his Kindergarten teachers tomorrow. Will he recount certain parts, parts explained separately but recounted as if they are of the same thought?  “My mom told me that when I’m 30 I will be able to make sperm come out of my penis. But they won’t cut it out.  She has a special hole. But I’ll be too young at 16. My sperm is in my testibules.”

So to Mrs. Martin and Ms. Ferone, as well as the parents of any classmates who are entertained with stories in the coming days, first, my apologies and second, do not judge until you have also navigated the tricky waters that I have.

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Puppy Pirates – the Art of Conversation with a 5 year old (Part 2)

There are no pit stops
On McTalker’s race track: just
Go fast and turn left.

———————————————————

Thanks for coming back to read part 2 of Puppy Pirates.  First, how have tactics one and two been working for you?  The Last Noun Volley and Big Muscle Maneuver can be quite helpful so I hope you give them a try.  And since it is fairly obvious from those first two tips that I’m not up for Mother of the Year again this year, I’ll continue with my final tactics, 3 and 4.

Tactic #3 – Character Acting

Pretty straight forward, this one is:  talk through the toys. AB got several Imaginext Dinos for Christmas (pause for a review – they are wonderful! Highly recommend). The velociraptor’s mouth opens and closes – the only one which does that. So when AB wants to talk and play and play and talk (and all I want to do is veg out, but realize I haven’t spent any time with the little guy), I grab this velociraptor and use him like a puppet.  Moving his mouth and talking at the same time can be highly entertaining.  I get to be someone else – kind of cranky and dino-like (sooo unlike my normal character) – and I get to amuse myself being witty. (Pathetic, I know…)

These types of conversations are never as funny or interesting in the retelling as in the moment itself, so instead, let me capture the critical elements:

image from Fisher-Price website

  1. Repeat to your kid something annoying they always say to you, in character. “No, I won’t wanna do that; I wanna do this! Stop touching me! Mine!”
  2. Build in an inside joke with your husband as you speak through the toys… engages the “trying to be clever-er than you” part of your brain, which likely needs some exercise anyway.   You can also try some double entendre (wow, what that hard to spell) with him, unbeknownst to the kids, and double the fun.
  3. Let your shadow side peek out. My velociraptor is part Eeyore.  He complains a lot. Doesn’t want to participate. Goes off in a huff sometimes.  Watching my son employ all the same approaches I try with him when he’s in a mood is great affirmation that he’s at least paying some attention.

I forgot to mention that tactic #3 is actually fun – way more so than just picking up a dino and moving it around… Taking over the character requires more adult brain, plus I get to mess with my kid, which is never bad.

Tactic #4 – Silent Treatment/Change the Subject

As the mothers of boys reading this know, our angels can sometimes be a little gruesome. The other day while in the drugstore (that place brings out the best in him), AB was singing about Frosty the Snowman… “with a button nose and two eyes made out of blood”. I’m not kidding. Where in the hell does he get this? I asked, and he said someone at school said it. (Yeah right, I’m thinking…). Anyway, after a polite request to not say that because it is gross, I was rewarded with higher volume during the next chorus.

Employ tactic #4: the silent treatment. Ignore him. We all know this, but I too often forget that this is such an easy way to move the conversation forward. Only takes about 30 seconds. And then you pop up enthusiastically about another topic: So, when are you going to play puppy pirates again?

And he’s off again…. Flapping and fluttering at 75 mph.  Truth be told, I’m happy to be along for the ride, even if it is exhausting.

A few last points.  If you are the mother of girls, you are probably frightened by all this. I’m sorry. I was too as my first is a girl and I was totally unprepared for mothering a boy. I promise you I will do my best to raise a wonderful man, but you have to get through the high energy, sometimes-gross boy to get there. Leave it to me…   Also, don’t tell anyone, but some of these same tactics (especially number one) work beautifully with the self-centered friend who always calls you to see how you are and then hogs the entire conversation.  Wait for the breath, repeat the last noun, and she’ll be off again, no worries; you can get back to the crossword.  And lastly a caution: I’ve also tried this same tactic with my husband (see this post) with less success because frankly he’s usually looking straight at me and able to read the visual clues, thus figuring out that I’m totally not engaged. Oh well, worth a try.

Kids say the darndest things (or Balls, part 2)

Imploringly he
holds my face and whispers his
sweet little boy song

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The place: CVS

The who: Me and my then 4 year old boy, AB.

The what: AB watching himself on the security TV at the entrance.

The quote:  Hey mom, watch me! I’m whacking my boy parts on TV!!

The reaction: Silence.

Because really, what can you say after that? I had at least 10 replies cued up in my brain, several that were downright hysterical, but none would play too well in that suburban store. Instead, I smiled blandly at the clerk, who, at 16 years old, thought that was the funniest thing she had heard in a while, and quietly replied “he’s 4”.

We left the store rather quickly. I tried to explain to AB that a) we don’t whack our boy parts and b) we certainly don’t do it in public.  But he was already onto the next topic, the whacking long forgotten.

I think AB picked me; I think that little soul looked down from wherever souls hang out pre-birth and decided that I needed to learn agility.  Verbal ability, mental agility, emotional agility, physical agility and most of all spiritual agility.   He has presented me with so many wonderful opportunities to build my skill set in this regard – always with a smile that melts your heart (those dimples! damn them!).  It hasn’t been an easy practice.  There have been more than my fair share of hot tears, born from frustration and defeat. But then we have a moment like CVS. Where the universe gifts me with an opportunity to observe my son with wonder… to watch him so downright pleased with seeing himself on camera… to have such confidence in who he is and what he is capable of that he boldly declares it to the world.  Look at me! Look at what I can do!

Who cares that if he was 10 years older he would be arrested for saying such things. I don’t want to be the one who dampens that spirit just yet. Instead, I’ll just carry on, walking with him, learning to be more agile than I ever thought I would need to be.  We will be fine. And we are going to have some great stories to tell someday to an unsuspecting girlfriend.

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