Though my blog is titled Buddy and Bug, it is most often my place to vent and to process things going on with myself. Being Buddy and Bug’s mother leads to many tales of their antics and adventures to be sure, but I try to only reveal MY personal things and not theirs. Due to the nature of our relationships…they overlap. There is one such issue that I’ve debated internally about sharing and have also talked to several other moms, on whether this subject would uncover too much of my childs “personal life” or not. I’ve decided to share because it’s a subject all parents have to broach and consider at sometime or another and because it’s funny. This scary, serious, but funny subject is sex.
One night, when Bug was an infant and Buddy was a about 3 1/2, I wanted to surprise my husband with a birthday gift. We lived in Missouri at the time and Man did not have a nice coat to wear over his suits. I went out and bought him the finest trench coat I could find. After the boys were in bed, Man and I settled onto the couch in the basement to watch a movie. Just as the movie was ending I went upstairs and put on nothing but the trench coat. I came down stairs as the credits were rolling and I…gave Man his new trench coat. He was so blessed by the gift… One thing lead to another and fun times were happening down in the basement. Things were really starting to heat up when Buddy came bump, bump, bumping down the stairs on his little bum.
I quickly covered MAN’S naked bum with a pillow.
“Go back to bed NOW!” he yelled at Buddy.
“Honey! Don’t scare him. He’s not doing anything wrong,” I whispered.
“Um…Why is Mom naked?” Buddy asked.
“Because I was hot,” I answered nonchalantly.
“Well, then why is Daddy covering you?” asked Buddy.
“Well, because then I got cold,” I again tried to sound matter-of-fact.
“Get back up stairs!” Man yelled again.
“Yeah, go on back to bed Buddy. I’ll be there in a minute to tuck you back in.”
After Buddy left I scolded Man. “Acting like it’s a big deal is not going to help!” I told him. “If you make a big deal out of it he’ll remember it forever and possibly negatively. If you act like it’s an everyday thing then it he’ll probably forget all about it.”
“I wish it was an ‘everyday thing,'” he said sarcastically.
That should give you an idea of Man and I’s approach to discussing sex with the kids. I like to keep it simple, honest but age appropriate and Man likes to not discuss it all. Another “incident” was when Buddy was about 5. I was watching Dancing With The Stars and Buddy joined me on the couch. After a dance I’d ask him what he thought. Typically he’d say things like, “It was really good! I liked her dress!” After one dance I asked for his commentary and he said, “Well…I’d like to see her do the dance naked.” I howled with laughter! Man banished The Boy to his room and banned him from ever watching it again. Though he later admitted The Boy was just saying what every man is thinking.
Despite seeing his parents naked and watching Karina Smirnoff work her bedazzled body on the dance floor, Buddy is still a relatively sheltered boy. I especially realized this last New Year’s Eve. We allowed the boys to stay up for the ball drop. They had apparently never seen Prime Time television. After a few commercials Bug turned to me and asked, “What the heck is going on after we go to bed?”
What the heck indeed! Viagra, tampons and beer commercials…something fun was going on after dark! We weren’t intentionally sheltering them either. I just wanted them in bed by 8 because I was ready for a glass of wine and my shows and I wanted those things in peace and quiet.
Then there was “the boner incident.” One snowy Saturday, Buddy and Bug had the neighbor girls over to sled. After a few runs down the hill I heard Buddy come back in the house. Before closing the door he yells out into the yard, “Hey! I’ll be back out in a little bit! My snow pants are bothering my boner!”
My eyes flew open wide. *blink, blink*
“Buddy….” I called The Boy upstairs and asked him if he tried using the bathroom. He had. Didn’t help. “Well, OK. It’s OK that you have a…a…boner but it’s a private thing. Next time lets not announce it to our friends.”
“Oh. OK!” And off he went to play.
I turned to Man. “I think it might be time for The Talk.”
During Christmas Break, Bug and I went out alone together. When I got home I could immediately tell something was up. The energy in the house was…awkward to say the least.
“Hey Babe, what’s up?” I asked Man when I found him in the kitchen.
“Oh…I just had The Talk with Buddy.”
“Oh? How’d that go?”
“He cried?! What the heck did you tell him?”
“I told him about sex!” he said a little surprised that I was unsure of what he meant.
“Yeah, except I didn’t call it that.”
Oh good grief.
“When I said ‘have The Talk’ I really just meant to tell him about getting hairy and stinky. You know…the body change stuff. Oh man…he cried?”
“Yeah. He cried and asked how long he would have to do that for.”
“Ha! Did you tell him 5, 10 minutes max?” I laughed.
“Well, did you at least tell him it was nothing to be scared of? That it’s fun and good?”
It was evident I would need to do some damage control. I didn’t even have to seek out Buddy. He met me in my room.
“Hey Buddy! Did you have a good time with Dad while I was out?”
“We had a…Talk…”
“Ahhh. And what did you think of that Talk?”
“Well, basically I found out that I’m going to have to pee white stuff into a girl if I want to have kids!”
“Is that what Dad said?!”
“Sort of. I mean…You must’ve been totally freaked out the first time Dad did that to you!”
I tried so hard not to laugh at this point. Instead I smiled and said, “No Buddy, I wasn’t. I rather liked it. It was fun!” Yeah. I decided to for-go telling him just how “fun” it is for a woman the first time. No need to scare him anymore than he was.
“It’s OK that you don’t think it would be fun now. Right now it wouldn’t be. It’s for when you are a man and for when you are with a woman you love. Don’t worry about it now. It’s for far in the future.”
That seemed to make him feel a little better. I told him that this was not to be discussed with anyone else, especially Bug, and that if he had any questions he could ask Mommy.
Whatever you do, don’t ask Dad! I thought to myself.
Before school let out for Spring Break I got a letter from the school. After the break they will begin their Growing and Changing Unit. Parents were welcome to view the video in advance. The unit would cover:
*Changing bodies and feelings; puberty
*Healthy body image
*Process of fertilization (you know…peeing white stuff into a woman)
*Process of fetal development and birth
*Intercourse and oral sex, STD risks associated
*Sexual harassment (i.e. no wolf calls boys)
*Heterosexuality and homosexuality
*Drugs and alcohol awareness (because that’s REALLY what’ll get you knocked up. Am I right?)
I thought of my sweet little boy who cried when his own Father told him the very basics of sex in the comfort of his home and that it made him cry. I imagined him having more revealed to him (ORAL SEX?!) while sitting next to his playground buddies.
Nope. No way. He’s not doing this Unit. I’ll talk to him myself. Of course…if he doesn’t, his classmates will fill him in and that’s DEFINITELY not how I want him to hear about these things!
About that time Buddy excitedly called me into the living room. When I walked in I saw every stuffed animal that he owns lined up on either side of the coffee table. His baby blanket was rolled out down the middle. At the head of the table were two of his stuffed animals. They were getting married. An Ewok was officiating. The bride had a flower taped to her plush paw.
“Old Yeller and Revellie are getting married!” Buddy exclaimed. “Then they are going to come with us to Pennsylvania for their honeymoon!”
I blinked back tears.
“That’s awesome Buddy! Congratulations!”
I went back to my room and read the list again. THAT little boy, THAT boy whose stuffed animals are walking down an aisle of his baby blanket, is going to be told about oral sex? STDs? THAT BOY?! I know that he’s going into Jr. High. I know that some Jr. High students are experimenting sexually, particularly with oral sex, but it’s not all of them. It’s a small few. I don’t want to be the parent that says “My son would never!” But seriously…THAT boy?! I feel like this is robbing our kids of their innocence waaay too soon. I recall learning about puberty at the end of 5th grade. In 6th or 7th a little more was revealed. Then some more in 9th and a little more in 10th or 11th. The thing is, I feel like my hands are tied because it’s either he hears about it in class from his teacher or on the playground from his friends. OR I tell him. I’d much rather tell him but I’d like to tell him as I do everything, in a simple, honest but AGE APPROPRIATE manner. To top it all off, they will teach the unit while I’m in Paris and Buddy will come home full of questions to Man.
I text my sister.
“What day does this happen? I’ll be praying for him.”
“Thanks. I just feel like we’re killing his innocence.”
“He is innocent and he still will be even after he knows the facts.”
Oh boy. I’ll take those prayers and yours, thanks.