Saturday, November 05, 2011

grades and sex

I'm behind in my classes and I am starting to sweat.  There's the OK behind, where you have missed an assignment or two. Then there's the I can't make eye contact with the Professor behind, where you both know that you are screwed and it's all your fault.

My first thought is to fake an illness, a disease, an act-of-God as an excuse because no one that is as together as me gets this behind.  But then, I can't.  Not that I haven't.  Oh my gosh, my first time around in college, I was the pro at coming up with whoppers to get me out of tricky situations (crappy grades that I deserved).  A Grandma or two of mine would die, my parents were getting divorced...I don't remember any others.  Just that I had them up my sleeve and I wasn't afraid to use them.

Now, I'm either more mature, or just too lazy to lie.  I should try to slime my way in to some leniency though.  I see enough of the other students getting away with it.  They can turn papers in late because they had a family birthday party that conflicted with the deadline.  Or they are out of their medication.  I could totally come up with something like that.  How bout, I had back to back meetings with the School Community Council, the Neighborhood Community Council, my husband was traveling, my three year old was sick, and I had to coach/carpool/clean/cook/etc...  But whatever...I'll just take the cruddy grade.

I say cruddy, but if I get less than a B in any class I will have to throw myself over a bridge.  And a B would totally bite.  So, I have got to buckle down.  Blah, blah, blah.

What else?  Oh in talking with another mother about maturation programs for kids, she was telling me about the one they do for my son's school.  It's coming up soon, and it is pretty in-depth.  Which I think is great.   Have giant STD's tattoo'd on to the kids heads so that they are reminded of how big a deal they are.  Or, have their ring tone be a colicky baby, so they have nightmares about getting pregnant before they are ready.  So, I dusted off our collection of sex/anatomy books for kids.  They are really great- called the It's So Amazing series.

Problem is that with my boy, he turns in to a prudish nun when ever he so much as sees the covers of one of these books.  And it's driving me nuts.  I want him to be prepared.  He's almost 11.  He is getting some pimples on his nose.  He is sweating a lot more.  It's pretty obvious he is going to start puberty pretty soon.  I want him to own it, understand it, not feel scared by it.  Pretty much the opposite of the experience that I had- starting my period at a friend's house, with zero knowledge of what in the world was going on, a sex-education that consisted of a boyfriend telling me that it was the old "nail in the hole trick" and seeing Fast Times At Ridgemont High at a friend's home who had HBO.  That was the extent of my sex ed.  By the time my Mom asked me if there was anything that I wanted to know about sex (what kind of a stupid question is that?) I felt like I had all the information that I needed (boy was I wrong).

The plus side to being a naive teenager was that it kept me a virgin in High School, since I was so ashamed of my naked body I'd rather die than have someone else see it.   The negative side was a list a mile long.  So, fast forward to me raising my own kids and I am like, come hell or high water, they are going to know everything.  They are going to be the most knowledgable kids on the planet when it comes to sex and anatomy.  We are taking all of the guilt, myths, old wives tales, and silliness out of the equation.  We are using appropriate terms for anatomy.  It's all on the table.

And here my oldest kid would rather shrink in to a crack than talk about this.  Is it because I am his mother?  I am going to say no way...because it would tick me off if that were the case.  I am not raising my kids to be so gender-biased that there are certain things that they can only talk with certain gendered parents about.  When I ask him why it makes him feel so uncomfortable, he says that he wants to be a surfer hippy and never have to know about any of this.  Does he think that if he learns about it it makes him bound to have to do the acts?  I could care less if he was a celibate hippy surfer.  I just want him to be a knowledgeable one.

So, instead of being patient and calm, I get impatient.  I tell him that he needs to grow up and get over this childishness.  That it's just information.  It's science for heaven's sake.  That he needs to know it because he's going to start puberty soon, and it would be rude of me to not teach him about this.  He claims that he knows all that he needs to know.  I had left the books in his room for him to explore in the past.  But that doesn't satisfy me.  He can't tell me what happens to a boy's body in puberty.  So, in my mind, he's just seen the hairy, naked cartoons that the book illustrator drew, and never read a word.

I mean, I guess it gets me because here is Shelby who thinks that sex is about as sexy as a tomato...or a LEGO....or a pile of manure.  To her, it's just knowledge.  We'll be driving somewhere and for no reason she'll just ask, "So if the sperm is a boy sperm does that mean the baby will be a boy?"  Dalton meanwhile is DYING in the backseat, incensed that she would utter the word sperm.  But to her, it was just something that she was thinking about.  So we answer yes, and then the conversation moves to what she ate at lunch that day.  No big deal.  Which is what I love.  I love that anatomy is just like any other scientific subject.  It would be like studying the sun, or the ocean, or butterflies.  It's just part of life.

I must have scarred Dalton at some (multiple) points in his young childhood.  I am pretty sure of it actually.  To have him be this uncomfortable about the topic of bodies and sex, just seems like I was the Queen of Prude to my poor boy.  Now I must seem like a harlot, trying to push all this knowledge of flesh and cells on him.  So, his maturation program will be coming up soon.  And there are girls wanting to text and email him.  And he's a cutie.  So I know it's just a matter of time.  Do I just say screw it.  He's going to get the information eventually.  Is it that I am not the gatekeeper to the knowledge that is the thing that is really bugging me?  Is it that I want it all to come from these cute cartoon books, and me, instead of some 7th grade friend in P.E. who is sharing details about the nude pics that he saw on his home computer?  Maybe that is it.  That sucks.  And I am making him feel guilty for not wanting to have a bonding moment talking about boners on the living room couch with his mom.  Yeah, doesn't that sound like the coolest thing ever?

I think that he gets a lot of it.  The nail in the hole thing he's solid with.  It's the details that he's missing.  Anyways...I guess that I just get to get over it.  He'll be fine.  I'll keep the book for the 10+ age group in his room.  Tell him that if he has any questions he can text me or his dad.  And Shelby and I will just have our little conversations about these fun topics.  He can always listen outside the door.

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