Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"FAMILY LIFE"

So I did something today that I've never done before:  I hid a dirty book under my mattress. 

Back up.  Last spring Nicholas got off the bus and I could tell by the stooped shoulders and dragging backpack that it had not been a stellar day.  By the time he got to the door his chin was quivering and his eyes filled with tears. Fearing the worst, I asked if he had gotten in trouble.  "No.  But I'm not going to 5th grade!!" I asked him what the problem was and he fired at me, "Oh!  You really wanna know!?  Well... in 5th grade you have to have Family Life and I'm not going!" So what's Family Life I asked.  "Mom, I have NO idea but it's gross!  All the 5th graders say you definitely don't want to go and I'm not going."  I quickly reassured him that Family Life was nothing more than talking about how boys and girls are different--you know like... boys have lower voices and girls wear skirts and stuff.  Since that time I have been dropping hints to Nick that the age of enlightenment has arrived (he ignores me).  But seriously, feel my pain here--the poor kid still believes wholeheartedly in Santa and the elves.  I can hardly accept he's ready for REALITY.
 

So for the last six months I've been formulating a plan.  Simply, it was to buy used books on Amazon until I find just the perfect one to use as our outline.  Well book IV arrived today. The first three were unbelievably juvenile so I chucked them.  I had pretty high hopes for this one--after all over 2 million copies sold.  You would think??  Well as I stood in the dining room reading it today, I seriously gagged.  We're talking EXPLICIT! As in a play by play sparing NO details.  Not to mention sick illustrated cartoons of overweight 50 year olds in provocative situations (no lie).  It was enough to traumatize me let alone my elf-loving eleven year old.  My first thought was to toss this one too, then I figured I couldn't pass up the chance to give it to Nick and tell him I'd found his dream manual!  "Just read it aloud to Junior--it'll bond you for life!  Really explain the pictures, if you will."  With this in mind, I slid it between the mattresses where it will wait for a future laugh. I can only imagine Natalie's frenzy should she find it.  All kidding aside. This stinks.  I am absolutely hating that this day is here.  I am at a total loss and open to suggestions for sure.  But really my overriding feeling is....

 
can't this just wait for college?

Am I crazy for waiting this long?
When were YOU "enlightened?"

26 comments:

Mitch said...

I think i have all the miller's beat on this one. Kellen Frey and i were snooping around the rumpus room one night when we were in second grade. I looked behind the white bookshelf that used to be in the south-west corner of the room. I noticed a book. As i turned the well conditioned pages i saw many wonderous things. I saw the stages of becoming a man. I saw the stages of becoming a woman. I saw what the men and women do when they want to show their "love". I believed they used the word Vulva. Gotta love that right? Anyway, i wasn't too surprised. I think i was pretty in touch with what was going on in the world at the age of 8. I'll never forget when i was driving in the prelude with Johnny when i was probably in tenth grade. It's almost like he wanted to give me the birds and the bee's talk. I chuckled inside when i realized what he was talking about. Seeing as how i probably knew more about it than he did. I think nicholas is for sure for sure FOR SURE old enough to know these things. You reach an age when you can really feel dumb if you don't know. I remember making fun of a lot of kids about believing in santa. Rude of me, I know. But we were all pretty rude growing up right? Ask mom to look for that book. Honestly, it's exactly what you have been looking for. It wasn't graphic or anything. It just said the basics of why it happens. I really think it'd be your best option. If you want me to talk to him about it then i will. We can do it through webcam chat. Let me know!

Jek said...

WHY OH WHY did i ever ask mom the question "What is birth control?, Oprah was talking about it?"
And secondly why did I choose to ask that question when it was just her and I on a LONG drive alone up to girls camp?
I got an earfull that day. Thanks though mom. I was at least 12 and much earlier would have been traumatizing. It did however help me so that i could explain it to my best friend in high school when she was still confused.

And it probably was time to quit telling my friends that you just pray for babies.

Lauralee said...

oh boy.. not fun.. I had the talk with my daughter last year.. she kept asking about where babies came OUT.. and my standard.."on the 3rd floor in the hospital" wasn't cutting it any more..I felt it was the time..

her response.. when she wasn't acting like she was plugging her ears.. was "okay.. I am going to try really hard to forget all this"

I feel so bad.. almost especially for girls, knowing what is "gets" to happen to them.. ugh.. I hated to share that.. but I am glad she is in the "know" and not clueless at school..

that is too funny about trying to find the right book, when your girls get a bit older, their is an american girl book about Your body.. both my girls refer to it often and has helped them both understand a few things..

good luck!

up in bubbles said...

Here is the scenario: Picture this. Mom and I are driving down Flamingo going to drop off Joe Janni at his new dish washing job a the Continental Hotel. As we were about to turn right into the parking lot two men holding hands passed in front or our car. "Mom, why are those guys holding hands?" I remember hearing a snicker from Joe as he was probably thinking to himself, have fun explaining that one to a fourth grader. We dropped off Joe and watched him strut his way into his new career. "John, you know that when moms and dads love each other they hold hands, right? "Yes". You also know they do other things like, "like Kissing?" "Yes like kissing, glad you are understanding." At this point in our conversation my mind went blank and the only thing i recollect was the word "insert".

Tell the poor boy. He is too old not to know and to believe in Ranta Raus. While you are at it break it to him that Lolley and that gang are done as well.

JENNIFRO said...

How did I KNOW Mitch would be first on this one! Great comments all! To MY credit, brothers, the Santa thing has yet to come up at school. For some reason he is with a lot of "young" kids I have never once told him "No, I swear he's real"--if he would've seriously asked, I would've told him. Having Unca Mitch filling him over the computer is probably the route I'll take. I mean, Mitch you know so MUCH!

That or use Lauralee's "third floor of the hospital" for a few more months. That's awesome!!

Suzanne said...

Since I have no experience in this department and my daughter is only 4, I have very little advice to share. I do agree with Mitch that something basic needs to be explained to him. No beating around the bush with metaphors or weird answers that would get him made fun of. The reply about the "3rd floor at the hospital" is quite clever and I like it. But my mind flashes to "Waterboy" when he is at collage and answering the questions for Colonel Sanders "Mama says alligators are mean cuz........." just imagaine your son saying at 11 "Mama says babies come from the 3rd floor at the hospital." (Again, not making fun of the saying, I like it and I am using it.) I say he's 11, next year will be in Young Men's, I think he should know. If you do not educate him, who will? Some aggressive girl at school or an older boy that wants to mock him. My vote, it needs to be your husband because he can relate to things that you cannot. You could just be the back up in case he falls through.

Yeah, you have fun with that one, but I agree, now is a good time. -Suzanne

Suzanne said...

PS - I forgot to mention that you must be very, very good if he still believes in Santa!

jill said...

I laughed SO hard at this one!!!

Johns answer KILLED me, especially because I picture that freak Joe Janni in the back of the car.

I too was told in the car, mom and I went to get McDonalds, I had NO idea what I was getting myself into, NONE!

We got our McDonalds and went and ate it in the parking lot of Millers Outpost, where she told me the whole sick process. I remember eyeing a nearby dumpster and thinking, "I can throw up in there." It was the sickest thing I'd ever heard, not what I was looking for.

JENNIFRO said...

Okay you're right. You're all RIGHT! The kid's not gonna know what him tonight after "Green Eggs and Ham."

I learned the beauty of all existence on the yellow couch in the living room. Mom used the book that Mitch found. I do remember being disgusted and in an attempt to ease my angst asked, "But you leave your garments on....right?" Blank stare from Mom.

Ann Marie said...

Oh, another time in life that I don't look forward to.

I have seen that book you ordered before, and I would chuck it. It IS disgusting.
My 2 sense?? I would have you AND your husband talk to him.
I was over at a friends house, and we watched flashdance. I came home and asked my Mom a question about it, and *bam* the talk.
I remember feeling tortured sitting there, and my Dad trying to draw certain things on paper... Oh the pain......Goodluck Jen!
BTW: Great picture him! :)

Lisa and Bill said...

My friend just had the dreaded conversation with her 10 year old a few weeks ago. She said she used the book "Where Do Babies Come From?" by Brad Wilcox (LDS author). And another book she found at the library that went into details with cartoon pictures. I don't recall the name. I'll ask her & let you know.

She said the Brad Wilcox book was excellent because it not only talked about sex, but added in our beliefs on morality, etc. The other book with the pictures they used selectively because some of it was just too much right now. The talk went successful for them & now it's my turn! James is only 8 however he's already had his first "crush", so we think it's almost time! James lives in such an adult world, since he's an only child, that Bill & I think he's ready.

Best of luck. I'm sure you guys will present it to him with lots of humor & love!

brooke said...

haha that's the exact book my mom used with us!! those illustrations are hysterical. we mostly just found it funny, like the women with all sorts of different shaped boobs. but the pictures are graphic, i still remember one of them very vividly!

well good luck, i don't think my parents ever really "formally" enlightened me, but we did read that book, and i guess the rest i picked up along the way.

JENNIFRO said...

Brooke--I am pretty sure I got the new, get with the times "porn" edition. ; ) The book on the post is not the one I got--just same author.

SaraBerry said...

About 3 years ago, Allie (9 years old) was watching "Little House on the Prairie". You know the one when Albert's girlfriend gets raped, and she ends up pregnant? Well, innocent Allie says, "Mom, I thought you could only have babies when your married!" Thus began the day I had dreaded for YEARS! Scott and I had made a deal that I would talk to the girls, and he would talk with the boys. Well, I was first. I said a prayer and Allie and I had a very good, spiritual talk. I was very surprised and calm about the whole thing. With triplets, it was about 2 hours later that Sam says, "Hey, I want to know where babies come from!" Then about 20 minutes after Scott talked to Sam, Joe comes down and says the same thing. That night we laid in bed and laughed ourselves sick over their reactions. Allie didn't say much, but the look she gave Scott when she saw him made him "want to go bury himself in a hole." Sam wanted to know if there was ANY other way, because there was no way he was going to do THAT! He is currently saving his money for his mission and for invitro. (I'm not kidding) Joe asked Scott "Could you hand me the garbage can, cause I think I am going to puke!" Three totally different reactions from three totally different kids. The best thing about it is that we have always told them if they hear something, or want to ask us a question we would be happy to answer their questions, so they get accurate, spiritual ones. They are amazingly open with us and have asked some real shocking questions, especially since starting JR. High. I wish that I could have kept them in a bubble a little longer. Good luck with Nicholas. I am sure he will handle it just fine. P.S. Alivia insisted on knowing on her 8th birthday. When we went to have the talk, she said she didn't really need it, cause her friend already told her everything. (that had me worried) We had the talk anyway, and after, she looks at me and says "That is not what I was told!" With a look of horror on her face. I think she might have been a little too young. I'm just glad that I am done giving the talk, only one more to go, and he's ALL Scott's .
Good luck again! Love ya

everything pink said...

send him over. Jeff has an opening tonight at 7:00 and 8:30 pm.
Seriously jeff should do monthly sessions for our friends.

I will trade you design advice for "the" talk.

everything pink said...

that little house show has caused more on the subject as well in our home too.
what is up with that episode?

Robert said...

Alright, everyone's commenting on the birds and the bees part. Let me start with the Santa and the elves part, since if you start with the birds and bees, Nicholas might wonder what Santa is doing with all those elves. Are they his kids? Does he belong to NAMBLA? What's the deal, there?

So, first you need to tell him Santa ain't real. Enough, already. That is for sure "get beat up on the playground" material. Basically, the only way that will go well is if you start giving him some responsibility for Christmas (choose the elves next hiding spot, etc.).

Second, I agree, you can't let some other kid start telling Nicholas about the nasty; because their version will be NASTAY, with an extra "A".

Third, big Nick's gonna have to do this one, hate to say it. Nicholas is not going to want to hear the word vagina come out of his mother's mouth, especially after you explain to him what it is.

I would have Nick give him a "preview" of the Family Life course, by explaining the very basics. And, I would NOT leave out the sex part, tempting as it may be. Be somewhat vague, but maybe a little more explicit than you would generally feel comfortable talking about to, say, the neighbors kids (how I jest).

In the end, just make sure he knows he can feel comfortable asking you any questions he has, especially when the other kids start talking to him about it, since they are veritable fonts of misinformation.

Or, the alternative is, you could go the Monty Python route and actually perform the act in front of him. That shouldn't leave much in doubt.

Jayne Layne said...

Hmmm... Good post. Definitely not something I am looking forward to. First of all the one thing I admired about Mom and Dad is that you could ALWAYS talk to them, even if it was uncomfotable, they wouldn't mind, so make sure he knows that.

I really don't think I ever had the talk, I think mom once thought she was giving me the talk when i was about in 8th or 9th grade, Jessica was there, but it was more casual, little did she know, i probably new more than her.

I always had nasty talking friends and friends that were much more advanced than I was, so I heard ALOT of things, and I could pretty much get the jist from everything I heard. Luckily it didn't effect me much, it all seemed pretty normal to me.

I would definitely tell him soon, his world is going to be a whole lot different tomorrow. But at lest this way he heard from you guys and not some sick kid in the 5th grade that has probably already done it.

Mitch said...

Haha.Sara and Rob take the cake for funny comments. I'm with Jayne as well; I always had friends that were more advanced than i (which is pretty easy to beat). I guess that was ONE positive thing about having any mormon friends? Yeah, I'll let that be the case. I agree with rob; Go into some detail but not everything. I liked having the "basics" while growing and learning little by little. But i could see some kids possibly turning to porn to find out some of the answers. So maybe it's better to just get it all out to prevent more curiosity. And no, The porn thing is NOT from experience.

Tiff said...

I don't have kids, but I remember my own experience VERY WELL. All I can say is, say a prayer first and tell everything, but not in too much detail yet. The most important thing I think may be the very hardest--do everything in your power not to be uncomfortable yourself. That makes it so much worse for him. Just realize that God created this as a gift between husband and wife, and there is nothing wrong with talking about it in a respectful manner. If you are not uncomfortable, it will make it so much better.

Jayne Layne said...

I think Tiff said it perfectly. It really is from Heavenly Father and there is NOTHING wrong with it as long as you are married. It just sounds weird to kids (and adults). I think if you are natural and normal about the situation then I think he will be able to accept it alot better.

Autumn said...

I'm right there with you sister! I've told my 5th grader about her body but nothing about the other! I'm so dreading it too!

My daughter is like your son~she still believes in Santa, Tooth Fairy~all of it!

careymc said...

flip. You & me both. Ty talked to Cal quite a while ago & I was so impressed with his approach. He refused to use a book and insisted HE talk to him and not me... so glad he did that. Good luck, Jennifer. I'm trying to figure out when & how to figure this one out with my youngest now.
PS - he sounds so much like Cal!!!

careymc said...

PS - I forgot to add the way the Christensen's talked to their kiddos. It's a family joke that Sherie talked to the girls & Lou talked to the boys...so when Ty started asking questions, Lou took Ty out to the garage to "watch the rabbits."

That was it.

Sherie said something along the lines of, "Great one, Lou. I can just see him thumping his foot someday...."

(sorry. couldn't help it. You'll have to ask Sherie for more details on this one though - too funny...)

browneyedgirl said...

Your son needs to hear it from one of you (with accurate info) before his friends tell him. I remember when my mom tried to tell my younger brother, he cupped his hands over his ears and kept shouting "I'm not listening", "nah, nah, nah, nah, nah", and over variations. Nice he believes in Santa, the oldest kids tend to believe sooner because no one is ahead of them telling them otherwise. My brother and I didn't know for quite a while. And I still remember the Christmas morning when my older (the oldest) brother recounted that he had seen Santa Claus the night before (he was probably in 3-4 grade). We were in awe, and he did believe it (must've been an amazing dream or something). And after I found out the real deal later on I remember thinking what a lier my older brohter was.

Good luck!

Rebecca said...

Oh goodness, I hate to even think about having to discuss this in the coming years. This is a tough one. Good luck.