Saturday, October 21, 2006

Oh, UN-Believable! At NINE years old??

So, today’s topic, a subject guaranteed to put chest hair on and strike terror in the hearts of mothers everywhere: I had to have THE TALK with Brayden yesterday.



Can you believe it??? At the tender age of 9???I know. Unbelievable.

I volunteer in the kids’ classrooms on Tuesdays for about an hour and a half in each room, plus have lunch with all three of them. Basically, I go in with them in the morning and stay all day, because I am a nosy, snooping, meddlesome, caring, concerned parent who likes to know what’s going on in their lives. This way I can spy on watch over them and help out the school and their teachers at the same time.

I noticed in Brayden’s room yesterday morning she had a new student. A student whom I shall call Shakeem (and yes, that is totally his real name … could I make that up? No. If I was making it up, I would call him David or Joe or something.) Her class also had a substitute teacher yesterday and I noticed Shakeem was having trouble staying in his seat and being quiet, and the sub seemed perturbed with him pretty early on.

When I met Brayden for lunch, she brought her friend Regan to the Parent’s Table to sit with me. I asked, in my Oh-So-Causal-Because-I’m-A-Cool-Mom-But-Really-I’m-Being-Totally-Nosy-So-I-Can-Stay-On-Top-Of-Things-Manner, “So, I noticed that new boy Shakeem was having some problems this morning. That’s got to be hard, to be the new kid, and have a substitute the first day, before you really even know the rules.” Brayden said, “Oh, it wasn’t the sub. Sha-King (she totally mis-pronounced his name, but how cute is that?) is SUCH a troublemaker!” and Regan said, “Yeah, he’s bad. He’s really bad.” Of course, this seems to be a theme with Brayden and Regan, but wanting to follow up, like any prying concerned parent would, I asked what made him such bad news.

This is the conversation that followed:

Brayden: “Well, at his last school, he said he got his girlfriend pregnant”

Me, choking on my delightfully-delicious-yet-nutrionally-sound-enough-to-meet-county-board-of-education-health-requirements-cinnamon-roll: “He said WHAT?!?!??!?!”

Regan: “Yeah, he said he got his girlfriend pregnant. He’s bad. He’s really bad.”

Me: “OK. I really don’t think that is true” {Come on, this is 4th grade we’re talking about …. While I’m sure there’s a remote chance this could have happened, I prefer to bury my head in the sand and ignore the fact it’s even biologically possible --- fingers in my ears, "la-la-la-la"} “You know, sometimes when new kids come to a new school, they want to impress people, and for the other kids to think they’re cool, so they tell stories that they think make them look tough. I really don’t think he got his girlfriend pregnant” {All the while, frantically mumbling in the back of my mind, don’t let it be true, don’t let it be true!}

Brayden: “Well, if it is true, you know what that means.”

Me: “Um, what?”

Brayden: “That means he …. Well, you know ….{looking around and speaking in a whisper} the “S” word”

Me, spluttering, and coughing up cinnamon roll: “Oh my gosh, where’s my water????!! I’m choking, seriously!”

The “S” word????? Aaaacccckkkkkk! She’s nine -- are Blaine and I being totally naïve??

Granted, I had the “What a period actually is and what happens when you get your first one” talk with her this past summer, because while I don’t expect it to happen for at least another year or two (or preferably three or four) I wanted her to be prepared in the event it were to happen at school. I can’t imagine being one of those girls who has no idea it’s coming and thinks they’re dying in the bathroom the first time. But I managed to keep that conversation to periods and bodily functions and avoid the topic of the actual act of sex altogether, thinking, obviously incorrectly, that we had a few years before that discussion as well.

Little loudmouth lying braggart Shakeem ruined it.

So I took her with me to the grocery store last night and we had THE TALK in the van on the way. It went fine, but was horrifying all the same. Not knowing what she might have already heard from her friends at school, I asked her to tell me what she had heard about sex and what she thought it was. I’m sure she’ll be mortified when she’s older to know I posted her answer on the internet, but honestly, it was so cute I have to share:

“Well, two people get in bed, and smooch, and roll all over each other, and I think you must get really hot because the girls always wear tank tops.”

See why I’m mad at Shakeem? There was no need to go past the tank top comment until he opened his mouth and generated a discussion that didn’t need to take place for several years yet.

Now, before anyone goes off on me about how kids are maturing sooner, and girls are getting pregnant younger and younger, and even elementary schools are having to implement sexual-harrassment policies and address these issues among their students ….. I get that. I really, truly get that. And it’s unfortunate.

In fact, it just sucks and makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with the parents of the world today, if their 9-yr olds are bragging about getting their girlfriends pregnant. (No offense to Shakeem’s parents … I’m just saying ..... you know …. “in general” …. )

So anyway, we had the talk. It went fine. I hope it helped her more than it scared her. I tried really hard to stay age-appropriate and emphasize the moral beliefs Blaine and I have. But most of all, I was happy to see her go to bed last night with the same stuffed dog she sleeps with every night. At least in *my* mind, she’s still the same little girl she was before.

Damn Shakeem.

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