the birds and the bees
November 24, 2008
Could a parent experience greater joy than to teach his children the facts of life?
Well, yes, yes he could. For example, he could boil his own head. That would bring greater joy.
I took Ian to “maturation” a couple years ago, which is where an old guy tried to be hip and relate to 6th grade boys and tell them that someday they’ll start sweating and they should use deodorant. Very helpful.
So Ian and I went to the Purple Turtle for shakes and fries and a little more detailed discussion. On the way there, he let me know in no uncertain terms that if I used any of the official words for certain body parts, he would get up on his chair and scream “PLEASE HELP ME THIS IS NOT MY DAD!”
Whatever, he’s all talk. He only yelled that once, and nobody paid any attention. Which I guess doesn’t say much for the citizenry of Pleasant Grove.
This Summer, while watching one of the police procedurals he loves so much, Ian happened upon a Viagra commercial.
Kim was the nearest parent, so as she walked from the kitchen to the stairs he shouted out “Mom, why would someone want to take Viagra, it sounds dangerous.”
Kim and I have an agreement that she handles the birds and the bees for Maddy, I get to handle them for the boys. So, without breaking stride, she yelled to me “Hey, Ian has a question for you.” And she ran up the stairs.
Ian and I met in the hallway, where he repeated his question. I could hear Kim trying to muffle tears of laughter at the top of the stairs.
“Well,” I said. “Remember, we went over this at the Purple Turtle.”
“Right. But why would you take Viagra?”
“Well, you remember how this works, right? The man puts his . . .”
“But you said you wanted to know . . .”
“I changed my mind.”
Well, no way was I going to let it end like that. I mean, we were already rolling, right? Let’s do this thing.
We established what it was exactly that Viagra did.
“But why would you WANT that?”
I began to see the gap in his understanding. I looked around for props.
“Okay, I’ve got this straw, right? And here’s a piece of string. Try to push this string through this straw.”
Kim started sobbing with laughter at the top of the stairs.
“Not working, right? Okay then, now try it with this pencil.”
Kim was practically shrieking now.
And the light came on. “Ohhhhhh.” And then, “But seriously. FOUR HOURS?!”
Yeah, whatever. Go watch more TV.