Mar 16, 2007

Uranus and You

Uranus is a tricky word. Suffice it to say that, on Uranus' very own website we are cautioned, "Careful pronunciation may be necessary to avoid embarrassment; say "YOOR-anus, not "your anus" or "urine us." I ask you, how can we possibly avoid saying one or the other? I'm going to avoid all embarrassment and just call it "Saturn." Jack knows there's supposed to be something funny about the name, but he doesn't know what. He'll say "Pee comes out of Uranus," and giggle uncertainly.

Now that he's seven, he occasionally asks questions like "Where do babies come from?" Only it's never exactly that question; it's always something more oblique. And he always asks these questions when I'm trying to negotiate a tricky left turn, or I'm about to answer the phone, or when I'm trying to get him to look for his shoes because the bus is coming in ten seconds. Clearly, we needed some kind of asynchronous communication. So I got him a book called It's NOT the Stork:A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends, by Robie H. Harris. The boys and I were at Borders and I stashed it with the other books I was buying, with the idea that John should approve it first. But Jack asked to see it, and proceeded to sit down on the floor and read the whole thing from cover to cover. (We weren't in a hurry, obviously.) When he was finished, he silently handed it back to me. No questions whatsoever. Yep, I could cross "Tell Jack about the birds and bees" off my to-do list.

A week and a half later, the boys and I were at a local pizza place while John had class. It was quiet in there when Jack handed me the lid to his strawberry milk, and loudly chirped, "Here. Hang onto this for when you want to play sex." "What?" I asked, stalling. He repeated the same thing and my face must have looked blank because he went on, "You know--when a man and woman love each other so much the man puts his penis in the woman's uterus!" (Ouch.) I said, "Oh, yeah. That. I'd love to chat with you about that, but not right now . . . Look, our pizza's here!" So we ate for a couple of minutes, when Will, who had been mulling over Jack's anatomically inaccurate revelation, announced in his querulous high voice, "I don't get it. How can you put your penis in someone's body? That's silly!" Snort. Guffaw.

And no, don't ask me what the lid had to do with anything. In fact, don't ask me any questions at all about this. Not right now. Can't you see I'm busy?


Amy said...

When W asked me about sex, I burst out laughing. Not a good response, I admit. But, it was right in the middle of me lecturing him about something or another.

I basically told him that sex was when 2 people loved each other, they took their clothes off and kissed. In private.

I very carfully avoided the penis in vagina discussion.

But he also has a book--it's called the body book. THis lovely book says that the male fertilizes the female. I can't wait for the "what's fertilization" question.

BOSSY said...

Lauren - you are an advanced life form. Bossy would never have a conversation with her kids about sex. She simply leaves the Discovery Health channel on by mistake.

M-j said...

Oh. My. Word.
I think I would have thrown up if he asked me in a pizza joint.
He does ask questions and then usually says, "Oh. I knew that."
I may have to check out that book...

jo(e) said...

Kids do seem to choose the craziest times to ask those questions! Luckily, I had the experience of teaching elementary school kids before I had my own. I can stand in the middle of a long grocery store line and answer questions about sex without even blinking.

Of course, now I am trying to figure out how to use a strawberry milk lid as a sex toy ... maybe I'm too innocent for that one because I just haven't come up with anything.

Lilian said...

Aren't you just so glad that I only read this today and didn't talk about it tonight in our lovely dinner at our house? :)

All right, of course I wouldn't have talked about it, but Oh. My. Word., like M-J said... thanks for sharing this. It's the very reason why I have been fearing the sex talk with my older son. Or, for that matter, even giving the right names to female genitalia (I do use penis casually, and when I talk about their births I say that they came out of the birth canal -- I'm glad he hasn't asked how he got there in the first place. He actually got very close yesterday morning). But, anyway, I fear that once he knows how it works, he'll just talk about it in front of other people or with other kids... and I won't know how to react or deal with it.

As for the "sex toy," thing well, that's really funny!

Jennifer said...

Oh man--the poor uterus!

I got a review copy of a children's book called Where Willy Went: The Big Story of a Little Sperm! (Exclamation not added.) It's about Willy, who's a sperm; he's not good at math (in, uh, sperm school, I guess), but very good at swimming.

mcbetty said...

Easy explanation for the lid: it has a hole for the straw which in turn is a great phallic object.

I remember when Ryan and I were watching the old Roseann show; one of her daughters was moody, turned out she was having her first period. Ryan looked at me puzzled, I said, "a girl bleeds every month .. blah blah." His response: "bleeds! Where from? Her mouth???"