you wanna know WHAT?! — part 1

“I have a question.”

Four little words that strike fear into the depth of my soul.  Yes, I’m 100% on board with the whole open communication, totally approachable, we-can-talk-about-anything attitude we’re working hard to maintain around here.  I want my kids to come to me instead of picking up crappy information from other sources.  I really do.

It’s just that the moment before they ask the question itself is like standing on a cliff, not knowing if this little person is going to shove you off it.

Back in the spring we had a particularly eventful week for tuck-ins.  I don’t know if it was a full moon or what, but I had night after night of crazy encounters.  The Sir Mixalot/Bear mashup was one of them.  T-man brought on another epic conversation the following night.

We’d just finished one of our hard talks about adoption and how we fit together in our family.  I was plum worn out (as the old folks would say) and still needed to eat dinner, so I was trying to slip out of T-man’s room when he dropped the bomb: “I have a question.”

Oh lawd, there it is.  The code phrase that automatically translates to sit your butt make down, he needs to talk, but in this case I never would have guessed what was headed my way. In fact, a few minutes later I’m pretty sure I would have welcomed being shoved off a cliff.

I knew this was going to be a bad one because no matter what I tried, I could not get him to ask me the question.  This thing was simultaneously burning a hole in his brain and mortifying him to no end – he couldn’t stand not knowing, but he also couldn’t make himself say it out loud.  Impasse.  Finally, after five minutes of using every approach I could think of, he quickly blurted out:  “What’s masturbation?”

Oh sweet Jesus in heaven, why isn’t BrightSide ever in here for these moments?!

But I can’t go running for his daddy because we’re all open and honest and you can ask me anything, you don’t have to be embarrassed about wanting to know up in here.  So I had to put on my big girl pants and dive in.

I started off simple, hoping that a straightforward definition would end things quickly.  So I told him masturbating is pretty much the same for boys and girls, that it’s when a person touches their private parts to feel good.  T-man literally flinched, ducked under the covers briefly (hallelujah, I’m off the hook!), then popped back out with a tortured and confused look on his face.  He didn’t understand.

(Of course not, kid, YOU’RE ONLY TEN.  But I can’t say that.  Because open and honest and such.)

Deep breath in, deep breath out, and I started again.  I told him that so far we’d mostly talked about how babies are made and how our bodies change when we go through puberty, but we hadn’t talked much about the feelings that go along with that.  Which was the subject I found myself facing that night.

I managed to collect myself enough to deliver the following in my “matter-of-fact, I’m totally cool with this” voice and not my “HOLY CRAP, HOW AM I GOING TO DISCUSS MASTURBATION WITH MY 10-YEAR-OLD SON?!” panicky voice.

me:  Well, when a boy masturbates he touches his penis and when a girl masturbates she touches her, well, it’s too complicated to explain, let’s just say she touches her vagina.  This makes them feel good.

T-man:  I don’t understand.

me:  Okay…well, right now your private parts are pretty utilitarian.  (Yes, I really did use that word. Suddenly I was speaking like an after school special.)  Basically you use your penis to pee and it hurts if you get kicked there.  But once you go through puberty the nerve endings will get more sensitive and it will feel good if you or someone else touches you there.

T-man:  I don’t get it!

me:  I know.  That’s because your body hasn’t changed yet, but you’ll understand soon enough.  Just know that masturbation is when someone touches their privates until they orgasm (a millisecond passes in which I think OH SHIT, NOW I’VE INTRODUCED ANOTHER WORD), which is just a really good feeling.

T-man:  I. Just. Don’t. Understand.

me:  (I took a deep breath and tried to regroup.)  Okay, let me try to think of something you’ve experienced that I can compare this to.

(There was a pretty long silence while he let me think, and when I finally DID come up with something I told him I was going to remind him of this conversation when he’s eighteen.)

me:  OKAY!  Imagine the best ice cream you’ve ever had.  I mean, the most delicious bowl of ice cream, your very favorite flavor, Ben & Jerry’s, on a hot summer day…picture what it feels like when you eat that ice cream.  Wonderful, right?  Good?  Yummy?  Warm and happy?  All the good feelings are rolled up into that ice cream and there’s simply nothing better.  An orgasm is like THAT, times a thousand.

T-man:  (long silence as he processed this)

me:  SO!  It’s almost 9:00 and you’ve got to get to sleep so I’m going to get out of here and we can talk more about this tomorrow or whenever you have more questions once you’ve had a chance to think on what we’ve talked about tonight because you know we’re always here if you have questions and I-LOVE-YOU-VERY-MUCH-GOODNIGHT!

The door practically hit me in the ass as I hustled out of that room like my hair was on fire.  For the love.

And there you have it – the link between masturbation, orgasms, and Ben & Jerry’s in twenty minutes or less.

7 thoughts on “you wanna know WHAT?! — part 1

  1. Pingback: you wanna know WHAT?! — part 2 | Riddle from the Middle

  2. Pingback: gratitude: we’re gonna do WHAT now?! | Riddle from the Middle

Add your 2 cents here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s