March 27, 2010
Alli, my fifth grader (I KNOW, right?!), has been enduring Family Life Education (FLE) class at school all week long. I say “endure” because she has been dreading FLE ever since Hannah went through it last year when she was a fifth grader. FLE is described as “a K-12 program designed to provide students with age appropriate knowledge, attitudes, and skills to make healthy, responsible, respectful, and life-enhancing decisions related to human growth and development, human sexuality, relationships, and emotional and social health.” So, really, FLE is just the school district’s sobriquet for, wait for it… wait… yes, SEX ED. And Hannah told Alli there would be PICTURES! Graphic PICTURES! And words like PENIS and VAGINA! And long conversations about S-E-X! And PICTURES! Mother of all that is sweet, the PICTURES!
So, Alli? Not on board with the whole FLE thing.
The first afternoon she walked into the house with Hannah and TGIM and silently handed me a colorful packet that contained a few sample feminine hygiene products and brochures with titles like “A Girl’s Guide to HAPPY Periods” and “Talking With Your Daughter About Puberty” and “It’s a HAPPY Thing!”
“I’m supposed to ask you about your experience, you know, goingthroughpubertyandstuff,” she explained with a strained, almost shell-shocked expression on her face as she handed me an FLE checklist I needed to sign.
My first thought, naturally, was… it’s a HAPPY thing? Okay, I dare the author of that pamphlet to say that to a woman during a few key days every month! I’m only saying. Honestly.
TGIM, who was sitting across the room, asked, “Hey, did I ever tell you guys how Papa Neal taught me about sex?”
“YES!” we all yelled.
Undeterred, TGIM continued, “He said to me, ‘Son, have you seen the bulls with the cows out in the field?’ I said, ‘Yes, Dad,’ and he patted me on the back and said–”
“‘Good talk, son’!” we yelled in unison.
“Oh,” TGIM said, eyes wide with feigned innocence, “have I told that story before?”
Hannah, ignoring her father, asked, “So, did they make you yell ‘vagina’?” She rolled her eyes. “They made us yell ‘vagina’.”
“Yes,” Alli said and shuddered dramatically. “And penis, too. It was disturbing.”
I did my best to assure her that using those words should not be disturbing, that they are just words to describe parts of the body, like “mouth” or “knee” or “elbow,” but I must admit that the vision of a room full of fifth graders yelling “vagina” and “penis” over and over again was a bit disturbing. You know, just a scoche.
As the week went by, a pattern emerged. Alli would approach me after school and, with a deer-in-the-headlights expression, hand me yet another parent-child FLE conversation checklist to sign. I would gamely buzz through the questions, Alli would stare glassily ahead, I’d sign the checklist, and with a gusty sigh of relief Alli would shove it into her backpack and run off to play.
Friday afternoon Alli came home and told me that they had discussed making babies in FLE, which, first of all, gross, and second of all, GROSS. “I mean, the pictures, Momma? WAY too detailed. I get it! I did NOT need to see that!”
Hannah patted her on the back. “I know, right?” she agreed with sisterly camaraderie.
That night there were no more checklists. Yes! Happy day, FLE was behind us! We had made it through FLE relatively unscathed! Yay, us! So there we were, sitting on the bed in my room, just playing… a game, NOT Pokemon or anything, just a normal, age-appropriate, not-Pokemon game. The companionable silence of a mother and daughter sitting and playing said game which was not Poke– Okay! It was Pokemon! Soul Silver! FINE! Shut up!– was interrupted by a sudden revelation from Alli.
I paused my game. “Hmm?” I looked over at her and I was immediately intrigued by her serious expression.
“You know what I’m going to do when I grow up?”
Oooh! Life choice! Fun! “What?” I asked, curious if she was still dead set on being an actress and/or astronaut.
March 18, 2010
I’m going to take a stand here and now, and say that I will never (not ever!) understand those people who grunt and/or groan things like “OH boy” and “Oooo-ee!” while using the facilities. Why?! Why would they do that?! I don’t understand! Does it enhance performance? Or are they expecting some sort of congratulations, perhaps? Because I don’t know of any situation in which another person would be all like, “Oh, that must have been a good one!” or “Way to BM like a rock star!” Unless, to be fair, that other person happened to be the person’s mother, as moms totally inadvertently say embarrassing stuff like that all the time because they forget that everyone else in the restroom doesn’t KNOW they are a mom and, you know, just being all encouraging and weird. But whatever. I don’t know! That’s all I’m saying. What I DO know, however, is that these outbursts are all kinds of awkward for everyone else in the vicinity. Also, so so gross.
Not to even mention that sometimes, so surprised am I by the sudden, primal outburst or the sheer violence of expression that I unintentionally snort or giggle, and hey, I just do NOT appreciate being forced into behaving in such a juvenile manner. I’m only saying. So cut that crap out! Hee. I said “crap.” (See?! With the juvenile behavior?!) Just think of others before you go all Serena Williams while doing your business, okay?! GOSH.
Oh, to be clear, I am only referring to these types of outbursts in PUBLIC restrooms. What you grunt/groan while doing your business at home is totally, well… your business. Go crazy. Get down with your primal grunting self! Oh, except if you have house guests, obviously, in which case I would advise strongly against this type of behavior. Unless it is actually your intention to make said house guests SUPER uncomfortable. Then… ch-check! Mission accomplished! So you may want to rein it in– just a scoche!– when there’s company over. But otherwise, knock yourself out.
In other news, I am often peculiar and judgmental.
March 1, 2010
I may or may not be super excited that a certain television show that I love oh-so-much will once more be on my TV this evening. Maybe. Not that the Olympics weren’t AWESOME and all (you know, from what I hear), but guys? GUYS?!
CHUCK! IS! BACK!
Yes! It is absolutely true. I mean, today is March 1, so, there you go. It IS March 1, right? RIGHT?!
I don’t want to come on too geeky, but… okay, I’m psyched!