Tag Archives: parenting

The Talk


Lisa: What’s Santa’s Little Helper doing to that dog?
Bart: It looks like he’s trying to jump over her but can’t quite make it.
Come on, boy! You can do it!

During a major purge of my hoarder daughter’s room yesterday, she suddenly pipes up with “Do people have to have sex to have children?”

I knew this day was coming bound to arrive, however I admit to not being exactly prepped for it.  So I responded, “Er, well, the short answer is that yes, yes they do.  We should talk about it. However, I’d like us to finish up here, and then later today, we can discuss it further.”  Patted myself on the back for buying myself some time.

But she was already starting to make the inevitable connections, and as we all know, once the connections start to be made, there’s just no stopping them.

“Soooooooo….” she went on, right on the cusp of The Great Truth that explained her and her brother’s existence, “Does that mean that you and Dad had to (pregnant pause)…to have us?” She was unable to bring herself to say the actual words, and was looking at me with an expression that said, please, God, don’t let this be true.

I hated the idea of bursting her bubble, I did.  I can’t imagine, given that it’s been over three decades since I myself learned The Great Truth, how horrifying it must be to imagine one’s parents doing the unimaginable.

I took a deep breath, and began, “Again, the short answer is yes…” at which point she feigned blacking out.

Cut to today.  There was a quiet moment this morning when I thought it might be a good time to continue our conversation, and went to my girl to say so:

Me: Hey.  We could finish that talk we started yesterday.  I have the time now to tell you the full story and answer any questions you might have.
The Girl: (fiddling with the blinds) No, I don’t want to.
Me: (surprised) Really?  Yesterday you seemed eager to know.
The Girl: I did.  I decided I don’t want to know, now.
Me:  (persisting) But it’s always good to know things, important things.  Knowledge is power. (yes, I really did say that last bit)
The Girl (still fascinated with the blinds):  Yeah, but I don’t want to hear about the s-word right now.
Me: Well, all right, but I’d like for us to talk about it soon.  I’ll tell you everything you want to know.
The Girl: (cheerily) Okay! (scampers gratefully from the room)

I have resigned myself to the fact that my little girl is growing up, but I have to say that I allowed The Talk to sneak up on me.  Funnily enough, when the kids were wee ones, I’d insisted on an early introduction to using the technical terms for one’s bits, because I couldn’t bear the thought of them using euphemisms into their teens; I wanted them to be comfortable with the words from day one.  I recall clearly the day I berated my husband for teaching the boy to say “weenie”; it took a good two weeks to erase that from his two-year-old, comedy-centred consciousness.  Henceforth, it was always vagina and breasts and penis (oh my!)

I know that in the future, this will be a mere blip on my daughter’s Life radar, but I’m determined to do the best damned job I’m able…I just hope I can avoid giggling like a school girl.

How did you convey The Great Truth? Throw me a note and tell me how  The Talk went down with your kids!

I will leave you with a clip from Woody Allen’s outstanding film Midnight In Paris, in which Owen Wilson’s character, Gil, finds himself at a party in 1920s Paris, listening to Cole Porter singing “Let’s Do It.”

I’ve heard that lizards and frogs do it
Layin’ on a rock
They say that roosters do it

With a doodle and cock
Some Argentines, without means do it
I hear even Boston beans do it

Let’s do it, let’s fall in love


Leave a comment

Filed under Advice and How To, The Mama Goddess

A Day In The Life


I’m my own worst enemy.

I’ve been contemplating the vicious cycle of low self-esteem this morning.  It always takes the form of an internal conversation, between Me and The Bully (also me). It looks something like this:

Me: I really need to start training for that thing in July.

The Bully:  You haven’t even finished the laundry you started yesterday!  Or done the dishes.  Or cleaned up the gardening tools,  which have been sitting out for a week.  Or filled out the kids’ passport forms. You should get those jobs done first, slacker.

Me: But I’m tired.  I’m tired all the damned time.  And if I exercise, I’ll have more energy, and feel better about myself, which will, in turn, inspire me to do more.

The Bully:  You talk a good talk, but you never walk the walk.   Why don’t you start slowly, do the dishes, have another cigarette, play on Facebook a bit and then see how the day goes?

Me: That’s what I always do!  And it’s not working!  I feel like shit.  I look like hell.  When’s the last time I washed my hair?  If I could just get UP and DO, I’d be so much better off.

The Bully:  You think so?  You think you’re made of the same stuff as the people in all those inspirational YouTube videos you watch late at night while gnoshing pretzels, capable of overcoming tremendous adversity one step at a time?  You think you can deal with the challenges, frustrations and setbacks that come with any grandiose plan (of which you’ve had many)?  You think you can stick with it?  When have YOU ever stuck with anything?

Me: Well…I…

The Bully:  That’s right.  All the things you’ve “accomplished” thus far have been flukes.  It’s not like you’ve ever really tried hard to do something, get something, be something.  You just kind of lamely fall in to situations, and wait.  You’ve never been the proactive type.

Me: But…my university degree…motherhood…my writing…?  Surely those count as accomplishments?

The  Bully:  The only reason you started any one of those is because you had time to fill.  Let’s keep it real.

Me: But…I…

The Bully:  Allrighty, then!  I think we’re done here.  Let’s go have that cigarette and stare aimlessly off the porch for a while and dream impossible dreams for a bit before tackling the laundry.

Me: Okay.

It’s crazy-making.  And what makes it worse is that all the brains in the world can’t suss out how to stop The Bully from dropping in unannounced.  This isn’t something that is ruled by logic and reason. If it were, it would be so easy to build myself back up by looking at all I’ve done, as opposed to focusing on what has been left undone.  I could practice daily Stewart Smalley affirmations.

I could get a subscription to “O” and believe everything I read about self-love.

“Yogurt is the next Prozac!”

I could do yoga and start believing in chakras, and thereby clean ’em out.

I’m fairly certain I’m not doing this right.

Ah, folks.  It’s a hard row to hoe, sometimes.  I don’t have any answers.

But today the sun is shining, and I’m going to get out there and enjoy it, laundry and Bully be damned.

♪ I’m prancin’…they be hatin’ ♫


Filed under Health and Wellness