Thursday, May 23, 2013

How NOT to Tell Your Child About Maturation!

"What's maturation?" my eleven-year-old Scribe asked me.
    "Ur . . . Well . . ."  Then I remembered, when in doubt, answer a question with a question. "Why, darling?" I asked, donning an awkward smile.
    "My teacher says we're having a maturation class this week."
    Oh. My. Gosh.  I just knew I'd die.  My own "maturation" lesson had been terrible.  As a gangly youth--the tallest girl in my class--I was simply a twig with pimples.  I laughed through the whole facts-of-life-speech.  Then when I got home, I asked my mom, "What's sex?"  My sister kindly volunteered to tell me.  Thinking I'd already learned enough in school, she pulled out a college biology textbook and showed me something that looked like a funnel and something that looked like a test tube with veins.
    "When these two beautiful things come together. A baby is made."

    It seemed scientific AND confusing.  And definitely NOT beautiful.  Whatever the hell those things were, I hoped I'd never come across them in real life!  Little did I know that--God forbid--I had one!
    The Scribe brought me from my thoughts.  "What is maturation?"   
    I had to distract her. "Your teacher finds out what's she's having soon, right?  I bet she's so excited to be pregnant."
    "Mom! Stop dodging the question."
    What could I tell her?  After all, being clueless once, I told my mom, "I can't believe each octopus has eight testicles."  She turned so red that it looked like she'd eaten a frog!
    "Tentacles, honey. Tentacles."
    I shook my heard and turned to the Scribe.  "Fine." I swallowed hard. "Maturation is when you get to find out where babies come from."
    The Scribe thought for a moment. "I hope my teacher will be able to learn from the class. Since she's having a baby, I bet she'd love to know where it came from."
    I busted with laughter.  Is that how my mom felt when I'd had the tentacle conundrum in my youth?
    "Mom, do you want to tell me before the class?" the Scribe asked.
    Was that a good idea?  Especially after my own experiences of not knowing. Like the time in Jr. High when a girl told me she swallowed something and thought she was pregnant.  I just kept wondering, "Swallowed what?"  It'd come from a funnel or a test tube--I just KNEW it!  Or maybe she'd swallowed one of those birth control pills!  
    So, maybe it would be better if I told the Scribe everything.  "I'm not sure, babe."
    "I understand," she said. "I've heard you might want to check me out of school after the class. It can be pretty traumatic for the parents."
    I raised a brow.  That's when I decided to give her "the talk."  And apparently I suck at giving sex talks.  Half-way through a realization dawned on the Scribe.  She stared at me and yelled, "You've done this! YOU did this . . . and that's where I came from?  Oh man!  Man!  And my teacher. . . .  She's going to have a baby.  Oh man!"
    That poor teacher.  The maturation class is today.  She might get a lot of accusing glares from the kids today.
    Anyway, now the Scribe knows I'm not a virgin--I guess you do too.  But seriously--she didn't even like the tentacle story!  Then this morning she refused to go to school, saying she never wants to see another boy again and that she never wants to have kids or to get married.  She followed all of this up by saying I should've just showed her a funnel and a test tube!
    This too shall pass, but for right now, I really hate talking about the birds and the bees.  At least the Scribe finally went to school.  I'm meeting her around two for the official maturation class at school.  Can the apocalypse happen right before this? Please? Because THAT would be easier to deal with.

    How did your first "sex talk" go when it was given to you or your kids?