Each of my children are horrified by the word puberty. I mean it is a horrible word, it hardly rolls off the tongue without being followed by a giggle or a burp or something.
I say rumor because the boys were not sent home any documentation of the upcoming puberty-apocalypse. I did my own research and found the district life and family curriculum and discovered that for the boys the talk will center around things like hairpit hair and smelly bodies and issues around an increased appetite. Girls, of course, will need to learn the full horror of everything they will have to deal with going forward.
I decided I should have part 1 of "The Talk," with him, just to ready him for what's to come.
Since he was home sick from school today, I took advantage of our time together to really bond. He is constantly home sick. There is a new virus called "WTF WHY ARE YOU COUGHING? WHO CAME TO SCHOOL SICK? Variant-AAA" (last week was variant-ZZ).
We had a very productive conversation! I thought you all might benefit from the topics I covered in this morning's talk about THE TALK.
Note: I am not a trained sex educator (I stopped going to "Human Sexuality" class in college because my project partner gave me creepy vibes and definitely wanted to murder me and bury me in their South Philly basement) nor am I trained in much of anything. I do have my Segway license, which expires in 6 months. This may sound irrelevant, but safety and balance is always relevant!
Topic 1: Body Hair
We began with a very basic discussion of body hair and I explained he would get hair in the following locations:
Groin/Penis/Balls/Crotch/Nut Sack (I said all the words. You pick what speaks to you!)
We had a discussion about his sweet baby face and how I requested he does not become all "PBS Painter" with a full beard, lest he wants to break his mother's heart. He complied and agreed to sign my DocuSign by the close of business today.
He asked if I thought his father would be willing to shave his back for him--and I said, "He would be honored! It's tradition for fathers to shave their sons back."
You know we love tradition here! He asked when this hair growth would begin. Instead of being vague and giving a date range, I simply told him the truth: You will see the hair when it happens.
Topic 2: Smelling
My son loves to learn about the human body, so I assumed a discussion on the anatomy of skin sweats glands would be interesting to him. I even found an amazing journal article from the National Library of Medicine! But, I was totally off the mark. He had no interest in this topic, but instead wanted to talk products. The only thing my son loves more than "doctor talk" is consumerism and spending my money. He was very concerned that the free sample deodorant rumored to be the door prize for boys was cheap and would give him a rash. Note: he said this while the remnants of a Go Go Squeeze dried on his chin, giving him a rash.
In the end, I told him once he was a "near-man" he would have to get a job to pay for his products.
Topic 3: Growing Bigger
Since all of childhood is a time of growth and constant eating, I assured him it was normal to eat a lot, but not fiscally responsible so if he could slow his roll that would be great. (This is not in the school curriculum but should be!) I also told him that everything would grow bigger and he was concerned he'd need specialty shoes (he loves to spend money). Other than that, he did not care about his appetite (he would go on to eat 3lbs of cookies, 7 apples and 3 hoagies in the next 2 hours) or fiscal responsibility.
Topic 4: What happens to the girls.
My son brought up this conversation and told me that the girls had to have a separate talk because they have different body issues. He then said, "Girls have it bad mom. I think they get samples of TIDEPODS they have to use each month. I don't know why in this day and age women still have to do laundry."
Well, friends, I know this one is a lot to unpack. I am still personally laughing. I almost did not correct him because I also don't know why I have to do laundry ALL THE TIME.
Instead, I explained that perhaps he misheard and the correct word is "tampon." I also complimented him on his concern for women and laundry and he said, "Can you wash my jersey tonight?"
There is still work to be done.
Topic 5: Sex
I did not even bring this up because he's in 4th grade and I think we can ease into this one. He did bring up childbirth and said: "I am glad I don't have to do that work." (STILL WORK TO DO ON HIM!) He did agree to sign a DocuSign stating that he would never, ever hang naked or bikini pictures of men or women up in his dorm room because it impresses no one and is a tell that you are a loser with no game.
He asked me why and I just said I'd tell him later.