When a condom comes to kindergarten
The last thing I felt like facing was a condom wrapped around the door handle leading to Big Guy's kindergarten classroom. Yet there it was, carefully tied even so it wouldn't fall off.
Big Guy thought it was a balloon so I didn't have to answer questions my brain wasn't equipped to handle at that hour. Hours later, I still don't know what I would have said if he'd pressed the matter.
I'm fairly open with the guys, but in an age-appropriate way. They know the correct name for their body parts, though they tend to think that women and men have the same ones. They know that babies grow in the mommy's belly, but they haven't quite figured out how they enter or exit.
Big Guy once developed a working theory after seeing an episode of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" in which a woman gives birth. The cartoon depicted the mother's head from behind, with lots of heavy panting.
"I know how the baby gets out!" Big Guy proclaimed. "The mommy sneezes him out. But does he come out through her mouth or nose?" I mumbled something suitably vague about how that's not quite the way it happens, and he let it go.
Cartoon labor and delivery are one thing. A prophylactic protecting a door handle is quite another. There's just too big a gap between a condom and Big Guy's current reproductive knowledge for me to figure out a way to make it make sense.
I'm still annoyed at whoever who thought condoms should be part of the kindergarten curriculum. The culprit had to have known it was a kindergarten class - it's the only one with a fenced pint-size playground. Most likely, it was someone taking a break from Sharpying dirty words onto the picnic tables at the adjoining public park.
I realize it could have been much worse, in a day when schools and the police regularly remove the handy work of gang taggers from public places. At least this prank didn't require an expensive cleanup, though I'm sure biohazard gloves were involved just in case.
Still, 5-years-old is much to young to face this. Or maybe it's just too soon for mom, since Big Guy faced it for only a fleeting moment and it didn't seem to faze him.
I was at least 10 before I met graffiti. Someone had scrawled a profanity on my grade-school sidewalk, and I just had to ask. "Mommy, what's that word mean?"
"That's puck," she said quickly. "Part of the P wore off." Give her credit for thinking on the fly, because I can guarantee you my mother knows nothing about hockey.
I was old enough to know pure Oscar Mayer when I heard it, but I didn't press. Mom had the look and tone she used when she'd presented all the information she was going to, so I knew it was pointless to ask for more.
I don't want to be that way with the guys. But neither do I want to talk about birth control before they're old enough to ride their bicycles around the block alone.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.