O. M. G. It happened. I wish I was Southern, so I could have started this piece with “It happened y’all.” It just feels appropriate. The thing that I have been dreading since the day my oldest was born happened, and it happened so quickly, and so organically, that I didn’t have time to relish the moment….or at least grab the camera and send the video to Jimmy Kimmel.
We had “the talk” with the ten year old.
It’s come up before, casually. Generally it begins when I remind Brady that he began life inside my belly. His first revelation came several months ago, when he finally thought to question how he got out of my belly once he got in. That knowledge seemed to traumatize him enough to dissuade questions for several months, until one random evening, after seeing a pregnant woman at Target. He questioned how the woman got pregnant. Completely blindsided by the question, I fumbled, spitting out a generic and safe explanation about men and women and love and he seemed satiated with my answer. I quickly went to Facebook to see how other friends/parents had handled the same situation. I got a resounding admonishment. I assumed everyone would agree with me that ignorance truly is bliss, but they all have much more enlightened relationships with their children. I was implored to be transparent with Brady, to be clinical, and then move on. But I was also told that it was best to let him bring it up again, when he was ready.
Phew, I didn’t have to proactively have the discussion with him. I just assumed and hoped he wouldn’t be ready again until at least 34. No such luck.
“Ready” become apparent several nights ago, after Chris and I returned home from a date night. Brady started by adorably inquiring about how our date was, asking if we held hands. Yes, I replied, we generally hold hands on dates. “Did you kiss each other all the time?” Um, no. We are far too old for a makeout session….and they generally frown upon that at The Olive Garden. He giggled and continued, “Did you make 7 babies on your date?” Aaaahhhh…..there it was, my opportunity to have an eloquent, mature conversation with my oldest child, something along the lines of the “Reproduction” number in Grease 2. But I froze. My mind raced, searching for the right words to answer his question, flabbergasted by the fact that he thought people could make 7 babies in one night, and at Toys R Us to boot. I started by explaining that Chris and I could no longer have children and he, naturally, was curious as to why.
I told him that Chris couldn’t make babies anymore and the giggles began. “Daddies don’t make the babies, Mommies do.” My God, was I THIS clueless at his age? Nope, I had much older sisters. They destroyed my innocence far earlier than 10. I explained that it took both Mommies and Daddies to make babies, and that Daddy had his baby making parts taken out (very eloquent, indeed.) His attention span piqued, he was no longer interested in the conversation, so I thought I had once again been given a reprieve.
I hadn’t, and I have no one to blame but myself.
We were all gathered around the dinner table the following evening, and I told Chris about the discussion that Brady and I had while he was taking the babysitter home. I figured the thought of us “making 7 babies” on the tables of The Olive Garden surrounded by breadsticks and cheap wine would elicit a laugh. And then it all spiraled out of control.
Chris: “Brady, why did you think that Mom and Dad were making babies on our date?”
Brady: “I don’t know, because you’re in love and that’s what you do when you’re in love.”
Chris: “Yes, it is but generally not at The Olive Garden.”
Me: “He was pretty sure you really weren’t even involved.”
Brady: “What? I don’t know.”
Silence. I realized what I had done.
I had a very important decision to make. I remembered the conversations I had with friends, my own introduction, and decided it was better that we provided clarity.
Me: “Do you want to know where babies come from?”
Conveniently, my husband had to take out the garbage AT THAT VERY SECOND. Can you believe that he actually threw out a “Good luck” as he walked out the door? Yep.
Me: “So, when two people are married……no, not necessarily. When two people love each other…..no, that’s not right either. Okay.”
I searched his cherubic face, looking for any sign that he knew what was coming. He didn’t. My heart was pounding, and I could feel bile rising in my throat. I swallowed it down and continued.
“A baby is made by a man taking his …………..penis….”
He started to giggle, and so did I. So much for mature conversation, but there was no turning back now. I continued, but I will spare you the exact verbage. Who knows what google searches will direct people here otherwise. The words hadn’t so much as slipped out of my mouth as he dissolved into a fit of laughter. His eyes quickly started watering, and I assumed it was from his laughter. It wasn’t.
I soon recognized the look on his face, the watering eyes, heaving chest, and knew what was coming. I wore that look regularly the first few months of pregnancy with him. He was fighting his own bout with vomit. He articulated it. “I think I’m going to get sick.” I quickly pushed his plate in front of him, and his half-chewed chicken was quickly deposited on his plate, which he then pushed away from his face. He sat there for a minute, hovering between laughter and tears. “I’ve got to lay down.” He got up from the table.
By this time, Chris had returned from his trip to the garbage and I followed him into the kitchen.
“He threw up. The thought of it literally made him sick.”
Chris laughed. Of course it was funny to him, he hadn’t just made his child throw up.
Brady returned from his bedroom, and angrily looked at me, “Thanks for ruining my dinner.”
Me: “I’m sorry. I never thought it would make you sick.”
Brady: “I am NEVER having kids.”
Chris: “Talk to me again in 10 years.”
By this time, I was pulled away to give my little guy a shower, so I missed the undoubtedly eloquent conversation between my husband and son that followed. My husband was laughing when I returned, so I’m sure it was good.
Chris: “He just asked me if there is a less inappropriate way to make a baby.”
Great, my ten year old thinks I’m a pervert. Wait until he realizes that all the people that he knows that have children engaged in this gut wrenching act.
Brady: “Mom, next time you tell me something like that” the disdain dripped from his voice, “please don’t do it while I am eating dinner.”
Well, that went well…..maybe I should get the whole Santa thing knocked out this week too.