Thursday, January 7, 2010

Adventures in Real Parenting: TMI Thursday

This post is part of the TMI Thursday

Story Number One: I Blame Testosterone
Scene: It's early morning, during the recent holiday break. MathMan and I are in bed. My cell phone rings. I hesitate to answer it, then decide that since one of our children spent the night elsewhere, I'd better answer it.

Me: Hello?
Nathan: Mom?
Me: Yes? Is everything okay?
Nathan: Well..
Me, getting impatient: Okay. What. Spill it.
Nathan: The police made me call.
Me, now getting a bit panicky: POLICE? What the hell? Are you okay?
Nathan: I'm fine. We just got busted for jumping off the roof of the clubhouse at Claw Woods.
Me: Oh. Well, that was stupid of you. Do we need to come get you? Where are you?
Nathan: We're back at B's house. No, you can come get me at 11:30.
Me: All right. I take it you didn't get arrested. Do we need to do anything?
Nathan: No, but the back of the cop car is really small.
Me: That's good to know. We'll see you at 11:30. Then I want details. How stupid you guys are.
Nathan: Okay. It took four cop cars and eight cops to apprehend three fourteen year olds who were sitting on a sidewalk.
Me: They must not have had anything to do. Still - you guys are idiots. We're going to be talking about this later.
Nathan: I know.
Me: By the way - this better be the first and last time you call me to tell me you've been picked up by the police. You interrupted Daddy and me in the middle of morning sex.
Nathan: Mom!!! Is that my punishment?
Me: Did it make you want to throw up?
Nathan: Yes.
Me: Then yes. It's a start.

I punched the off button on my cell and said to MathMan over my shoulder. "That's the last time I answer the phone in the middle of sex."

"I still can't believe you answered it this time," he said right before he...

Story Number 2 - I Still Don't Know How She Knows, but She Knows
Sophia walked into my office a few days ago and stood next to me. I could tell that something was up, but I was in the middle of writing and tried to deflect her. I hate it when I forget to shut my door when I'm working.

She wasn't going to budge so I finally engaged. We chatted about this and that, but it was clear that we'd not yet hit on the real reason she was hovering over my shoulder. I decided to simply ask and here is what she told me..."There is a used condom in the leaf pile by the fire pit."

Curiosity about how she knew what it was flickered through my brain, but hey, she's almost eleven and it's a world that only allows us the illusion that we're shielding our kids from the grown up stuff, so I skipped that question and inquired with the morbid "Did you touch it?'

"Gross, Mom! No! It's mixed up in the leaves."

"Well, who does it belong to?"

"How should I know?" Her eyes were bugging out of her head.

"I wonder how it got there," I thought out loud. "So why did you want me to know?"

"I want you to go get it and throw it away."

Ah. Okay, so there it was. The real reason. She was grossed out and wanted it disposed of. Seemed reasonable enough to me. "Go tell Daddy," I smiled and pointed toward the door. He has a penis, condoms should be his department. If it were a tampon, I'd be called to duty, right?

She shook her head and left.

But that was not the end of it. She did mention it to her father and he responded with an alacrity to match my own.

She mentioned it at least six times every day.

Fast forward to Tuesday. Chloe was pulling out the driveway on her way back to school. We'd had a wee bit of a cry and many hugs. As she drove away, I sauntered out to the leaf pile. It only took me ten seconds to see the deflated, transparent and definitely used sheath lying there amongst the dry, browned and curling oak leaves. An ewwwww escaped my lips.

My cellphone rang. "Hello."
"You're looking for that condom, aren't you?"
"I am."


"Found it."

"Gross. What did you do with it?"

"Kicked some leaves over it."


"You know it."

I turned around and walked away.


  1. That DEFINITELY falls under the category of "Man Work"!!!

  2. Naw... it's women's work. Our job is to fill them. ;-)

  3. 'said to Mathman over my shoulder'

    ok, you did it. TMI

    But that right there is some good parenting. You're a model for all of us.

  4. Sometimes it's better not to know the details. It helps us maintain the illusion that we're great parents.

  5. The first story had me in STITCHES. :)

  6. It's a scientific fact, being around teenagers causes insanity, baldness, weight gain and fallen arches. All the permanent kind.

  7. Thank Goodness I haven't found condoms yet.

  8. Small kids, small problems......

  9. I almost read the first story to my mother, but...I have to ask my sister whether she ever "walked in on" the parents. I don't remember doing so, I can't ask my brother (in the Choir Invisible), and they were affectionate but not, you know, having it off all the time... (Eventually I figured they'd had sex at least three times.)

    And at least it gives Nathan something to tell the therapist, right?

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  11. Two friggin' unsolved mysteries...

    Gurrrl, yer killin' me!

  12. When I was about 10 or so I woke up in our camper and looked over at my parents only to see my mother on top of my father (If this camper's rockin', don't come knockin'). A few years later I told my older brother about it and he said, "She was probably just crawling over him to get out to the bathroom, slipped and fell, and impaled herself on his natural night-time stiffy." Children can be so cruel!

  13. I think your reaction to your son's apprehension is a model of restraint. Of course, considering the circumstances of the phone call . . . Did you have to add "Over your shoulder" because I pictured that and now I have to purge my brain.

    On the used condom, I can only say, "Well, at least someone was being safe."

  14. I would love to comment, but am too busy laughing.


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