Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Gym and Girl Crazy Eight Year Olds

Out of the last six days, I made it to the gym FIVE TIMES. As in, almost, but, not quite, SIX. That has to be some sort of record or something. I even went in on my day off.

I'm so proud of myself, because, one, I very much do not enjoy exercise (see how I'm trying to retrain myself not to say 'I hate exercise'?) and, two, because I've started exercise plans before and have very rarely made it past day two. And day six is at least three times better than day two, no?


Now totally out of left field, I'll change topics on you - this has been more and more on my mind of late: the girl craziness. BW is nearly nine, and has been very aware of the opposite sex since sometime around his fourth birthday. He's always asked lots of questions about girls and sex and boys and bodies and penises and vaginas (which blogger has determined is spelled wrong...perhaps vagini?) and and and.....!

To date, we have discussed masturbation, erections, what a period is, why it happens, how it happens, no - the two little rocks I keep in the jar are not my periods - they are gallstones (although my uterus and gallbladder were removed just a few months apart, so I do understand the confusion), tampons, pads, douching, condoms, pregnancy, sex, sexual responsibility and a ton of other things I've quite probably blocked out in self-preservation.

After my initial shock, I've done my best to answer him truthfully and fully - meaning, I answer, and continue to answer as long as he continues to ask questions. When he's had enough, he lets me know. Usually by saying something that totally throws me off, like, 'Wow, mom. Do you think you could save all the blood in a vial?' which turns the topic of conversation to coagulation and, ew, why on earth would you want to save it in a vial??

I'm hyperventilating just a bit right now reliving some of our conversations. Because he's EIGHT. And he already has girls fawning all over him. And it freaks me out more than a little. I'm afraid my only hope is to coat him in alternating layers of latex and lambskin from head to toe and lock him in a box for the next twenty years.

On one hand, I want to answer his questions. I don't want to put him off - they aren't inappropriate, he's curious and I don't want to demonize anything. MM, spending his childhood as both a late bloomer and a total geek is no help at all when it comes to the age appropriateness of these question and answer sessions, so we just wing it. So far, BW feels totally comfortable asking me all sorts of awkward (for me) questions, and for that, I'm thankful. When he clams up, I'll panic.

What is making me think even more about this is a discussion going on amongst participants in the LIFE is Good unschooling conference group. There's all sorts of discussion about teen and tween sexual expression. It got me thinking - when does innocent curiosity become sexual experimentation? I'm afraid the time I have to prepare myself for BW's experimentation is not going to be nearly as long as I would need and like for it to be. And, what can I do to prepare BW for it? Because I harbor no illusions about a teen's (please, please, please let him at least be a teen) ability to find a time and a place for sex.

So, am I doing the right thing by being open, by answering all his questions, by repeating over and over again (in a non-judgmental way) the emotional and physical (and LEGAL) consequences and responsibilities of sex when the topic comes up?

Or should I start shopping for spray-on latex and a box?


Sheri said...
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lisafer said...
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