Convos with Kids: Birth Control

Before sharing, please know that we all struggle in some ways and I am acutely aware that many of my family, friends, and readers have struggled with family planning and pregnancy. I want you to know that I see you and I feel your pain and sorrow with you. I am here/hear for you, in anyway that you may need.

That being said, while I have had my own share of adversaries, for whatever reason, pregnancy (and getting my kids to eat well) have not been part of my own personal struggles.

The following awkward yet honest conversation took place over breakfast:

J: Kennedy, you know you were a fluke.

K: I am not a whale’s tail!

J: No. I mean an accident. Mommy and Daddy didn’t mean for you to be born.

Me: Whoa, J. Hold it right there. I think you need some clarification. First of all, Mommy and Daddy may not have planned to get pregnant with Kennedy, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t want her when we found out that I was pregnant with her. In fact, we didn’t really plan for any of you. You all just happened, and we were very happy when we found out about each of you. We were very lucky that it was so easy to get pregnant with each of you. For many women, it’s not that easy and it can be very sad for them.

J: But weren’t you on birth control when you got pregnant with Kennedy?

Me: Yes. But didn’t you ask for a little sister?

J: Fair point.

Max: What’s birth control?

Me: It’s a way that can prevent a woman from getting pregnant. It can also prevent people from getting sick from each other. Some kinds even keep people healthy. There are many different kinds of birth control but most aren’t a guarantee. There’s still a chance a woman can get pregnant, hence, Kennedy.

J: What kinds are there?

Me: Well, I walked into that one…So let’s start with the basics. First, there’s a condom.

Kennedy: What’s a condom?

Me: A condom is something that goes over a man’s penis and catches his sperm so it can’t go into the woman’s vagina.

Max: Cool. But I don’t have sperm yet.

Me: That’s true. But you will when you’re older.

Max: Well I’m not sure that I want my penis in someone’s vagina. Even when I do have sperm.

Me: Well that’s excellent. But should you change your mind, please talk to Daddy and me about it first.

Max: Ok! But not today.

Me: You got it.

J: Is that what you and Daddy used? That conga thing?

Me: No. A conga is a type of dance. A condom is the word you’re looking for.

Max: Con-dom… that’s like condominium! Do you hear it? Condom-indium. Do you think that’s the root word?

Me: No idea. We’ll have to look it up.

J: So what were you and Daddy using?

Me: I was taking birth control pills. It’s a medicine that a woman can take everyday. It tells her ovaries not to release an egg.

J: So your ovaries didn’t listen?

Me: Well, there are different kinds of pills with different medicines, depending on what your own body needs. I was switching from a pill that was safe for women who breast feed to one that was for those who don’t, since I had stopped nursing Max. It takes time for your body to adjust to new medication and that’s when Kennedy came to be.

Max: I really miss breast feeding.

K: I do not. But I do wish Mommy would by chocolate milk. That’s the best! Even the almond kind.

Max: That is an excellent point, Kennedy!

K: Well fank you, Maxwell.

J: So are there more kinds of birth control? Like how do you know you and Daddy won’t have any more babies?

Me: There are lots more kinds. We know because after talking about it for a long time and deciding it was the best decision for our family, Daddy had an operation that prevents the sperm from getting into my body. It’s called a vasectomy.

J: How does that work?

Me: A doctor cuts the tube that connects the testicles to the urethra so the sperm can’t come out.

J: So you can still get pregnant but Daddy can’t make babies?

Me: Yep. Pretty much.

Max: That’s ok. You can still adopt me a 17 year old brother. I’m ready. And I can show him how I can fart with my armpits like this!

Laughter ensues and life goes on…

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Awkward Convos with Kids: A Natural Continuation

The following conversation is a natural continuation of previous conversations we've had with the kids regarding human bodies, reproduction, and how it all fits together. These conversations each begin with child lead curiosity and are followed by age appropriate discussions using honesty, real words for anatomy, and answering their questions, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it may be.

This is not the first conversation we've had on the matter, and will not be the last. We believe in education over ignorance and communication over silence.

That being said, this is what I woke up to this morning:
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It’s the thought that counts…sometimes…

It’s no secret that Mr. TheKing often needs more than a hint when it comes to gift giving. My realization of how bad his lack of intuition for gifting was solidified a few years ago when he got me, (or rather, himself), a bottle of cologne for Hannukah in hopes that it would somehow benefit him in more ways than one. It did not… At least not that crazy night. To be fair, we had agreed not to get each other anything, so at least he tried?

The following Christmas I gave him a short wish list and told him that anything on the list would be appreciated. I also left him with a specific request to not get me a purse or appliance. He went rogue and got me both. He delivered it by giving himself the appliance so that I could make one of his favorite recipes and then put the purse in the appliance box. Well delivered, but not well received. I should note that he is known for his practicality and I do use both regularly, but that’s not really the point…

A few months later I took matters into my own hand and bought myself a ring for Valentine’s Day. I actually wore it out, then wrapped it and gave it to him to give back to me. He was very surprised by what he got me, especially because we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Last year for my birthday he went above and beyond. MTK planned an awesome surprise party for me. Unfortunately, he had to ruin the surprise by telling me about it the day before while on a 14 hour drive because he realized that inviting 50 people over to the house the day after you get back from a family trip maybe isn’t ideal. However, I will say that although I wasn’t surprised, I’ve never unpacked from a trip so quickly and it really was a fantastic party and sentiment. 

That all being said, below is the conversation we had at lunch yesterday about the gift he got for my upcoming birthday:

MTK: You’re coming home in 2 weeks from the shore, right?

Me: Yes. 2 weeks from yesterday. 

MTK: Ok. That gives me 2 weeks to build your birthday gift. 

Me, raising an eyebrow in curiosity and fear: What do mean, “build?”

MTK: I just have to figure out how to put it all together before you get home. 

Me: Um, is it something from my wish list? I don’t recall asking for anything that needs to be built…

MTK: No. It’s not something that you want. 

Me: Super! Is it for the house?

MTK: No

Me: Is it for outside?

MTK: Nope. It’s not anything you’ve ever mentioned. 

Me: Oh. You know I keep a list on Amazon, don’t you? Will I like it?

MTK: Probably not. But I did put a lot of thought into it. 

Me: Is it something I need?

MTK: No. 

Me, now laughing: So let me get this straight. You got me something I don’t want, don’t need, and have never mentioned?

MTK: Yup. You’re probably going to be mad. 

Me: Awesome. I’m not sure if I want to know now so it gives me 2 weeks to prepare and get over it, or if knowing will make me angrier over the next 2 weeks so you should keep it a surprise. I’m just gonna go ahead and be grateful you planned something and cross my fingers for the best. 

MTK: Just remember, it’s the thought that counts and I put a lot of thought into it. 

Me: But did you really?!?!?!

Stay tuned for the big reveal…

Convos With Kids: Self Discovery (aka: intro to womanhood part 3, 1 year & 28-35 days later)

If you are uncomfortable taking about human anatomy, as they come up in honest, albeit awkward, conversations with children, or are possibly a visual person, you should stop reading now. If you want a chuckle, and understand that this is an educational post, please proceed…

K-Mad, while dressing herself: My tushy is decowated! See?  It has a decawation inside hewe!

She attempts to show me. 

Me: please don’t show me your tushy unless you think there’s a problem. However, that’s not a decoration. That’s your anus. 

K, looking horrified: I do NOT have a pwanet in my butt!

Me: No, not Uranus. Anus. It’s where your poop comes out. 

K: Oh, so it’s not a flowa?

Me: No. Not even a little. 

K: So it’s cawed a wenis? Dat whymes wif penis!

Me: No it’s called your anus. 

K, clarifying: But not the pwanet. 

Me: Correct. Not the planet. 

K: But wait! I fought my poop comes out hewe. (Points to her vagina.) 

Me: No, that’s your vagina. 

K: So what comes out of dis hole?

Me: Babies. 

K: Then whewe does the pee come out?

Me: A smaller hole above your vagina called a eurethra. 

K, looking confused: Wait, how do the babies get in your pachina?

Me: I have a book about that. We’ll have to read it when we get home. 

K: Ok, Mommy. So my butt’s not decowated?

Me: No. 

K: Ok. But if it was, my poop would be a wot pwettia! 

Me: It sure would! Now please, go wash your hands… 

The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America: Guns

The Cutter Rambles

I originally began this post in the wake of the mass shooting at San Bernadino. I couldn’t quite get it right at the time, so I saved it as a draft. I actually hoped that I would never finish it, because that would mean that the subject of guns and mass shootings hadn’t become a topic for discussion again. As we all know, that has not been the case.

I’m not sure my words will actually influence anyone’s thinking. If you disagree with what I say, I don’t think I’m going to change your mind. But hopefully, at least some of you maintain an open mind, and don’t automatically dismiss what I have to say.

The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America: Guns

I sometimes allow my children to use an iPad. Sometimes, they’ll fight over it, get too rough, or become frustrated and throw it on the ground. When that happens, I…

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Oh No She Di-int (but yes she did) 

You know your Zoloft is working when:

While PMSing, you emerge from your bedroom to find your oldest child scaling over the railing at the top of the stairs indicating that she just climbed the stairs via the banister and you miraculously keep your shit together and calmly explain how dangerous that was and how she could seriously get injured {“break yourself” was the actual terminology used} and that “next time it will most definitely be a spankable offense and there will probably be a lot of very loud yelling but for now just please go to your room for the next 20 minutes” and you suggest putting away her clothes and reading to pass the time while you take a deep breath and begin to research local indoor climbing facilities while wondering if that’s really a smart parenting move… 😳

Dude, Where’s My Car?

That moment when you pull into a parallel parking spot at your children’s school for dismissal and masterfully use your backup cam to reverse towards the car behind you and stop just as your warning is barely on yellow and well before red knowing you have three feet of space between you and the afore mentioned car. The car to your front is a good ten feet away and has another five feet of room to pull up further which would leave space for another car to fit in, which would be nice since the lack-of-street-parking situation at school is laughable, parents are not permitted to park in the faculty lot {a rule many blatantly ignore}, and it’s raining. 

Anyway, as you put your car in park, the car behind you beeps as though you’re too close. You put the car back into reverse but hold the brake pedal to make sure you’re in the clear and see that your bumper is still feet away from his car so you shift back to park and turn off your engine. He steps out of his car, raises his hands in utter disbelief, and the gentleman parked five feet behind him does the same, as if they were signaling each other with some sort of primitive male caveman language, “Can you believe this woman?” “She should learn how to drive!”

As I’m watching this signed conversation in my rearview mirror and twirling my hair, the valley girl voice in my head starts having fun,

“Like, I’m totally sorry I only left you a few feet of room for your car’s personal space! I don’t know WHAT I was thinking! Silly me! I’m just another stay-at-home-soccer-mom with a car that’s WAY too big for me to handle! I’m such a ditz! I even forgot my bumper sticker that boasts about my perfect family and kids’ accomplishments! What ever is a girl to do? Oops! Sorry!” 

And then I punched him in the throat and told him that he should learn how to drive… But not really…

Convos with Kids #247365711: Maybe

K-Mad: Mom, can we watch a movie when we get home?

Me: Maybe

K-Mad: That means sometimes yes, sometimes no. 

Bud: No. That means no. 

K-Mad: No, Bud! It means sometimes yes and sometimes no!

Bud: Nu-uh! When Mommy says, “Maybe,” she always means, “No.” You don’t know! 

K-Mad: That’s not true! I do so know!

Lady J: Actually, he’s right, K-Mad. You haven’t been around as long as we have but trust us, maybe is mom code for no. 

K-Mad: Daddy? When we get home can we watch a movie? 

Convos with Kids #247365711: How to get your Children to Never Brush Their Teeth Again

Overheard while doing the dishes:

MTK, for the 4th time: It’s time to brush teeth! 

Kids: continuing to ignore him

MTK: You have to go straight to bed if you don’t brush your teeth. 1, 2… K-Mad, where are you going?

K-Mad: Stwaight to bed. 

MTK: But you have to brush your teeth. 

K-Mad: But you dust said ta go to bed if I don’t bwush my teef…

#wellplayed #touché #parentingfail