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…


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:
Continue reading

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? 

CWK 24.7.365-7.11: On Dementia 

(The original convo took place on January 14, 2014. Thanks “Facebook memories” for this gem 😉)

A group from a nursing home was at the community center while I was there with Lady J & Bud. One woman was particularly drawn to the kids and wanted to play air hockey with them. After leaving the kids were wondering why she was playing with her hands and why she didn’t know the rules, among other behaviors. A conversation about getting older, more forgetful, and dementia ensued. This was the end of it:

Bud: Oh gee. I hope I don’t get de-men-ta

J: That’s ok if you do, buddy. You won’t remember anyway!

CWK #24.7.365-7.11: The F Word

Lady J, timidly: Mom? What does fuck mean?

Bud: Heh, heh. Fuck.

Me, more than a bit dumbstruck: Where did you hear that word?

J: Stewart* asked me if I know what the “F” word is and I told him, “No.” Then Mathew* spelled it: f-u-c-k. I told them I didn’t know that word, but I could sound it out. Mom? What does fuck mean?

Inner-momologue: Oh Fuck! Crappity crap crap fuck this shit and the asshole who mentioned it to a second grader and now my kids know it, even though I’ve probably fucked up a few times in front of them too, FUCK!

Me: Well, first of all you should both know that it is a word that is rude, disrespectful, and will get you sent to Mr. Wollensky’s* office immediately, should you say it at school. In school, it’s worse than “stupid” or even “hate”. It will also get you sent to your room at home.

J: I know that, but what does it mean?

Me: Well, most adults use it when something goes wrong, like “Oh no!” or, “Oh dear!” 

J: Why wouldn’t they just say, “Oh no” or, “Oh dear” then? Or even, “Oh my goodness?”

Me: Sometimes, in the adult world, things go so wrong that a stronger word comes to mind first. It’s not polite, but it happens. 

Bud: Fuck! I can’t buckle my seatbelt! Heh, heh, heh. 

Me: Bud, you may not use that word. Not even to repeat it. Next time, it’s a timeout. No warnings. 

Bud: Poop. Well, I guess that’s ok. 

J: But, Mom, if it just means, “Oh no,” then why is it a bad word. What does it really mean?

Inner momologue: Fuuuuuuuuuck!

Me: I honestly need to discuss this with Daddy before telling you the real definition of the word.

J: Why do you need to talk to Daddy about what a word means?

Me: You asked a great question and I want to answer it honestly, yet appropriately. It’s a word that has some pretty grownup meanings and I want to make sure Daddy and I are both present for this conversation…

… The conversation we had at dinner included explaining that the word “fuck” was a derogatory word that often referred to disrespectful references towards outer appearances and inappropriate behavior. In their language we used terms such as “bucket dipping” and “bullying” and made sure that they knew it was a word that is never acceptable to use towards another person nor to be accepted in a humorous manner when directed at another person. We let them know that anyone who refers to them using that word is not a friend and that they may stand up for up for themselves, while they also have an obligation to stand up for others if that word is used against them and to report it to us, a teacher, or another trusted adult….I hope it fucking worked….

#innocencelost #herewegrow #convoswithkids #thefword #sothathappened

*all names have been changed

The End of Innocence 

Yesterday, while cleaning off my desk, I moved a picture Lady J drew for Toothiana, our tooth fairy, to put in her keepsake binder and accidentally left it out in plain sight before properly filing it. Of course she found it and asked why I still had it. Trying to think fast, I told her that Toothiana returned it to me so that I could save the memory just as Toothiana saves the original memory in the teeth she collects. If you’ve read William Joyce’s books about the Guardians of Childhood or seen the movie Rise of the Guardians, this makes sense, and J accepted this as truth. 

Today, while on the phone to his parents, Mr. TheKing mentioned that I go to the bank to get two dollar bills all the time. We only use two dollar bills for tooth fairy money. J was within earshot and immediately looked at both of us with The Look

…Looking forward to tomorrow night’s bedtime conversation, you know, once she has time to mull it all around for a bit longer…

#SoThatHappened #ParentingFail #TheEndOfInnocence #HereWeGrow


CWK #24-7-365.7-11: The Crush

Me: Why do you look so glum?

Lady J: Someone has a crush on me. 

Me: Ok…Why are you upset about this?

J: Because I’m just not ready for crushes. I’m not old enough. 

Me: Well I’m glad you recognize that and I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the universe, your father’s hair just started to grow back. But, J, a crush isn’t a bad thing. 

J: It’s not?

Me: No! It just means that this boy recognizes how special you are! It should fill your bucket! 

J: But I’m not ready to have a crush on anybody. 

Me: That’s very mature of you! You don’t have to have a crush on anybody. But it is important to be respectful of this boy’s feelings and not to dip into his bucket through unkind words or actions. Just keep being you… Incidentally, how do you know he has a crush on you?

J: Matthew* told me that David* has a crush on me. So I asked David if that was true and he said, “Yes.”

Me: Huh. Well you were brave to find out the truth and David was brave to tell you. Great job! I’m curious though, is Connor* still your boyfriend?

J: Mom, we’re just good friends. He’s my closest friend who’s a boy. But he’s not really my boyfriend. 

Me: Well, thanks for the clarification… Hey, J?

J: Yeah, Mom?

Me: I love watching you grow. It’s a really great view. 

J: Beaming from the back seat, ear to ear…

#bestviewever #motherhood #firstcrush #parentingwin

*all names have been changed 

CWK: 24.7-365.7-11: Buttocks, part deux 

Bud, whining: Mom, K-Mad is calling me a bubble butt. 

Me: First of all, we don’t use the term butt. It’s rude. You can say tushy or buttocks. We’ve been over this before. Secondly, I don’t even know what that means. What is a bubble butt? What do you do with a bubble butt?

Kids start to giggle and respond:

Lady J: Blow it!

K-Mad: Pop it!

Bud: Buttocks. Butt. Talks. That’s a funny word. I wish my butt could talk.

At this point, my only thought is, “Pardon me. May I ass you a question?” From Ace Ventura, and it took every ounce of restraint to not ask it aloud…

Me, miraculously holding it together: That’s not how it’s spelled. It’s not t-a-l-k-s as in talking. It’s b-u-t-t-O-C-K-S

More giggles…

Bud: Huh. That’s like the “ock” of “sock”

{He’s clearly learning word families and phonics in school}

Bud: But I still wish my butt could talk. (Hehe. I said butt twice that time!)

Even more laughter…

Lady J: Bud, futzies are kinda like talking for butts.

Hysterical laughter insues…

K-Mad: Den my but can tawk! I’m so gassy! I been futzy-in for a-wotta-days now. Mememba dat time when my futzy was so stinky dat Daisy Dog weft da woom? Dat was a weawy stinky one…

Bud: K-Mad, do not talk with futzies. We’re in the car and Mom has the windows locked. I do not want your butt to talk when we’re stuck in here. Then you would be the bubble butt, for real…

K-Mad, whining: Mom, Bud dust cawwed me a bubble butt…

CWK 24.7.365.7-11: Post School Conversation

Me: How was school today?

Bud: Oh, yeah! It was gweat! I’m at the gween table now!

Me: Really?! Who else sits at your table?

Bud: Well, a boy that I don’t know his name. He’s the class twoubke-maka.

Me: What makes him a trouble-maker?

Bud: Well, he just doesn’t listen and pay attention. He also tackled someone in class once. Not today though. But he always has to move his clip to yellow. He’s a twouble-maka alwight.

Me: Ok. Well who else do you sit with?

Bud: Two giwls. I don’t know theiw names eitha, but I call one of them Katie. She said that’s ok.

Me: Is her name Katie?

Bud: No. But that’s what I call her. It’s fine with huh.

Me: Is “S” at your table?

Bud: Mom, I know “S” alweady. I’ve been in huh class foe yeaws! It’s not “S”. That would be so funny if I fowgot huh name. Hehehe! That would be cwazy! It’s Katie. Even though that’s not huh weal name. Maybe it can be huh nick-name.

Me: Oh. Ok. Maybe you should find out her real name tomorrow.

Bud: Maybe at wecess. I played with huh and “D” at wecess today. They said I could play with them. I was looking for “D” and he was playing with that giwl I call Katie and she said, “The mowe the mewwia” so I played with them.

Me: What game did you play?

Bud: I don’t know what it’s called, but you have to look foe them and catch them.

Me: Is it tag?

Bud: No.

Me: Is it hide & seek?

Bud: No. You have to pick if you’we bad owe evil.

Lady J: Technically that’s the same thing.

Bud: No it’s not. Evil is WAY wowse than bad. Like that twouble-maka. He’s acting bad but I don’t think he’s evil. He just has a hawd time wemembwing the wules. He doesn’t twy to huwt anyone.

#whatsinaname #arosebyanyother #andthereyouhaveit #truth #wisdomofchildren #innocence #outofthemouthsofbabes #badvsevil #howdoesheknow