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…


Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year: the crisp air, the vibrant colors, the beginning of school. To me, this is the season when the new year truly begins.

In Judaism, we celebrate our new year in the autumn with Rosh Hashana, followed ten days later with Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The ten days between the two holy days are called t’shuvah, the days of repentance. It is a time for reflection and resolutions when necessary. It is a time to ask for and to offer forgiveness. At the conclusion of Yom Kippur, God makes the final judgement and seals the Book of Life, hopefully with your name written within its pages, granting forgiveness.

While I have never been truly religious, I am deeply spiritual. I do find the prayers and psalms of synagogue peaceful, beautiful, and full of sentimental memories from my childhood, yet I have always preferred one on one time in nature more helpful in providing clarity or allowing me to find a new path, previously unseen.

However, over the last six years, since the fire and subsequent issues that arose from the ashes, my path has been tumultuous, at best.

Continue reading

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: Nice Try, Doc

Pediatrician: What was his last temperature?

Bud: I didn’t let Mommy take my temperature. I don’t like the thermometer under my tongue.

Pediatrician: Bud, if you don’t let Mommy take your temperature I’ll have to tell Santa to put you on the naughty list. You don’t want Santa to bring you a lump of coal, do you?

Bud: That’s ok. I like coal. We find them on the train tracks near Grandma and Grandpa’s cabin. Also, I’ll still get Hannukah and Birthday presents so don’t worry about Santa. And, now I know how to put the thermometer under my tounge because the nurse showed me! Isn’t that great?!?!

And that is how Bud got early admission to any med school of his choice…

#HowDoesHeKnow? #YouCantFoolHim #truth #outofthemouthsofbabes #NiceTryDoc #Bud

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

CWK #247365711.2: 28-35 days later, the continuation of the conversation…

The following conversation is a natural follow-up to a conversation that began this past spring, when Lady J’s first grade class hatched chicks and learned about fertilized/unfertilized eggs. It then continued over the summer when the children learned of menstruation due to a bathroom door that doesn’t lock and an unrealistic expectation of parental privacy. This is the third installment and will undoubtedly NOT be the last: Continue reading

CWK #247365711: An Intro to Womanhood

This may be TMI for some readers, but a few friends have recently questioned how to answer questions like those in the following conversation that recently happened.  Much as I’d like to, it’s nothing to shy away from or be embarrassed about when talking to your littles.  I have always maintained that honesty is the best policy when answering life’s (not so) little questions and to keep your answers appropriately worded and detailed for your child’s comprehension. That being said, it doesn’t make some parenting moments any less awkward… Continue reading

CWK #247365711: Bud, On Bud

Strolling down the boardwalk Bud gently takes me by the hand and asks if he can tell me something. “Of course!” I respond, and this truly observant five year old proceeds to explain the complexities of humans with such honest simplicity:

“Sometimes I’m happy. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I’m silly. Sometimes I’m mad. Sometimes I like to have fun. Sometimes I’m serious. But I’m always me. Even though it’s not always easy.”

#HowDoesHeKnow #truth #wisdomofchildren


CWK #247365711: Best. Pancakes. Ever!

You guys, I’m awesome in the kitchen, mostly….we won’t discuss my brief moment in my early 20s that I thought grape jelly, orange juice, and who knows what else from the fridge wisked together made a nice sauce to bake or sautée chicken in…blech….so sorry to those who faked deliciousness… Thanks for your honesty…or confidence boost…whatever… 

{Also, unrelated to this story, here is a link of 83 (EIGHTY THREE!!!!!!) recipes* that successfully use grape jelly…  *Mine is not one of them…}

Anyway, my skill, pallet, and repertoire have increased substantially since then, although there are still a few recipes that need improvements and tweaking and others that I completely avoid, especially baking and pancakes. Seriously…please don’t ask. (I’ve even been known to flub up fool proof boxed cake mix…I’m THAT fool.)

Tonight, however, the kids requested banana pancakes for dessert. I rarely serve dessert, much less make it, unless its a fruit salad, but it’s my anniversary so what the hell!

In full disclosure, the pancakes were actually supposed to be fried “frozen banana icecream*” but you know how frying frozen mush goes, as I discovered first hand, so I had to improvise on the fry. (*banana icecream recipe below)

I initially thought about just frying banana slices, but Lady J was insistent that she wanted real pancakes with three slices in each. (So glad we taught her to voice her requests using specifics so that miscommunication and misunderstanding could be kept to a minimum…)

So back to the pancakes: Mr. TheKing is, in fact, the pancake making king of our household. It’s a boxed mix and not at all healthy, but it’s full of fake-sugar-blueberries and yumminess so once or twice a month-ish, breakfast is his to make. But he’s not at the beach on weekdays, nor is the box that I could “just add water” to, so I again had to improvise.

Luckily, I did have a bit of whole wheat, non-bleached, GMO free, organic, leftover pancake mix from winter break (or, most likely, last summer, but we won’t discuss that).

The recipe called for measuring, eggs, oil, water, and the mix to make the batter. I guessed on how much mix was left, cracked a few eggs based on that, added the melted banana ice cream in place of the oil I didn’t have, and poured in some water until I thought the consistency was right.

Then I turned the dial on the flat top glass stove to 5 because I guessed that was around 450 degrees as the recipe called for and heated up the pan/skillet, using a coconut oil spray in place of butter. I then used an ice cream scoop to “measure” the batter and plop it in the pan. I sliced up some fresh-ish bananas and added three slices to each pancake. The result was luckily quite delicious!


Here is the short convo to follow this lengthy intro:

Lady J: Thanks, Mom! You’re my best mom ever!

Me: Am I the best pancake maker ever?

Lady J, without hesitation: No. Daddy is. But you’re still the best mom I’ve ever had, so you’ve got that goin’ for ya’

#outofthemouthsofbabes #keepingitreal


To make banana ice cream:

1) Peel bananas (I used over-ripe ones)

2) Mush and mash until smooth

3) Freeze

(Seriously, that’s it! It stays a soft, ice creamy consistency once frozen and if it gets too hard just let it thaw a few minutes before scooping. #whoknew?  Top with peanut butter, caramel, or chocolate for extra yumminess!)