I went and saw Les Miserables with a girlfriend the other night. It was an amazing movie, but for some reason, I still feel like I could just nitpick it to pieces. I’m starting to think this could be my calling — professional life nitpicker. Too bad I can’t get someone to pay me for that…
Anyway, I came home and told my husband, Tenzin, how we apparently wouldn’t be taking the kids to see Les Mis due to its rather “realistic” portrayal of 19th century France. I could be overreacting — what 8 or 10-year-old wouldn’t benefit from seeing a little kid shot in a gun battle that made blood run through the streets. Or men swimming through raw sewage. Or a desperate mother forced into prostitution and selling her teeth (good gravy, did anyone even know that kind of thing happened?).
After my debrief, I went to tuck in the kids and asked them what they did while I was gone.
“We played Wii.”
“And we put together legos.”
“And we learned what SEX was.”
Wow. Okay. This was shocking but not totally surprising news since they (well, really my 8-year-old daughter — the boy couldn’t give a damn) have been asking various questions for years. Usually we answer with some biologically explanatory answer, and it’s put to rest. But I’ve been waiting for the day when I’ll be pinned down and really hit up for details.
Tenzin and I had even planned on sitting them down and just laying it all out there (is it just me or am I using a lot of double entendre-ish verbs in this post?). And truth be told, I was not excited about any of this. It might sound crazy, but there was just a feeling of crossing over — like once they knew about sex, they’d never look at the world in the same way again. Like one of those bubbles that surround childhood would be burst. And we all know those can’t ever be resealed.
Honestly, I blame all of this new-found interest on Neil Patrick Harris. The kids walked in while I was watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother the other day — the one where Barney breaks a “jinx” and gets hit by a bus. So now he’s their new favorite person. Of course they wanted to watch the rest of the show, and the thing is riddled with sex jokes.
Then I made the mistake of showing them Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, where Neil plays an aspiring super villain. If you haven’t seen this, trust me, it’s worth the 42 minutes of your life. The kids have memorized all the songs (in a good way, not an “I’m going to strangle you” way). And even though there are some bits in there about Captain Hammer’s penis and getting to do “the weird stuff” the second time, they pretty much went over the kids’ heads. Or so I thought…
Anyway, as usual, all of my worrying was for naught. Tenzin got out the anatomy book and explained everything (Well, not everything — lord knows how many conversations will be had about “the weird stuff”). And the kids basically took it well. They were kind of grossed out and couldn’t really believe they’d ever be interested in doing any of that business themselves.
But back to my part in all of this during the tuck-in that night. My son says, “We heard that you and Dad had to do it two times.” To which I said, “Well, I hate to tell you this, but Dad and I have done it a heck of a lot more that two times.” I figured by then, might as well rip the Band-aid all the way off…
I did not, however, say that we hadn’t done it nearly as many times as Dad would’ve liked. Especially in the last 10 years or so, since they’d come along. That’s a whole other conversation for another day.