Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The What Goes Where?!

Friday night was like a cosmic test. HB suddenly wanted to know exactly how a P can fit in a V (he had realized that although he knew where babies come FROM he did not know how they GOT there ... "how does the sperm …?" and he got tearful when I tried to put him off). I started worrying I was going to give him a complex about it being shameful so I tried to launch into it but my explanations (and demonstrations with a toilet paper tube - what? I was desperate!) were going nowhere, so I went looking for visual aids. CAN YOU IMAGINE TRYING TO FIND THOSE PICTURES ON THE WEB IN ANY REASONABLY APPROPRIATE SETTING? With a kid trying to get squeeze behind you to see the screen - "Why won't you let me see?" "Because ... some of the pictures ... are ... silly"? All I got that I thought I could show him were those weird sliced in half drawings that even I can't make sense of and I was resorting to pictures of ultrasound wands in use (imagine highly puzzled, half embarrassed squinting on the boy's part - with me thinking yeah, that's how I felt at the time). So my husband entered the fray. He thought he'd found something that was clinical-ish and not disturbing but of course HB immediately read the caption on the top that TH hadn't noticed: "My husband with another woman!" - Oh. My. God.

We got through all that with everything seemingly fine, but my nerves were shot. Then as I was trying to get the kid into the bath I noticed the exchange student lying on her bed weeping. So I went in and spent an hour trying to talk her down from a pinnacle of teenaged angst (unrelated to the creepy situation from before). By the time I went to bed I was about five exits past Done.

I think I passed the test Friday, but the days since have been particularly tough in terms of it all being on my mind almost all the time. This PTSD crap is just bizarre. Denial was a pretty nice place to live until I got evicted. Although the landlord was becoming a little hard to deal with over the past few years.

Reading and rereading and rereading the comments, I realize how many incredibly good friends I have, IRL, here, and crossover - people I feel I can confide in and trust. Many many more than, say, fifteen years ago, when I had approximately - let me think - one. And she lived in another city. I can't imagine having to do this then.


Old MD Girl said...

OMG poor you! I have no idea how I will handle these questions in the future -- it sounds quite anxiety inducing. But it sounds like you and your husband did GREAT.

Anonymous said...

the" its so amazing" and "its not the stork" are very very good books.
my kid read them over and over again.
you can see here which books are for which ages (although we had to start with an older kids book at a younger age, and it was great too)

liza bennett

Sarah said...

Just a note to say I like your blog and I'm glad you take the time to write it. I have no wisdom or advice to share. May you be well.

ozma said...

Oh my goodness. We had the lovely experience of some other child showing our completely innocent, unknowing child some porn they had found. Questions and trauma ensued. Unsure of how to prevent weird damage I thought I would answer all the questions as clinically and honestly and straightforwardly and without shame as I could. So I did. It was confusing and I don't know if I did the right thing. But I didn't know what else to do. I was upbraided by a therapist I asked later for doing this, by the way--both that my kid was shown porn (like it was my fault) and then because I was honest about sex with her after that (because I want her to come to me, always, about everything like that). I'm still kind of angry she was so judgmental but also horribly guilty about what happened to my child. But was I wrong?

Oh no! I'm turning this into MY blog! Never mind!

Anyway, I am now not sure if I should get these anatomical books to explain further or what to do to help her with these issues. They do have some books for 10 and 11 year olds about the body.

I read below that something bad happened to you but I think you deleted your post and I'm so sorry something bad happened. I don't know what it was but it sounds very serious and I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

I second the post about the books "It's So Amazing" and "It's Not the Stork", and add "It's Perfectly Normal" to the list.

Check out the Look Inside section here:


DoctorMama said...

ozma - no I didn't delete anything - first explanation is in my Feb 3rd post. But I am being kinda vague.
It's awful that the therapist made you feel guilty. As I recall the first impressions a kid gets about sex really stick, and how much better could it be than to come from you (even after the fact)? I'm glad that there's so much less hard copy around these days since everyone goes on the web, it seems - and the browsers have gotten a lot better at weeding the stuff out. (I wonder if there's such a thing as "healthy" sites? You know, where they show what happens, but for real and in a respectful way? Because I couldn't find them, that's for sure.)

Thanks for the book suggestions. It's hard to figure out what's IN them on line, so I think I need to pay a visit to the bookstore (poor neglected bookstores!). My problem is not so much telling him things but that he is SO SPECIFIC in his questions.

Twangypearl the Elastic Girl said...

Hi! Just wanted to wave encouragingly. I think you are both brilliant and brave and I am very hopeful for you.

Liz said...

I'm guessing there are websites out there but that they're buried under the porn websites.

Don't really have much else to say. Just wanted to say thank you. :) Oh, and that I hope things go well for you.

Anonymous said...

Great post yet again! I am hoping that my almost 6 year old doesn't have any "specific" questions for some time. She has been on the topic of heaven on/off for about a year now, and I find that topic hard enough because it makes me actually address the feelings I have about all my family members who have died.
You are brave, you are strong. Keep up the great work.

L. said...

For what it's worth, just a few months ago I also read some really high praise for the same books that Liza Bennett mentions. My kids are younger so I haven't had to answer many of THOSE questions yet but it sounds like you truly had trial by fire (and I'm guessing I will too because my son is very science-y and analytical and may not tolerate much waffling around).

Otherwise I just wanted to say I continue to think good thoughts for you.

Magpie said...

Another vote for the It's So Amazing (et al) book series. They're really well done.

An internet ((hug)) for you.

Lorraine said...

Uh-oh! If the first impression is what sticks I may just leave a lot of Judy Blume books lying around. Today my almost-three-year old told me that someday he was going to do something really important with his penis. What could I do but smile and say "Sure, honey!" Egads...

Think I should get those books now just in case...

Majerus said...

I had this conversation with O. recently. We'd had the convo when he was five or so, and when it got to the "But how does the sperm get to the egg?" question, I just said "We'll talk about that when you're a little older." So when it came up recently, I thought "Yeah, he's more than a little older, so here goes..." It went pretty well. Thankfully he didn't ask enough questions that we had to turn to visual aids. But I did get him a book recently, which I just told him he could look at whenever he felt like. I'll let you know if I get any feedback on it. It's called The Boy's Body Book, if I recall correctly.

Good luck with the PTSD. You're in my thoughts. It's definitely better to move on toward a bigger, freer place, even if the process of the move is overwhelming at times.