So my kids saw Head Over Heels and they loved it. Or well, the younger one couldn’t focus on the first act because he was totally focused on the snacks my partner smuggled into the theatre in his ECKnox diaper bag. (This blog posting sponsored entirely by ECKnox.) I should’ve just given my partner the heads-up “He’s going to fixate on snacks and ask multiple times ‘is it break time, yet?’ Just give him the snacks to shut him up.
They loved the show. And while I thought most of the plot points would fly over their heads, they seemed to get most of it. They knew that the sword fight didn’t actually kill anyone. Nope. Violence was no biggie.
They got that the flags fell when the oracle’s prophecies were fulfilled and that the king was a rube and the princesses were marrying the people their parents didn’t want etc etc.
But what really intrigued the kids? Potty humor.
After the show, their first question was, “Did that guy really pee on that bush?”
“But I heard it! I heard the pee splashing! I heard it!”
“Promise. No peeing. Just a sound effect.”
And that was immediately followed by: “Were those people naked?”
(In one scene, we have a brilliantly-executed shadow-dance simulating, well…sex.
Don’t worry -it’s still G-rated. Or, well…PG. Or maybe…)
My kids are really curious as to when I will be on for one of the two roles I cover. (I’m a ‘standby’ in the show…my stage presence is dictated by laryngitis and twisted ankles.)
So the kids ask incessantly if I’m “on.”
And last night, the younger one asked “Daddy? When you’re on for the king, does the queen have to spank you?”
Daddy? Why would she spank him?
Was he naughty? (Disclaimer: we don’t spank. But you do you. No judgment)
Um, no, Buddy. He wasn’t naughty, he, um…maybe he liked it?
Somone can likespanking.
Um, well….I mean…
That’s crazy. Spanking happens when you’re bad. Not when you’re good. That hurts!
Right, but see…
Doesn’t it hurt, Daddy?
And why were those people naked dancing?
And the girls were flinging their hair around and why’d they do that?
And why were the people screaming and saying, ‘oh, yeah, oh, yeah’ when they were spanking each other?
Ohmigod, children, how on EARTH do you remember all these details?
The barrage of questioning was too much. They wore me down, they out-paced and out-witted and out-ran and out-maneuvered me. I couldn’t answer fast enough. I felt trampled and stampeded and instead of prevaricating and dodging and weaving, I went straight to sex.
Alright, alright, guys! They were just enjoying naked grown-up time!
That’s right. What I blurted was Naked. Grown-up. Time.
Needless to say, this was not pre-meditated. But it slowed the kids’ roll.
They gasped, their jaws dropped, they absorbed.
And I only thought: omg, what did I just say?
And then, with eyes as wide as saucers, another cavalade of questioning:
Do you always get naked in naked grown-up time?
Is it only for grown-ups?
But you said they weren’t naked in the show!
Do you spank in naked grown-up time?
All those adults were doing naked grown-up time together?
This second round of rapid-fire questioning set my head spinning, yet again…until the question popped out I hadn’t expected for another two or three years.
My older son suddenly took a dramatic pause and said:
Do you and Tatty* have naked grown-up time?
My eyes bugged out. I refrained from rolling my eyes. I took a deep breath.
Yes, Buddy. Yes, we have naked grown-up time.
The kids looked at each other, eyes wide open, and dissolved into uncontrollable guffaws.
And I thought: how is sex already a topic that makes them blush and giggle? How do they already have the sense that sex is giggle-worthy?
Oh, well. So be it.
I immediately down-played it and said, “Yes, kiddos. Tatty and I have naked grown-up time and it’s ok for grown-ups to have that. There’s nothing weird or embarrassing about it.”
That’s funny, said the younger kid.
Yep, I responded. Sometimes it is. And that’s ok.
I did notsee that coming…to have a sex talk (albeit roundabout and unscientific and not extensive).
Never, ever do I want my kids to think of sex as something naughty or shameful or embarrassing (except when it’s rrrreally good. Kidding. Sorta. Not at all.) I want to have open, honest conversations so I know they’re in charge of their bodies and desires as well as fully respectful of their partners. I don’t plan to speak in metaphors or fairy-tale love. I’ll use clinical, scientific explanations so they aren’t misled. I want them to be open-minded and I want to be as open and honest as possible with them.
But. I just wasn’t quite ready to discuss naked grown-up time at the ages of 6 and 5.
But thatcat is out of the bag, I suppose. We haven’t discussed it in a week, now, but I’m sure it’s just simmering under the surface.
Walking to the playground, this morning, a bus drove by with four women in a lingerie ad. (See below. But don’t linger. You’ll look weird. And don’t forget – Black Mirror hackers are spying you.) My youngest said to my oldest, “Look! Naked grown-up time for those women!”
* “Tatty” is the name my oldest son gave to my partner years ago. Yep. We’re “Daddy” and “Tatty”.