The Science Fair is coming up and 7 & 9 are working on their projects. 7 is studying rocks (my Sister-in-Law is a geologist/science teacher – SCORE!) and 9 wants to learn about cows. She found a cow skull in the woods by her dad’s house and has been completely enamored by this thing. We were discussing how to focus on just a couple of points (are cow bones made of the same thing that people bones are made of?) to keep the project on cows manageable. <I can’t stomach another HUGE science project that’s due in 10 days.> As we were talking about it, 7 runs in the room, rattles off something about 9’s “boyfriend”, giggled and ran out. Here is how the next 10 minutes went:
“ So, this boy that you’re blushing about…is that W? The boy you get into trouble to chatting with during class?”
9 (blushing and giggling), “Yeah. He likes to talk to me. He even has a nickname for me. He calls me Bacon.”
“ Bacon? That seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it?” <Little bastard better NOT call my kid fat!>
“ When I’m hot and sweaty, my face turns pink. I kind of look like a pink pig then. See? Bacon.” <To her it's funny and perfectly ok.>
We laughed and I steered her back to her project. About 2 minutes later, she turns, looks at me, hangs her arm down, makes a swinging-back-and-forth motion with her finger, and says, “Does that thing that hangs down have a bone in it?”
*choke cough cough* “That “thing”? Does it have a bone in it? That “thing” as in, like, uh…a boy’s boy-parts?” <Let me out of here. I don’t want to have this conversation. If I sneak away, will she notice?>
9 looks shocked and yells, “Good God, mom, you’re GROSS! “
<Oh no, what have I done? What am I getting myself in to? How can I exit stage left QUICKLY?>
“ Well, what were you talking about then if it wasn’t a boy?” I say as my face turns purple.
“ COWS! COWS! Does that thing that hangs under the cow where the milk comes out have BONES in it?” she says in exasperation. <Oh thank God. I STILL want to leave, but not as bad. How do I fix this? Where the hell is her father? He grew up with cows. He’s got a penis. HE should be here for this.>
At this point, my face turns redder than hers and we’re both laughing so hard that tears are running down our faces. Then 7 comes in and demands to know what we’re laughing about. We keep cackling and try to tell her what just happened.
Trying to be a somewhat responsible and informative parent, I catch my breath and say, “UDDERS. That’s what hangs under a girl cow. UDDERS. And no, there are no bones in there.”
“Udders,” 9 repeats and makes that same swaying hand motion.
Because I know how 7’s brain works <she never lets anything go until she's grilled me about every aspect of it>, I said, “ As far as boys go, there’s no bone there either…and it has a real name. It’s called a penis.”
7, ever the intellect, pipes up with, “Penis? Penis. That’s a stupid name.” <She makes me laugh>
“ Well, don’t look at me. I’M not the one that named it. Sometimes boys call it a boner, but there’s still no bone in it. [insert long pause here] Can we change the subject and pretend this whole thing never happened?” <Please? I’d like to turn the clock back 20 minutes.>
9 looks at me, still laughing, and says, “ Yes, please.” <That’s my girl.>
Welcome to my world. I will never survive puberty and the teenage years.