Sunday 25 Sep 2016

The Talk
Jennifer Flaten

Rifling through the kid's take home folders I find a notice printed on goldenrod paper. Since I know, goldenrod is the paper color choice of all important school related news I refrain from throwing it out.

Instead, I peruse it, wondering what fundraiser needs my hard-earned cash, or what event has mandatory attendance. All of which are no cause for alarm.

Worst case scenario, it is a letter telling me about an unfortunate incident where a little stinker set off a chain reaction in the school's lab causing the need for a total school evacuation.

Oh! Well this is interesting. The letter is to inform me that it is time for my kids to learn about Human Growth and Development.

Starting the next week my 2nd graders will attend a special class to learn about the human body.

The letter strives to assure me the program is age appropriate and that it separates the girls and boys for more privacy.

Hmm, I just don't know how I feel about this; I mean I went through the exact same type of human growth and development program.

Well, not exactly the same, back then it was Sex Ed. We all know that you certainly, can't call it that now. It would offend someone's sensibilities and look like the school encouraged sex!

Now this program isn't a complete surprise. I knew it was coming thanks to the write up the local paper gave the curriculum.

The article in the paper focused on several parents who spent hours poring over the whole 500 pages of the curriculum.

I am reasonable sure that 450 pages of the curriculum were legalese and the remaining 50 pages actual listed the things the program would address.

The photo accompanying the story showed several very well dressed women bent over this enormous black binder.

The article and photo manage to convey the opinion that these parents are involved and proactive parents.

The underlying implication being that anyone who didn't rush in to look over the curriculum was doing a disservice to their kids.

I can honestly say I am not sure what the women were looking for in the curriculum.

I mean the very nature of the "talk" touches upon things that many people are squeamish about, but these things are straight up facts.

In terms of your body, it will develop, barring any type of medical condition you will go through puberty.

Furthermore, while sex is a hard topic to talk about with kids, the facts are the facts. If you do A then B will happened.

Not a lot of wiggle room. I don't know what subversions these women expected to see.

As embarrassing as this is to admit, I remember my thinking before I had children, I imagined that when it came time to do the "talk" I would be as informed as an OB-Gyn and as cool as Cosmo article.

In my imaginings of the future, I saw myself tackling all those growth and development questions with grace and aplomb.

Then I actually had children.

Huh! Turns out, I am your average mom. I know what I want my kids to know, but I wish they didn't have to know it.

Furthermore, I have no idea how to approach the topics with grace and aplomb. I stumble along just like all the generations before me.

Sure, there are parents out there who explain things to their kids in great graphic detail and think nothing of it.

I am not one of them. I try to give them the age appropriate information on a need to know basis.

I am not overly prudish, or at least I don't think I am, I just wish there was some sort of download we could do right to the kids brains that gave them all the information necessary with no fuss, no muss.

I want my kids to have a nice little encyclopedia of the birds and bees'. This way they would have all the important facts available for reference in sticky situations.

Can you imagine how helpful this would be when they have a boy who is trying to convince them to give into his smooth moves? All they would need to do is refer to chapter 5 on moves all boys' try-to find tips to tell Mr. Roving fingers to get lost.

See now that would be helpful. I believe this is much more user friendly then a 500-page binder.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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