Sunday, April 06, 2003
conversation with my fifth-grade son
"We watched Growth and Development today. It was weird."
"You watched what?"
"Growth and Development. Remember, I told you... that one you had to sign the paper for?"
"Oh, yeah. So it was weird, huh?"
"Yeah. And they gave us deoderant." [Shows me deoderant, uncaps it for me to smell.]
"Woo, Old Spice Sporty Musk. Sexy."
"Heh. Yeah. We all put it on after the show and Ms. Richards said the girls were gonna faint when they came back in the room."
"Faint because they were in love with y'all, or because of the smell?"
"I don't know. Anyway, the music on that show was weird. And they kept saying stupid stuff. Like this one guy goes, "Teacher? I don't have a question, but Jimmy here wants to ask about girls!" all retarded and stuff. And then they told us we could check it out of the library if our parents gave us permission. Like, yeah, sure, I wanna do that."
"Heh. Did they talk about penises and everything?"
"Yes. It was retarded. They talked about penises and how we have to take a shower, like, every day. Or almost every day. Then they gave us these little books. I was reading part of it, where the people had questions or whatever, and it was like [mocking voice], "I've been having wet dreams for three years! Will they ever stop?"
"Ha! What'd they tell him? Will they ever stop?" [Wondering, "Oh, Christ -- will they? Have they started? Should I let him make his own bed from now on?"]
"I don't know. I stopped reading it after that."
"Oh." [Note to self: retrieve booklet from backpack for later research.]
"Before we got to watch it, they had to fast-forward over the girls' part, because they had both parts on the same video and it wasn't the girls' turn yet. So they fast-forwarded it almost all the way, but then they just pressed Play because they didn't want to accidentally pass the beginning of the boys' part. So Ms. Richards held a paper over the TV screen so we couldn't see the girls' part."
"What? Like, what -- it was all secret and stuff? Like they hadn't just told y'all you could check out the video from the library?"
"I know. That's what we said! But yeah, she was standing there with the paper over it. At the end, they asked us if we had any questions. Jacob said, 'I don't have a question, but my friend Josh wants to know about girls!' You know, like that guy on the video. I was like, 'Shut up,' and Ms. Richards was like, 'Y'all behave.' It was retarded. We were all making fun of it the whole time. The nurse told us, 'After the video, I'd like you all to tell me what's so funny about it.'"
"And did y'all tell her?"
"No... She didn't really ask us. She was just saying that so we'd be quiet."
"Hmm. Well, cool. So what you're telling me is, you want me to sign a paper so you can check out that video from the library next week, huh?"
"C'mon. It'll be cool. We'll invite all your friends over. We can watch the girl part."
"All right. Just kidding."
[Moment of thought-filled silence.]
"If you want, next time we go to the grocery store, you can smell all the deoderants and pick one you like."