Our son, B, did it. He finally asked The Question.
Yes, I mean THE Question. I’m not kidding around like I was in this post.
The fastest sex-ed class ever
It wasn’t the first time he’d asked The Question. Before, we put him off, telling him he needed to wait until he was older. This time, he was around eleven and a half years old when, right in the middle of an episode of Little House On The Prairie, he blurted out, “So do women just randomly get pregnant, or what?”
His question wasn’t random. This was the episode where both Miss Beadle – I mean, whatever her name was after she got married; I forget – and Carolyn (Ingalls) get pregnant (the latter with Grace). B’s pre-teen brain couldn’t take the suspense much longer.
I looked at J. J looked at me. His look said, “Just to remind you, you’re the one that likes to talk.”
Aw, hubbies are so sweet sometimes.
Anyway, I looked at B. “Are you sure you’re ready to hear it? If I tell you, you’ll probably never look at Mommy and Daddy the same way again.” After a second, “You may never look at girls the same way ever again.”
“Yes, I’m ready,” he said with an enthusiastic nod.
So I gave him the birds-and-the-bees bare-bone-basics. What parts of whose body goes where, and why.
Then, after a melodramatic grimace, “I’m never going to have sex!”
I said, “Keep thinking that way until you’re about thirty!”
Oh, no! He’s becoming a typical teenager!
His question that night didn’t surprise me. I knew the subject was bound to come up soon.
What did surprise me was a scenario I encountered last week.
A little background: B doesn’t like for me to cut his hair, because he’s super-ticklish around the neck and is also afraid I’m going to cut an ear off with the scissors. Nevertheless, he lets me cut it a couple of times in the summer so it doesn’t get in his face while he’s swimming.
He also likes to grow his hair long during the fall and winter because, he says, it keeps him warmer.
I should also tell you that the only time he’s ever looked in the mirror (just a small, hand-held one; we don’t have any large wall mirrors) was if he thought he looked funny somehow, or I told him to look to wipe ketchup off his mouth.
Those times have been rare.
So a few days ago, I did a double-take. There B stood, just outside the bathroom, studying himself – and I mean, studying himself – in the mirror. If I’d have been thinking, I would have caught the moment on camera.
But I couldn’t think. My little boy was acting like he actually cared about what he looked like!
He finally lowered the mirror, looked down at me to where I lay half-conscious on the floor, and announced, “I think I need a haircut. Just about this much.” And he pulled a strand away from his head, indicating with his fingers the length he’d like it cut.
I tried not to make a big deal out of it. Okay, anymore than I already had. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or sad.
My baby is growing up. Seriously.
His hair is now about an inch shorter than it was a week ago, without me having said one word to encourage it.
Wait, I did say one word a few weeks earlier when he complained about how hard it was to wash his hair in the plastic tub (our house is not plumbed – no shower). But I didn’t push, and didn’t pursue it.
B is starting to care about how he looks. What’s next? Cutting his fingernails? Body odor? Will he have whiskers on his chin tomorrow morning when he wakes up?
Where will it all end?
Signs that your little boy isn’t so little anymore.