First of all, I can't even believe that I'm using the term '13 year old son' in reference to myself.
He's not, officially, 13. His birthday is fast approaching, though. And I'm sorting out some of my feelings about being the parent of a teenager. To commemorate this, I'm working on a blog post called "13 things I want my 13 year old to know" that I plan on posting on his birthday, which should be good.
And by 'working on' I mean- I have the title tentatively worked out, and a basic draft- 13 short paragraphs in which I tell him something I want him to know.
So it's coming along quite well.
Anyways, even I am interested to see how it will work out. Already I'm like- 13 things kind of seems like a lot. I should have done this when he was 1, because there's basically one thing I want him to know: Lift the seat when you piss.
But he's growing up, which has lent itself to some interesting conversations.
Last night he was telling me that a police dog was at his school as some sort of drug awareness program.
"Oooh," I said. "Did you get to sample the drugs?"
He just looked at me, all annoyed like.
"Well, how can you be aware of them if they don't let you try them, even just the one time?"
Another pointed look.
"Did the dog sniff your crotch?"
"Why would he even do that? Why would you even say that?"
"I don't know. That's what dogs do. Don't you just hate that when a dog comes up to and starts smelling your crotch?"
"That's, like, never happened to me."
"Really? Never? I thought that happened to everyone."
"That's just disturbing," he told me.
I guess, in retrospect, I might have just asked a normal question like what the dogs name was or something like that. I always think of the right thing to say after the fact.
And then Alex went into my purse and pulled a tampon.
"Alex," Gage said, taking it away from him. "Don't play with that. It's a tampon."
I surge of pride coursed threw me.
My son. I had taught him well. Even his own father didn't know the difference between tampons and pads. They were all lumped into a fuzzy category called "lady products" that he didn't care to discuss.
Once, during a pad commercial, Gage referred to them as tampons. I corrected him.
"What's the difference?" he asked.
"It's a pretty big difference," I pointed out. "The pad stays down and out. The tampon goes up and in." I said, using hand gestures.
"Gross," was all he said.
Now he was dismantling the tampon.
"So how does it work," he asked. "It just goes in there like this?" "Oh," I see, he said, as he pushed in the applicator and saw the absorbent material.
"This just looks painful," he said. Which, kind of it did because it happened to be a Super Absorbent Plus.
"Alex's head came out of there. OK," I told him. "And yours, too."
"Ew," he said. "So what's the string for?"
Honestly, I never thought I would have to tell him about this stuff.
Don't they have a module at school? that he could take?