Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Puberty, pimples and cups

J has a funny little routine he does sometimes while he lounges in the tub (yes, he still takes baths - he loves them like his momma). He'll look down at himself, feign surprise, pretend that he sees a pubic hair, and declare: "For the love of G-d, it's Puberty!"

This has been going on for quite a while. J has always had a healthy (I hope) curiosity and interest in sex, reproduction, kissing, boy-girl relationships, gay relationships, etc., etc. As a former sex-ed teacher, I think I've done a pretty good job keeping up with him and giving him the right info at the right time. Also, J loves to watch Degrassi on TV, and that is also giving him plenty to chew on.

J recently turned 11, and at his yearly physical shortly after his birthday, the pediatrician opened up a discussion about puberty. Just the basics, your body is going to be changing in the next few years, muscles, sweat, pimples, yadda yadda yadda. But J was very impressed that the doctor had discussed this with him. Very impressed. As a matter of fact, he told a friend's mother later that day about the incident. Also, he's mentioned to me that, while he isn't really interested in girls yet, he doesn't dislike them as much as he used to, either. Hmm....

So, on the heels of all this, I decided that there were probably a few things I hadn't told him about. He knows the basics about sex and reproduction, but what changes would he be encountering in the near future? Oh, yeah. Those changes.

So I sat him down at the dining room table and told him about wet dreams, and about erections (G-d help me!). I still haven't gotten to masturbation yet...still saving that one for the "right time." Or maybe I should pass that one onto A. And I haven't gotten to birth control yet, although he claims to know what condoms are. And I haven't talked about STDs or any of that.

Shortly after all this occurred, J got his first pimple. It really was a pimple, right there on his chin. No idea why suddenly it arose: but it did.

Also, J is playing fall baseball this year, and A bought him his first athletic cup. I helped him put it on one day, and wouldn't you know, I had it turned upside down? Stupid mom.

Finally, I bought him a book: Linda Madaras' What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys. I actually heard Madaras speak many years ago when I worked in family planning, so here I am now, buying her book for my own kid! J immediately turned to the section on bisexuality. Good grief. This is going to be very interesting....


Joya Z. Baynes said...

You are doing a great job! I know these subjects aren't easy but this dialogue fosters trust so if times should ever become challenged for J, he knows he can communicate with his mother. Well done!

Tzipporah said...

la-la-la, I can't HEAR you!

OMG, the Kid just turned 4, i'm so not ready to think about any of this.

Thank you for making me grateful that our biggest concern right now is biting his friends and being rough with the cat. Sincerely. Thank you. :)

B said...

"For the love of G-d, it's puberty!" just cracked me up. Love J's sense of humor/joie de vivre. We're way behind you in talks, better get on the stick (no pun intended)! Not sure I have the guts, but I'm definitely ordering the "What's Happening to My Body" book for boys -- I can do that... Thanks, A!