Clearing Up Misconceptions
(Original post date: Monday, March 24, 2008)
Until recently I don’t think my kids knew who Jaime Lynn Spears was… unfortunately, now they do. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, JLS is Brittney’s little sister, she’s 16, and she’s knocked up.
Now, as a rule, I try to stay as far away from the Disney Channel as possible, but the other day I was straightening up the family room when my daughter came in to watch a show. I looked up just in time to see JLS looking all pure and virginal.
“Ugh,” I said. “Is that Jamie Lynn Spears?”
“Yeah,” my daughter replied. “Isn’t she pretty???”
“Yeah,” I muttered. “And foolish.”
“Why? ’Cause she’s pregnant? I heard she’s giving the baby away.”
Oh boy was this not the conversation I’d had in mind when I went in to straighten up.
“Imagine having to do that, though,” I answered, heading up the stairs, attempting to escape from any in-depth discussion about JLS’s decision making.
Alas, my son had heard her name and was waiting in the hall.
“You know,” he said casually, “I just think she’s unlucky, that’s all.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you usually don’t get pregnant the first time you do it,” my 11 year old son replied breezily.
Oh, jeez. Where should I start? “Who said that?” I demanded.
“Everyone on the bus.” Of course.
For those of you without school-aged kids, let me warn you: the bus is the root of all evil. It starts in kindergarten when they learn what the middle finger means on the bus. Then you’ve got to get into what the f-word means.. that’s a whole other issue. I recommend tellling them it’s like a really strong “darn it!” until you’re ready to have “the talk.”
I take it back. Don’t listen to my advice. It’s so easy to tell others what to do when what comes out of my own mouth is so often NOT what I ought to be saying.
Case in point…
Best answer: “Son, let me calmly address two problems with that opinion.”
What I actually said: “Oh, ya think it was her first time, do ya?”
Not the best lead in, I realize. I did manage to get it together. I explained that yes, you most certainly CAN get pregnant the first time, and that you should ALWAYS use a condom to avoid pregnancy and diseases.
“Oh. Okay.” he said. I thought we were done. Whew.
“So what exactly is a condom?” he asked.
That’s no big deal to explain, right? Yeah sure. Go ahead explain exactly what it is to an 11 year old boy. Try it… I’ll wait. But I forged ahead and explained. He looked at me like I was making it up, then laughed his head off.
“Oh,” he said again, “Okay.”
I could tell from the look on his face that there was another question coming. What now, I wondered. I braced myself.
“So, um, Mom.”
“Can I ask you a question?
“Can I have some ice cream?”
Whew. So here’s what I want to know: what’s the world coming to when this type of conversation is sparked by a Disney show??? What’s next? The Wonderful World of STDs?