Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What I Did on my Spring Vacation

You know how you’d have to fill out those “What I Did on my Vacation” worksheets in elementary school and how it’d normally be filled with things like “Went to the beach with my family” or “Visited my aunt in New York City”?

Well, for my seven year old niece, her worksheet will consist of an intimate knowledge of what marijuana is, what testicles are, and why on earth some people consider placenta a delicacy.

What? She asked! Also, that’s way more interesting for the teacher to read anyway, so relax.

But let’s start from the beginning.

First off, it should be noted that I really have no idea how to talk to kids and often don’t think before speaking in general. So, that combination can quickly lead to frustration by parents who have to clean up my mess. Luckily for me, this parent was my sister, so she totally had to know what she was getting herself into, and so let’s just go ahead and blame her if my niece ends up in juvie.

Oh, also, she knows what juvie is.

So my sweet, kind, whip-smart niece does this thing where she tricks you into thinking that she totally knows what you’re talking about, and lulls you into a false sense of security by starting the conversation talking about our matching glitter shoes and love for all things pink.

But then, out of the blue, you drop some testicle humor into the conversation and she’s all like “Wait, I’m seven, what’s a testicle?” and then your eyes dart over to your sister, who gives you a look of “What the hell is wrong with you?” combined with “You brought it up, you explain it” and then goes back to her iPad with a delightful glimmer in her eye, reveling in the fact that she will not be describing a testicle to a seven year old.

Me: “Well, you know how girls have vaginas and boys have penises?”
Niece, fascinated: “Yes.”
Me: “Ok…so boys also have these things called ‘testicles’ that are part of their whole outside package.”
Niece, staring blankly.
Me: “Ok, you know how our parts, as girls, are on the inside?”
Niece: “Yes.”
Me: “Ok, well for boys, their parts are on the outside.”
Niece: “Their penises.”
Me: “Yes! And they have these two…..well……”

At this point it’s important to note that my sister is laughing to herself while I proceed to hold my index finger upside down as “the penis” for a visual aid.  
Sorry, sis. I thought first graders
knew these things! My bad.

Me: “…..sacks, I guess, that sort of hang behind and below the penis.”
Niece: “Oh. And people eat those?”
Me: “Well, not usually, but sometimes, like for a dare on a reality show, they’ll dare you to eat cow testicles or something.”
Niece: “I don’t think I want to eat testicles.”
Me: “Oh thank God. Yeah, you definitely don’t.”

Niece: “What other gross things do people eat?”


Me: “Well……I mean, all sorts of things.”
Niece: “Like what?”
Me: “Um….well, sometimes people will eat placenta.”
Niece: “What’s a placenta?”
Shockingly around this time, I got a very similar look from my sister. It’s like I just never learn.

But I’ll spare you that description since, as it turned out, I wasn’t 100% sure what it was, either, and have very little actual understanding of everything surrounding children, including how they’re nourished on the inside.

Anyway, a little while later, as we were leaving for dinner, we stepped out into the hallway and my niece and sister commented on the aroma wafting through the stairwell.

Niece: “What’s that smell?”
Sister: “It’s rosemary.”
Niece: “Mmmm, I like the way rosemary smells.”
Sister: “Me too.”

During this time, one could find me starting at my sister to see if she was using the word “rosemary” as a euphemism for pot so we wouldn’t have to go into a long explanation about drugs after the anatomy lesson.

Sister, looking at me: “What, you’ve never smelled rosemary before?”
Me: “Um..have YOU?”
Sister: “Yeah, all the time.”
Me: “OK, so you know that’s not rosemary then, right?”
Sister: “What? Yes it is!”
Niece: “What is it?”
Me: “Wait, ok, are you using ‘rosemary’ as a code word?”
Sister, laughing: “What? A code word for what? Do you know what rosemary is?”
Me: “Of course I know what it is, which is why I’m confused!”
Niece: “What’s that smell, Aunt Becky?”
Sister: “WHAT are you talking about?”
Me: “The fact that you honestly think that’s rosemary….”
Sister, staring blankly.
Me: “Um, it’s pot.”
Sister, laughing: “Oh my God, that IS what that is!”
Me: “I KNOW!”
Niece: “Aunt Becky, what’s pot?”

And then we spent three blocks explaining marijuana to a seven year old.

Sister: “You know that she’s going to go back to school and will tell all of her friends about marijuana and testicles and I’m the one who’s going to have to field those phone calls from parents.”
Me: “Hey, better you than me. Plus, they need to relax. It’s New York. People smoke pot and have testicles.”

And that, my friends, is what my niece did on her spring vacation.

Happy Tuesday, everyone! 


  1. "First off, it should be noted that I really have no idea how to talk to kids and often don’t think before speaking in general." -- Once again, you and are are just the same person living in two separate bodies.... And this quote is why my sister doesn't let me babysit my niece alone anymore.

    1. We really are! But, I mean, it could be worse - the kids are always SAFE, they just might have a bit more information than when you left 'em, that's all!

  2. Hey! The way I see it - they're going to learn it eventually, right? Better from you than on the playground!

    I have a penchant for hanging onto slang from all decades and using them all, all the time. This means that when people's children come and hang out with me, they pick up all sorts of ways to express excitement:

    "AWESOME", "WICKED", "RAD", "CRAAAAAAAAAZY", "DUDE!", "whatEVER!", "WHOAAAA!!!!!", "TUBULAR!" and "NOT EVEN!" are all really cute coming from 3 year olds! Thankfully, I've managed to censor the testicular conversation.. until now, I'm sure :)

    1. Yes!! I'm the same way! (and good luck with the testicular conversation)....

  3. I'm always afraid to find out what my 8 year old might learn on the playground. She tends to know more then I do!lol

  4. Another hilarious post - I am also a bad influence on our baby cousins...oh well. I think it might have to do with the fact I'm not ready to have any of my own. Shouldn't trust me with them.

    Total side note - today is my SITS day and I spotlighted your blog as one of my fave SITS blogs thus far :)

    1. I think I'm the same way! Maybe I'm just not ready? Or maybe I'll just be like this with my own kids, too...God help us all.

      Oh my goodness,thank you! I haven't had a chance to go to SITS yet today, so I'm going over to your blog now - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! And thank you!

  5. Hahahhahah whatever, your niece is totally better off for knowing...and I can't believe your sister thought rosemary smelled like pot! Obviously it was a good thing you were there, otherwise your niece would start smoking rosemary and get brain damage. Because you don't get brain damage from smoking pot....right? Right?! :)

    Also, if it makes you feel better, my sister and I tried to describe a vagina to my 6 year old niece, including pictures. She was really grossed out. Which is super unfortunate since she HAS one...

    1. See, this is why you guys get me.

      Also, I don't even know where I would START if I had to describe a vagina!

  6. She's better off being a bad influence with factual information instead of made up stuff that other people will have to re-explain later. You sound like a great aunt!!

    1. Thanks! I like the way you think!! :-)

  7. I agree with Rabia...she's gonna learn about this stuff sooner or later, might as well learn about it from a reliable source! ;-) (Though I'm sure her friends' parents will not quite look at it that way when she goes back to school).

    1. Haha yeah, I would not want to be fielding those phone calls. :-)